Sunday, November 11, 2007

At LaSt!!!

Well you will be pleased to know that I managed to get myself a short notice cancellation space on an ALS Wales!!

So I popped into the car and nipped down (4 1/2hrs drive) and booked myself into the hotel which was next to the hospital (very nice too I may add) and I hit the books, studied like a mad man and eventually it was my turn to do my assessments, now the nice course organiser left my pre-course assessment at the hotel reception for me and I had to complete that and take it with me on day one, I did this as the good student and sat and listened to the lectures and participated in the practical skill stations, of which there were a few!

It came to the afternoon of the second day far too quickly, this meant written and then practical assessments. So I went in with 11 other students and we sat the written multi-guess erm multiple choice paper and then it was out and straight into a practical assessment, then when you finished this you were asked to step outside and wait to see if you were successful in your practicals, if you were un-successful you were given the chance to re-sit one more attempt.....I was in the lucky few who did not need a re-sit so we had to just hang around waiting on the final results....



Congratulations, we are pleased to tell you that you have passed!!!!!!!

YIPEE! I was soooo excited, I am glad that is over with, only one more course this year.......why do I keep doing it to myself??? Why Why why????

Monday, October 15, 2007

Back to work.....for a rest

Well I have been on annual leave for the last 2 weeks and in that time I think I have had 1 full day to myself, I had planned to do my ALS course during this time, but it had to be cancelled because of a problem that no-one could have possibly considered. So this left me with lots of time to do nothing...Oh no I mentioned to the administrator at St. Andrew's Edinburgh HQ and she instantly smiles and I find myself on duties, attending meetings and planning for forthcoming events. Now I am not moaning I really enjoyed getting back to basics in regards to patient care...plasters, triangular bandages etc etc and also getting an insight into the running of the corps and seeing the pressures that we (corps members) put onto the office staff at times when we could probably get off our arses and do it ourselves (but it's in the office anyway so THEY should do it........) I have enjoyed my time off, but I will be glad to get back to work this evening for a rest!!!

Oh did I tell you I was on holiday again for 3weeks as from Sunday??

Yipee Amsterdam Here I Come!!!!!!

ALaS it's not to be

Well I was all ready for my ALS course and then I received the email...."Due to some unfortunate circumstances totally outwith our control we are having to cancel your course that you were looking forward to doing, yeah the one you have been studying for the last 3 months, yip that's the one that you were bricking yourself about.......We don't know when the next one is going to be but if you want you can wait a while a we will get back to you"

Well it didn't actually say that, but to me it did..... Oh well just got to find another one and see if I can be squeezed onto that one at short notice with little studying time!!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

And it AlL Starts again!

Well here I am again, about to embark upon yet another course, I am about a week away from putting myself through another two days of sheer hell, all for the patient care I should add....

I have managed to secure myself a place on an ALS course, these are few a far between at the minute because of the influx on new Doctors, who are superior in their requirements to get a place on these type of courses. I have luckily managed to get a course in Glasgow, which will be much better than having to travel to Birmingham or Inverness like some of my friends for their courses.

I am looking forward to the course, it teaches Advanced Life Support, with the take being on In-Hospital Team based resuscitation, this is different from the lone responder, ALS skills that you are taught at Ambulance College, there is more emphasis placed on the roles and responsibilities and also working as a well rehearsed / oiled team, utilising the skills that others bring with them. I have been speaking with some colleagues who have done the course and they say that they found the chemistry aspect challenging, blood gases, results etc and also found it strange stepping back and "Running the resus" remotely.

I am obviously nervous about it, I like a challenge and hope that I will enjoy this as much as the PhEC course I did in July, I will keep you all updated.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Weekend of Fun!!

We this is my first chance in ages to actually sit down and blog, I have been busy working, with some interesting calls and I will blog these later. But I have had a full on weekend of partying.

It started on Friday with a friends wedding, I met up with some friends first of all in a local pub, then we went to the Gold Club, where the ceramony and reception were being held. I was expecting to see Kal there as he told me he would be going, but I later found out he was working. The night went well, the Bride and Groom were nervous, the Bride looked lovely. It was great to see so many old faces, some which I had not seen for a couple of years, so it was good to get together and catch up, the alcohol and music helped and by the end of the night I was grinding and dancing my ass off with GB on the dance floor to the B52's and numerous other good tunes.

Saturday saw a more relaxed day, then working for St. Andrew's on the Saturday night at the Corn Exchange, covering some gala dinner until the wee small hours of Sunday.....

Sunday saw me up bright and early to start teaching / instructing on a course which ran until 4pm. Getting home I rest and chill for a while, grab a bite to eat and head for the shower, make myself presentable for the next on-slaught of party time..... ERASURE CONCERT!!!!

I meet up with some friends in the Doctors pub, then we head along to the Chesser bar to catch up with some other friends, some drinking takes place and then onto the Corn Exchange. Now I have been to this place the night before on duty at the gala dinner, I have been here many times on duty, but I have never been there as a patron during a concert..(have been here for Christmas nights out) It was great, the music was fantastic, the drinks were flowing, the dance floor was jumping and the atmosphere was increadible....

as you can see from the video!!

And now I have to behave and go back to work and be the professional that I am supposed to be.....Booooooh

Monday, July 16, 2007

Oh PhEC!!!

