Saturday, February 28, 2015

One of My Favorites

Had one of my favorite things happen at a call recently.
It's a simple thing. A small town thing.

We got a call to an address where I had been before, but the patient description was not even remotely familiar, even though the location was.
We don't have a lot of rental property out here, but we do have some- and this was one, so I thought maybe the previous patient had moved or something, and that was why this wasn't ringing a bell.

But when I walked in, something happened that clarified everything.

The patient recognized me. 
Remembered that I had been there before, six months ago.
When the patient's FRIEND was staying there while recovering.

THAT was why nothing sounded familiar.
Same address; different patient.

At the call months ago, I assumed I'd never know how things turned out, because that patient doesn't actually live in my response area, so it was unlikely we'd meet again. It was a somewhat uncommon medical situation, so I had wondered, more than once, how things had gone.

The friend was happy to give me an update, and let me know the former patient was doing very well, indeed.

So nice to hear!

I was somewhat surprised to be remembered.

Friday, February 27, 2015

One Small Post

It has been forever since I've posted.
No excuse for that, other than life being life, and things being things.

As usual, after a long break in posting, it's a bit of a challenge to decide what topic is "good enough" to be THE post that starts up the blog again.
Also, as usual, my decision ends up being that it doesn't matter. This isn't about the big, important topics, it's about the daily, small things. The insights. The experiences. The learning process.

Since my last post, I've gotten to do something that is near and dear to my heart.
I've become a lab instructor, with a great crew of other lab instructors, and help teach EMT classes at the local community college.
Not only that, but one of the primary instructors has a different take on how best to teach the class, since the state changed the curriculum. We're running a class that is heavily lab-based, with much less powerpoint and much more hands-on. We're currently in our second run of this concept, and I have to say, I think we're heading in the right direction. Still some stuff to work out in order to make it the best it can be, but we've seen many advantages to this model, and on top of that, we're having a great time, as are the students.

The first semester I was doing this totally kicked my butt, in a GREAT way. To be able to present didactic material in the lab setting, while keeping the hands-on part engaging, not spending too much time talking OR skipping any of the critical information, requires the instructors to be on top of our games, and has been SUCH a great learning opportunity for all of us, not just the students.

Instead of the typical lab structure of setting up stations that the students then rotate through, we have "teams" of students, each assigned to one instructor for the whole lab, and then change which instructor they work with from lab to lab. This means much of the instruction is done in a small group setting, which has done wonders for encouraging students to ask questions, and to keep up with the reading, since they really are expected to participate and contribute to discussions (and they DO). This ALSO gives the instructors a lot of one-on-one time with every student in the class, and our post-class review highlights any student who is having trouble keeping up.

For me, this way of teaching is a "natural" fit, since it is so connected to the teaching I've been doing in the rest of my life for the past 15 years.

I think this is enough for coming back to this blog. Lots of other stuff to say, of course.
Updates on our "medical mystery." (Solved? Maybe.)
Lessons learned from calls.
Maybe an update on not being so alone out here anymore… or am I?
Or maybe… I'll end up not posting again for a couple of years. It could happen.

At any rate, if anyone out there cares, this is just a short post to show that I haven't quit, haven't disappeared, haven't become one of the many, many people who burn out.
I am, however, intensely jealous of everyone in Baltimore right now for EMSToday. I couldn't afford to go, in time or money. :::sigh:::