Day two, as well as my first week of the Paramedic Academy are over. We are still working on the administrivia (computer access, calendars, reading requirements, testing – FISDAP, etc), as well as reminders of our BLS skills. It makes sense to ensure EMT skills are solid before moving to the new paramedic skills. Today was another day of BLS skills assessment and review. Airway (OPA, NPA, BVM) on adult and pediatric patients, suctioning, more CPR, AED use, and becoming familiar with the Zoll ECG/Defibrillators we will use in the Academy. We got a brief refresh on cardiac function, and scientific basis for CPR using the new guidelines. More c-spine work was also in one of the skills stations, including that lovely device that doesn’t see a lot of use – the Kendrick Extrication Device (K.E.D.).
Personally, I haven’t used a K.E.D. on a patient in years. I also got to be a patient placed in c-spine. We each can be (and are) patients when needed for other students to practice or demonstrate skills. That brought back memories of being stuck on a board waiting for c-spine clearance in an E.R. years ago!
I did impart a few gems on many of the guys in my group on some things to make our patients more comfortable. For example, we use Laerdal StifNeck Select collars, both in my company, and in class. For some patients, they can be very uncomfortable on the medial (sternal) end of the clavicle (collarbone for the uninitiated). Padding it with a few 4 x 4 gauze pads can do wonders to make a patient more comfortable if they, like me, have that end of their clavicle protrude out a bit. And if the patient has a clavicle fracture, but they need to be placed in a cervical collar, pain from the collar pressing on a fracture can be eased by padding (As well as a paramedic administering pain medication.). Frankly, I was happy to get off that board.
I have 8 chapters to read this weekend… time to get on it.