Taylor S.

January 7th – January 14th (0 hours) – I did not go to my internship site these past two weeks due to my mentor being on vacation. I plan to go back on Friday, but I will write about an experience I had last semester. Last year, I had the privilege of sitting in at the 911 communications center. I got to meet Captain Greg Hoffman who gave me the tour and taught me about the new City Public Safety department. After the tour I got to sit with several dispatchers as I learned how a call comes in and exactly what happens after. I first sat with Kate where the initial call comes in. Her job is to determine whether to reroute the call to police or fire. Next, I sat with Nina who was in charge of dispatching the fire engines and ambulances. Finally, I got to listen in with Fabia who answered fire drill calls and life alert calls. I had no idea that certain dispatchers took all the calls north of Broadway and the others took the calls south of Broadway. Tucson Fire and Tucson Police were sharing the same room since the building is being renovated and whenever something “big” happened, they would flash a light so that everyone would be quiet. I learned so much that I didn’t know before and that helped me the next time I called 911 because I knew exactly what information the call takers are looking for.

I have learned so many technical skills with my experience at Tucson Fire, but my favorite skill I have learned is how to bandage an arm when the skin is pulled off and there is no surgical tape. I developed this skill because the two paramedics I was riding with were focusing on one patient and they instructed me to take care of the other patient (by bandaging his arm). I knew how to bandage an arm because of my practice in JTED, however this case was different because the skin was pulled off. I had to pull the skin back into place. I continued to wrap the arm like I knew how to do, but there was no tape to secure the end of the bandage. I asked the paramedics and they showed me how to tie it so that the knot doesn’t stick out. I thought that was the coolest thing because it looked so professional. Since my mentor was not with me (she was on a different call on the ambulance), when we got back to the station I went over the situation with her and I recall her saying “good girl” because I did exactly what she would have done. Even though she was not physically with me, I could hear her in my head telling me to put the skin back in place. I can continue to practice this skill on my ride-alongs where I get to bandage things for the crew.

Now that I have learned this skill, I can perform it in the field feeling brave. The crews will have confidence that I am able to do it on my own and they will be able to focus on another patient if needed. Since I want to go into emergency medicine, I will constantly be wrapping appendages and I believe that I will be using the new method of tying instead of taping. I can use this skill to teach more people how to make the knot pretty. The crews gave me confidence that I can do it effectively and I believe that it will carry over into my career, where I will know that I am doing it the right way. I have learned to think outside of the box with my treatments, I will be able to think outside of the box when it comes to every situation. I don’t believe I will use this in college until I get into my nursing program.

I was in a Pima NREMT training when I learned the term occlusive dressing. An occlusive dressing is an air and water tight bandage that is often clear so that the paramedics can assess the wound. For example, in my situation I had a fake stab wound on my ribs that was supposed to be gurgling blood. The correct way to treat my wound would be to use an occlusive bandage to stop the bleeding and to see if it was still leaking air.

January 15th – January 28th (3.75 hours) –  These past two weeks, I worked on the STEMI project at Tucson Fire. It was different going back to working on the project after having so much time off from it. In the project, I have to look at medical records and pull out small-but important- bits of information to put into a datasheet. The datasheet will be used to publish a report that goes out to all the important people in the city and around TFD. It is especially exciting that my mentor said that my name would be put on the report because I conducted the research for her. I had done it before so I understood all of the terms and got more work done, since I did not have to ask as many questions. I felt more confident and that really helped me when asking questions on small items. I have to look at the charting that the EMTs completed and since I already knew how to chart (from JTED) I am starting to recognize the difference between good and bad charting.

The industry specific vocabulary word I have learned is “turnouts”. Turnouts are the gear that the firefighters put on before leaving the station. It can be described as a “one-piece fire resistant suit”. This help protects the firefighters when they need to go into a building or are dangerously close to a fire. I learned this by going on ride-alongs and watching their preparation before leaving the station.

January 29th – February 11th (12.45 hours) – One meaningful experience I have had recently in the internship program was attending an airway dissection lab with US Air Force Medics. I met Amy who is currently a medic, and we set up pig hearts and pig lungs for the students to learn from. After we were done, I was able to stay and help with the dissection before cleaning up. I even got to take a cool picture with the heart and the lungs. I learned so much from this lab because I had never seen a heart cut open before. It was just like a human heart, so I knew the basic structures, but the lesson taught me in depth about the heart and lungs. For example, the strings of the heart are called the chordae tendineae.

