Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Aesop's College Of Medical Knowledge

I just finished over a year doing registry work all over SoCal. Last year was my 25th year in medical arts on purpose, my 20th year as an RN, and my 15th year in the ED. And despite that, I'm probably going to be forced by circumstances to continue my medical education.
And I finally have some free time for this, and for that.
So if I'm going to be tortured with more formal schooling, I'm dragging anyone listening along for the ride, not least of which because the best way to learn something is to teach it.

And blog boredom has overtaken me, so along with the other topics, it's probably time to download some of a fair lifetime-sized chunk of medical wisdom and experience.
I have a nagging feeling some of you out there are going to need it, and sooner rather than later. This isn't the first time I've done this here, and it won't be the last.
As a few dozen prior missives here would document.

So let's start with the Welcome To New Students.

For whatever reason, boredom, necessity, local or regional disaster, zombie apocalypse, fascination with the idea, or simply being the only one not all f**ked up by present circumstances, you're embarking on the care of others.

1) Thanks, from your patients and their significant others, if you do it right.
2) Woe unto you, from same, and their lawyers, if you don't.
3) Are you sure you're up to the task? Really sure??
4) Attendance at these lectures conveys no license to practice.
4a) Nota bene: Protestations contrary to #4 from anyone will be greeted with derision, and mocked mercilessly, including if called to testify in open court.
5) Actual attendance at certified institutions and passing actual examinations does.
6) Do 5, with all due haste and diligence.
7) You really sure you want to do this stuff?
8) Those of us in the field are not necessarily impressed, but we'll see how you do, and if you're still here after s**t gets real for you, we'll be much more impressed, and actually inclined to share and help you out. Pinky swear.
9) Nothing you've ever seen, anywhere, in any movie or TV, is probably anything like how it really is.
10) Your first homework assignment is to write #9 above in your head, 100 times, until you can repeat it from memory.
11) Sometimes, accidentally, it can come close. But by the time you can tell, you don't need anyone else to tell you when they're getting it right.

My intention is not to tell you everything. I don't know everything. There's neither the time, nor the room in my head, for all that. But what I do know, I know pretty damn well. I've been a first responder, EMT, registered nurse, medical instructor and educator, for pretty much half my life. That and five bucks gets me a large cup of whatever at Starbucks. I've worked with some pretty stellar physician assistants, physicians, and surgeons, and a whole lot of awesomely incredible nurses and medical techs. I have fought and bled to save people's lives, and gotten to the point that other people I respect think I know WTF I'm doing, most days and times. And that's worth more than 25 feet of diplomas and certificates. (I have those too. Big whoop.)
I am not a trauma surgeon, or a former 18D. But I promise you I've had my arms up to the elbows in more open chests of other people than you probably have, and curiously, at that point, no one usually asks you for your license and certifications.

Before we start, you may wish to reconsider bothering. Feel free to bypass these little features if you decide you don't need them, or simply don't care.
You would also do well to take a peek back in time and look up my prior offerings.
They are not graven on stone, but I think they'll help most reasonably intelligent people.
I am not infallible, and I have a far dimmer opinion of myself and my skills, based on actual experience, than anything you can pass along here, so if you think I have it all wrong, or I'm being too harsh about anything, I sincerely and humbly urge you to get over it.

That's all for now.
Get a good rest.
Lectures will be most every day, and weekly at minimum, because otherwise my procrastination-fu will probably keep me from ever getting this going, or continuing it.
Class starts tomorrow.


Paul Campbell said...

I look forward to getting my Junior Lifesaver Badge!

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to class,and thank you for providing the knowledge.
Learning is always a good thing,and it's something no one should ever stop doing.

Anonymous said...

Respect you. I live in the woods. I think I'm the only one in 15 miles (45 min.) with any first aid training. For us 60+ types that haven't had realistic first aid training (-Red Cross) since our military training in the 70's, would you please go slow, or at least enunciate clearly. I've tried to follow first aid, but I'm not in the biz. I really appreciated your advice about the injectable sponges (your experience vs my awe). No, I will never be able to provide the type of response you or any trained person can, but I can follow along with you and maybe learn what not to do. (Sr. Chief Corpsman to me... Do something, anything, to get started, your training will take over. If you don't do anything, I'll be the one that kills you. If you make a mistake I will forgive you, but if you don't do what I trained you, I will kick your ass. Sage advice.)Maybe I can learn what not to do if someone like you has brought it to my attention, and I'm not overwhelmed, and maybe your insight will help me do the right thing. Who knows, in an emergency, maybe your training and my kluge will save someone, (or even you).

RushBaby said...

SO ready to soak up any and all knowledge and advice.

Anonymous said...

Hoo--effing-ray!!! Great news. I've mused previously that it would be great to take classes from you, and this will be the next best thing. Getting into an actual EMT program soon, so this will provide a depth and perspective which I know will be invaluable.

Pencils sharpened, attitude adjusted, apple on your desk. Ready to learn, sensei. Arigato.

GamegetterII said...

I left the following comment...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking forward to class,and thank you for providing the knowledge.
Learning is always a good thing,and it's something no one should ever stop doing."

I did not intend to leave it as anon.

aka StarvinLarry
aka GamegetterII

I know of far too many people who think that the Red Cross class they took back in 1977,and what they learned in Boy Scouts and/or the military too many years ago is all they need to know.
They believe that because they have a very expensive "wilderness survival" first aid kit,and each member of their tribe has an IFAK with a nasopharyngeal airway,and a suture kit they swpied from an ER when the Dr wasn't looking that they will be the DR. for their tribe,and be able to do everything up to and including surgery.
I'll go and take their supplies when they're all dead or dying due to the lack of proper medical care.