Well it has been ages since I have updated you all on what I have been doing. I am sorry that I am such a poor blogger at the minute, but what with work, volunteering and studying I have not had much time to sit down and blog.

As you will be aware, I have been studying for some courses I recently completed, here goes with the update on them:

Minor injuries, this was a fantastic course which covered various aspects of primary care in relation to the management of patients with minor injuries, we covered management of soft tissue injuries (strains, sprains etc) along with wound management (burns and opthalmic inuries were also discussed in detail, with some very interesting pictures to re inforce the topics!) there were also some great sessions on wound closure either using medical glues or old fashioned sutures, along with the assessment of the wound and the decission on how to close them.

Pre Hospital Emergency Care (PhEC) Course, well to say that you hit the ground running is a bit of an understatement, I spent 2 1/2 days cramming information from the excellent faculty staff into my already full brain, they had a great mix on the faculty, coming from General Practice, In Hospital A&E / Critical Care, Nursing, Fire and medical responders who all had so much information to share. I was in a syndicate of 5, which was made up from a GP who was also a Senior Medical Officer in the armed forces, an A&E Dr from Edinburgh who I knew (but didn't know was coming on the course) a Cruise Liner Nursing Sister and a Medical Student, we worked well as a team and there was a good skills mix, which allowed us to support each other with different ideas and previous experiences. On the final day after we had gone through our multiple choice exams and our OSCE we were eventually given our results......"I am glad to say Mr SMM that you have passed all the necessary criteria and therefore you have achieved your PhEC Certificate.....oh by the way you got a Merit :) Well Done" I got a Merit......well you could have knocked me over with a feather, I was so surprised, I was not surprised I passed, but to gain a merit status

Whilst I was in London on my PhEC course I thought that I would try and arrange a ride along with the London Ambulance Service (Since I have a great friend who works for them I contacted her and asked if this would be ok) I was afforded the opportunity to spend two shifts with her, working from two different stations over the two days. I was impressed with some of their kit that they have available to them, although they do predominantly the same work as us in Scotland, there are subtile differences. I think I bumped into Random whilst I was in A&E, but I didn't get a chance to speak to him. I got several strange looks (uniform differencies) and the accent confused some folk (since 2 out of the 3 on the Ambulance had a strong Scottish accent!) I thouroughly enjoyed my time with the LAS and would like to thank everyone who made me feel welcome.

So what else? well in between studying and working I have also been on duty with St. Andrew's First Aid, I have covered some interesting events, the Moon Walk, Royal Highland Show, Blondie and Pink concerts, these have been fun, but it is difficult because St. Andrew's do not recognise any advanced skills and therefore as a Paramedic, I am expected to work as a First Aider, now this can at times be difficult especially when you are out on patrol with a British Red Cross first aider who is also an Ambulance Technician, you can imagine the looks that you get when the event Ambulance Crew turn up and see you both dealing with a patient but only as a first aider......

So this is my only day off this week and I am sitting in a coffee shop with a massive mug of Latte and enjoying the quietness of life, no rushing around between work, teaching First Responders, Covering first aid duties / events and studying for courses.......

I will try and keep up to date, but hey it's me!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Courses courses courses.....

Yeah as you may have guessed I am enrolling onto some courses over the next coming months. I have completed a neonatal resuscitation course and that gave me the "learning" bug again, so I looked on the limited web pages for NHS courses and I have found myself enrolling in the following to keep me busy:

  1. Critical Care study day, 1 day course at St. Johns Hospital, which covered the care of the critically injured patient, from the time they arrive in hospital to their discharge (some aspects were not relevant to my role, but still interesting).
  2. Managing the Critical ill child, another 1 day study course at St. Johns Hospital, I always feel very aware of my limited paediatric knowledge, hence the course!
  3. Pre Hospital Emergency Care (PHEC) Course, this is a 3 day course run by BASICS Education in London.
  4. Advanced Life Support (ALS) Course, this is a two 1/2 day course run in Glasgow, which covers further aspects of "Advanced" life support skills that I have already learnt as a Paramedic.
  5. Minor Injuries Course, this course covers, strangely as it says minor injuries, the assessment and treatment including suturing and wound glue to name but a few of the skills.

I also have plans to learn Polish and want to learn BSL, Kal has a basic knowledge so I may have to call him and ask for s few lessons... On the subject of Kal, we are still friends, I think I am getting used to the idea of not having him around as much as before, I was chatting to one of his friends yesterday and it sounds like he is doing well, I am trying hard not to call / text him so that I am not being a stalker.

I hope that these courses will provide me with the chance to blog about the content, the style of teaching and mostly the assessments, which to be perfectly honest about I am shitting myself.

I am really looking forward to the challenges of the courses and want to enjoy them, maybe this will push me further into academia and encourage me to continue towards my Diploma in Immediate Medical Care!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Observers curse


I have had observers out with me in the past, they range from first aiders to student nurses and even Kal when he was in Ambulance school! There is a common curse which follows observers, they come out and get nothing of interest. This seems to always be the case, the last two observers have had very little action, one got to see me deal with a particularly nasty scald and the other got all fairly minor run of the mill stuff. I have had a member of EMDC staff out and they managed to clock up a few jobs, but in their own word "no trauma again!" apparently each time they have been out they never get trauma and the most blood they have seen is when a patient is cannulated!

I have been asked to take out some more EMDC staff in the near future, maybe they will be more lucky than their colleagues and get something interesting.......but I doubt it!