My SMART goal for this semester was going out with TC3. I chose this goal because the program does so much for the community and I wanted to help in anyway I could. TC3 stands for Tucson Community Cares. It is a program that is paired with a lot of other services to help fight the abuse of the 911 system. On this particular day, I was riding with a paramedic named Sue. She had been working with a man for over a year. This man called 911 for a disorder where blood pools in his legs. He was experiencing homelessness for 10 years before he had a referral to TC3. Tucson Fire recognized the severity of the situation because this man was on track to having his legs amputated. Because he was experiencing homelessness, he was not going to be able to keep his wounds clean. This man was able to get into a homeless shelter, and then to his own apartment through a program called 51 Homes. He had lost his birth certificate and all of his valuables when he was living on the street. TC3 was able to track down his birth certificate and give him a government phone. This man had experienced so many setbacks and hurdles with TC3. The process was delayed several times, due to problems in the legal system, but they still persisted. He was living in his apartment for 3 days when I went and saw him. Sue and I first went to the Salvation Army where his birth certificate and government phone had just came into the mail. We went to the store and bought him basic cleaning supplies, as well as hygiene products. Then, we went and we saw them. One hurdle I had was getting over my nervousness. I had never met this man before, and he had never met me, so I didn’t know how he would feel about me being in his house. I was the one setting up his phone while Sue was showing him how to clean his house. I overcame the fear by just throwing myself into the situation. I had to show him how to work his phone, which meant that I had to interact with him. It turned out that my nervousness was for nothing because he was extremely sweet and so appreciative of what we were doing for him. By TC3 helping him get an apartment, his wounds were healing nicely. He would not call 911 again for a year, and he would not have to be hospitalized. Had they not stepped in, it would have been very expensive for him to get medical care, and he probably would have been hospitalized several more times. This whole learning experience has taught me to look at the bigger picture. When I am a doctor, I will remember this experience and remember to ask people about the environment they are living in. It has taught me the importance a small change can make in one person’s life.

One vocabulary word that I have learned is ectopy. Ectopy is a small disturbance of the electrical rhythm in the heart. I learned this term while I was working on the STEMI project.

February 12th – February 25th (17.24 hours) – One meaningful experience I have had recently was helping out with the AMLS class at Pima. AMLS stands for Adult Medic Life Support, and it is a training that all Tucson Fire Medics have to go through. They had 3 different scenarios to go through as a group. I was a patient and I had to memorize a script in order to be able to answer their questions that they had. In the first situation, I was having an allergic reaction, which then led into a seizure. In the second situation, I had overdosed on acetaminophen, and in the third situation, I was having a ectopic pregnancy. It was interesting seeing how each group took a different approach to the situation, but they had all come to the same conclusion on my diagnosis. I learned so much about how to treat each situation and which questions to ask. Each person had their own job in order to work as smoothly as possible and they were able to identify those jobs without even saying it out loud.

One vocabulary word I learned when doing my ride along with TC3 was “experiencing homelessness”. It is not correct to call someone homeless because they haven’t been that way their whole life and they may get out of it. This is a term that the homeless shelters and emergency personnel use when talking about someone who is without a permanent home.

February 26th – March 11th (10.48 hours) –  One meaningful experience I have had recently in the internship program was completing a HIPAA training. HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Although this training was online, I had to take tests on the course and follow the law in real life. The course consisted of several pages of notes and power points, followed by a small test. I had already learned about this law last year in my healthcare foundations class, but this course helped me understand it so much more. The training was 2 hours and it made me understand the importance of maintaining HIPAA in my internship and in the medical field in general. Going into the experience I was afraid of how boring it would be, but it turned out to be very interesting and helpful.

My second SMART goal for this semester was to complete one last ride along. My mentor and I chose this goal because it was one of my favorite parts of the whole internship and she wanted me to end with a good thing. I was at Station #9, named the “House of Pain” due to the high volume of calls this station receives. It is also the headquarters for all of the other stations on the east side, as it is on Wilmot and Eastland. My first call was at an Urgent Care where an elderly man was complaining of chest pain. The EKG showed something abnormal so the staff called 911. The engine crew responded and called an ambulance to have him transported to the hospital. One thing I learned about Tucson Fire is they will only dispatch their ambulances if it is a true emergency. If it is something small- for example a broken arm- they will call a private ambulance company in order to ensure they have their ambulances if a true situation comes along. Since the engine crew called the ambulance, that showed me that the man was having a very serious emergency. One hurdle I had was getting scolded by the Captain. One call that I responded to involved an elderly man who had fallen inside his house. He had just broken his collarbone a couple of days previously, so he wanted to ensure that everything was still okay. I was instructed to take the patient’s vitals to report to the Captain to write down. The patient was sitting in a chair, so I kneeled down to take his blood pressure. After I had taken the vitals, the Captain called me to a different room to explain a mistake I had made. When I kneeled down to take the vitals, I put my knees on the ground. Since some houses around the area are known to have bad living conditions such as bed bugs, that was a huge misstep. The Captain explained that crews have to stay on their feet at all times and to never do that again. I overcame this hurdle by explaining that I would never let it happen again and I understood the risk I was taking. Especially because I was at the station for only one day, I didn’t have a change of clothes were something to happen. All of the other calls I went on went really well without any incidents. One of my favorite calls that I went on was a young girl who was running from her boyfriend and got punched in the stomach several times. She said she believed she was pregnant, so she wanted us to take her to the hospital to get her checked out. I was in charge of taking her vitals and trying to calm her down, as she was hysterical. On this call, I was the only female on the crew. Although her situation was dangerous, I enjoyed this call because of the interaction. I explained everything that I was doing to her as I was taking her vitals, and I believe we had a connection. She was very reluctant to talk to the other crew members because they were males and she had been abused. I felt I give her a little bit of hope as I was able to calm her down. The crews really relied on me to reiterate that they were here to help. This ride along taught me so many skills from bandaging an elderly’s arm because the skin is more fragile to false alarm calls when a fire is reported, but there is none. I will use all of these skills in the future when I am a doctor and need to calm patients down or complete bandaging after a surgery.

One vocabulary word I learned when completing the dissection lab with the Airforce paramedics is the PEEP Valve. PEEP stands for positive end-expiratory pressure, It is a small part that fits onto BVMs to ensure that a little bit of air is left in the lungs to promote gas exchange. 

March 12th – March 25th (0 hours) –  I did not go into Tucson Fire these past two weeks because of my clinicals with JTED. However, one meaningful I have had recently was attending a ride along with TC3. TC3 stands for Tucson Collaborative Care 3 and is a program that tries to combat homelessness and the overuse of the 911 system. During this ride along, we visited a man at Purple Heart Park who had been living out of his car for the past 10 years. He had used up all of the support that a homeless shelter had given him, so our initial reason for the visit was to see why he did not get housed, when given the opportunity. After talking to him, we discovered that he felt very overwhelmed by the whole process, and needed someone to help him through it. Afterwards, Sue and I set up a plan to try and get him help in finding an apartment. The whole process with TC3 showed me how close the Fire Department and homeless shelters work together. It also taught me that some people who are experiencing homelessness are doing so because of situations that were completely out of their control.

One vocabulary specific term I learned was chordae tendineae. I learned this during the dissection lab with the Air Force Paramedics. Chordae Tendineae are very fragile strings in the heart that work to keep the valves in the heart stable when pumping blood.

March 26th – April 8th (0 hours) – One meaningful experience I have had recently in the internship program is learning about MIST cards. MIST stands for mechanism of impact, injuries, speed, and trauma level. It is used to help paramedics call in trauma alerts to the hospital. They identify the items I mentioned earlier, then they read off on a chart exactly what they’re supposed to say. This makes it so they can make the calls faster, so the team at the hospital is ready for their arrival. This card is very new, so it only applies to car crashes, but my mentor is working to expand it to other items. I learned that the cards exist and the purpose of them. I also learned the correct way to call in a trauma call.

One thing this internship has taught me about myself is that it is okay to be afraid. Going into my first few calls, I was afraid that I had no idea what I was doing or how the call would go. However, I learned to feed off of my uncertainty and adrenaline. I learned that I could be okay with not knowing all of the details. This internship has also taught me that I have more confidence than I thought. It taught me skills such as talking to a captain, or more importantly, patients. It taught me I am able to talk to different levels of people with ease.

One tip I have for incoming juniors who will be in the internship program next year is to appreciate all of the fun experiences you have. Not everything is going to be fast paced and fun, so you have to learn to accept the boring tasks and complete them with the same enthusiasm. Another tip I have is to check your calendar often. I found that at the end of the year, my alerts for assignments weren’t going off, even though I had them set to. I would keep checking your calendar every day, just in case this happens. Finally, my last tip is to stay on top of homework. Getting 162 hours is no easy thing to accomplish if you are procrastinating homework. It will pile on and eventually overwhelm you. If you learn to complete tasks as soon as you get them, it will help reduce your stress level and help you be a better student overall.

One vocabulary word I learned when playing a patient at Pima was ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs outside of the womb. It is very dangerous and can present itself in various ways, such as extreme stomach cramping.

April 9th – April 22nd (2 hours) –  One meaningful experience I have had recently in the internship program was being able to sit in on interviews for incoming students. This was not my first time judging interviews, but I felt that it was the most meaningful to me. It was helpful to me because I was able to see some of the responses that I wouldn’t expect, and use it to help develop my interview skills. I learned that the interviews are not as intense or scary as I thought they were coming in last year. It was interesting to see how each person was able to answer the question, but they took a completely different approach than the rest. I also got to talk with Mrs. Wahl and Mrs. Polivchak about what type of responses they considered strong responses. I really look up to them because they have been interviewing for so long, so it was like a personal mini training.

One vocabulary word I’ve learned when completing ride alongs is suppression units. Suppression units are trucks that can be dispatched to help fight a fire. They include the ladder trucks, engine trucks, and rescue trucks (everything but the ambulances).

July 20th – August 12th (18.33 hours) – One meaningful experience I had in the past two weeks was attending the Pima Community College Paramedic training. There was a group of 37 students that were practicing for their national exam on August 18. I got to act like a patient and help the paramedic out. I had to pretend like I was an 8 year old patient who was playing soccer when she had an asthma attack. After the situation was over, I got to talk with their teacher and help access what they did well and what they needed work on. It was such a cool experience to get loaded onto the stretcher and seeing how each paramedic did each step differently. After a few students, I was able to recognize the right and the wrong way to treat a patient having an asthma attack. I really enjoyed seeing all of the equipment a paramedic uses.

Two things I hope to learn from my time in the internship program is how to make myself look as professional as possible and how to treat basic injuries. I understand that I can never be perfect when it comes to looking professional, but I hope that Mrs. Wahl can teach me as many skills as possible to seem presentable. Some more skills I would like to learn are how to dress professionally for different situations, and when it is necessary to use someone’s personal cell vs work, etc. It is important to understand how the job system works when we get out of this program, so I would also like to learn how to make yourself stand out from others. From my mentor, I hope to learn how to treat basic injuries. Like the professional skills, I realize that I will never know what to do with everyone. I already learned how an asthma attack is treated and I would love to learn how to treat concussions, broken bones, excessive bleeding, etc.

As a student, I have learned that if there is a subject that I like, I get things done early and I do not procrastinate. I find myself getting excited for the next assignment and paying attention during the meetings. This makes me realize that I am actually where I want to be, and I can do better in school because of it. As a professional, I have learned that I can put together a business casual outfit really well. I also find myself accounting for traffic and giving myself a buffer zone just in case something happens. I try to be early and make myself be as professional as possible so people enjoy working with me.

August 13th – August 26th (16.18 hours) – One meaningful experience I had recently was my first ride along. I was down at Fire Station #14 (the one by the airport), and the firemen really took me under their wing for the day. I experienced the opportunity of switching between the fire engine and the medic truck. My favorite call was the first one where a man had a small laceration on his knuckle, and a woman had lacerations under her tongue. The Fire Chief- Chief Parris- walked up to the man and said “this is Taylor, she is one of our students, and she is going to be taking care of you today”. I was in absolute shock because this was my first ride along and first call. I had to remain confident as I cleaned the wound and bandaged it up for him. I loved this experience because it made me feel like I was one of the firefighters, and made me feel pretty special too. It taught me that even though you may not have years of training, you can still make a small difference in someone’s life. By the end of the day, I had gone on 8 calls.

August 27th – September 9th (22.64 hours) – One meaningful experience I have had recently in the internship program was completing a ride-along with station #8. Each station gets to design their own logo and have their own phrase, and station #8’s was “The House of Love”. It was interesting to see the crew’s dynamic which was drastically different from station #14’s. I got to go in 7 calls, and the rescue truck even let me bandage a person’s arm. My favorite call we went on was checking on two kids that had been locked in a car. It was my favorite because I had never worked with pediatrics before, and they have a completely different way of being treated for injuries. I also had the experience of learning how the fire engine works, with the lights, sirens, and horns. Captain Sloan really took me under his wing and made sure I had the best experience possible. I learned the difference between ALS and BLS calls, and how to treat patients with different injuries.

The expectations for my conduct and personality really depend on which site I am at. When I am at Fire Central or the 9-1-1 call center, I am expected to wear business casual clothes and be very professional. I am expected to speak in a soft tone and address everyone by their full titles (i.e. Chief Paul McDonough). However, when I am on ride-alongs, the firefighters joke around a lot and can be a little rough sometimes. At the fire stations, I am allowed to joke around with them until we get to a patient. When we are at Pima, I wear clothes that I am not afraid to get dirty, and I act however the situation I am given tells me to act. Sometimes I cam quiet, or sometimes the story given for testing calls for me to freak out.

I do believe that this is a natural fit for my conduct and personality because I try to be as professional as possible. I am always organized with my binder, and I am able to help out my mentor before she even asks. However, I do need to work on letting go and joking with the guys sometimes. I think being able to access the situation and how I am able to act is a skill that I am still trying to pick up. I also need to work on memorizing the buildings and how to get around them because at a certain point, there isn’t going to be anyone there to walk me to each place I am going to. I see coworkers on their phone a lot, and I am working to try and not fall into that habit. I like to think that I am doing a good job of being professional because some of my mentor’s coworkers have complimented me on that.

One vocabulary word I have learned at my internship site is “vasoconstrictor”. A vasoconstrictor is something that causes the blood vessels to dilate, which in turn, causes the blood pressure to rise. I learned this term at Pima when the paramedics were treating me for a stroke. If they gave me oxygen, it would be a vasoconstrictor and could possibly be fatal for a stroke patient, because it causes the pressure to increase in the brain.

September 10th – September 23rd (22.61 hours) – One meaningful experience I have had recently in the program is a ride along with Station #9. While I have been privy to touring a few stations in Tucson, this Station was by far my favorite. In between calls, I got a tour of the ambulance and how to use all of the equipment in it. I also got to attend a class on SMR (Spinal Restriction Movement)- the crew at the fire stations have to give and attend a class each month. I enjoyed riding with the engine crew because they let me take all of the vital signs: blood pressure, pulse ox, respiration rate, and glucose. At the end of the day I got to take a picture on top of the ladder truck, which I have always wanted to do. I learned many valuable lessons from the firefighters- such as you should try to squat rather than kneel in someone’s home. I also learned how to be brave and take vital signs even when someone is talking to the patient.

While I was attending the Pima EMT’s class skills day, I learned the word traction. We were talking about the different types of femur splints and how they are used. One EMT is supposed to hold traction while the other ties all of the straps down. Traction, in this context, means to pull on the foot slightly to try and relieve the pain before the splint officially pulls the foot.

September 24th – October 7th (31.35 hours) – One meaningful experience I have had over the past week is completing fit testing with the firefighters. Every year, the firefighters have to bring in their masks and make sure that the masks are still a perfect fit for their face. We also checked to make sure that all of the straps were in place and the firefighters still know the correct way to put the masks on. Usually they stay the same, but sometimes their weight will fluctuate or the rubber will wear off. I got to instruct the men how to complete the testing with all of the 6 different exercises. I learned that a 500 on the machine is a pass, but the fire department strives to get above a 3000. After we had tested all of the masks, I got to put a mask on and complete the fit testing. I definitely did not enjoy it and it made me realize that I would not be able to be a firefighter. The regulator really controls your breathing and during the first test, the goal is to suck out all the air from the mask, making it seem like one is suffocating. While I did not enjoy the experience, I really got an insight on the conditions that the firefighters are being put through.

At my internship site, I mostly use in-person communication to complete my duties. I sit in a cubicle surrounded by offices, so it is very easy to get around to the people that I work with. For example, if I have a project that I am working on and I have a question, I can just walk to the person’s office that the question pertains to. So far at my internship, I have only found one person that replies to my emails, so if I am not there to talk to someone face to face, I will call their office phone. However, I text my mentor because she is never at her desk, and made it okay for me to text her. In-person is the most useful to me because I move around a lot, so when I am at a firehouse, I do not get contact information because I will probably never see them again.

I try to initiate communication as soon as I have a thought because I have memory problems and if I do not ask it right away, I probably will forget it. I also am working on a project that is very big and has a very strict deadline, so it would waste time if I wrote down the question and debated which form of communication to use. When I write emails or send texts that do not have a deadline, I usually sit down and think about the wording to make it as professional as possible. Like I mentioned in my previous answer, my main form of communication is face-to-face so it is not appropriate to review the communication before it happens. I feel that I am very comfortable in choosing the appropriate method and executing it well. I feel very comfortable talking to everyone including Captains and patients. I try to make myself seem as confident as possible because in the field, patients are trusting you with their life.

I learned the term STEMI when I was working on the STEMI project for TFD. STEMI stands for ST- Elevation Myocardial Infarction. It is a more serious heart attack that occurs when one of the major arteries is blocked. For the project, I am looking at all the reports of chest pain and am identifying if they were a true STEMI.

October 8th – October 21st (0 hours) – I did not spend time at TFD this week because the computers that I work on were being used. When I am not completing ride-alongs or working with Pima students, I am working on a project known as the “STEMI Project”. Every other year, TFD comes out with a report on how they are doing and the new technologies they are using in the field. It is my job to look at all of the reports of chest pain and transfer the key information into a spreadsheet so my mentors and the Captains can run data analysis. It can get very boring staring at a computer for 3 hours straight, but I understand how vital it is. I really like reading the narratives (where the EMS provider is able to explain the story of what happened and what treatments they performed) and looking at all of the different medicines and interventions that are given. I learned that when a firefighter or paramedic gets hurt, they have to be put on “light duty”. The duty can be short term, like a couple of days at the 911 call center or a couple of weeks working on the STEMI Project- or it can be long term. I met an EMT named Sharon who has been on light duty for almost a year due to a knee replacement. When they are too hurt to work in the field, they are usually pulled into Fire Central where they can help out with office work.

When working on the STEMI Project, I learned the term “nitro”. Nitro stands for nitroglycerin which is a medication that is recommended for treatment of heart attacks. When used, it dilates the blood vessels to help the heart pump blood. Many of the patients that had a STEMI took nitro before EMS arrived, but they were given more.

October 22nd – November 4th (31.01 hours) – One meaningful experience I have had recently in the internship program was going to an airway class with paramedic 7 and 14. I went to the PSESI (Public Safety and Emergency Services Institute) and was able to sit in on a class and even got hands on. Every year, all the crews are required to complete a certain amount of training in order to stay on top of their education. My mentor is very particular at who she lets teach the class, so, I was learning from the best. After the instructor went over the various tools and diseases of the respiratory system, we got to the practicum part. I followed crew 7 as they taught me different ways to intubate. Finally, in the end, I was able to practice intubating on pigs. The guts were put into fake mannequin heads that looked exactly like humans. It was very fun getting to put on all my PPE, such as gloves, goggles, gown, and mask.

When I was volunteering at Pima, I had to talk to an instructor named Sharon. Before that, I had always gone to my mentor when I had any questions. However, on that day, my mentor had not arrived yet, so I had to go to her for my questions. I talked to her in person because I did not understand the process of National Registry EMT. I also was confused about the layout of the building and I did not know where to go. I initiated the conversation and I believe it went really well. I was nervous at first but now I am able to talk to her freely without being nervous.

I frequently talk with the crews when I am there for social reasons. In between calls when we are waiting we try to get to know each other since we will be together for the entire day. When we are on the way to calls, everyone wears headsets so we can hear each other. They always engage me in the conversation since I am there and it is usually for social reasons. I feel very comfortable talking to them because I am basically one of them. I get to interact and help patients just like them, so it gives me confidence. Also, a lot of them are like kids and they like to joke around and be crazy, so it is easy to talk to them.

When I was at the PSESI, I learned the term “cricing”. The technical term is a “cricothyrotomy” which means to make an incision on the throat to access the trachea. After that, the crews can stick a tube in the hole to get a viable airway.

November 5th – November 18th (0 hours) – I did not go to my site during these two weeks because I am caught up on hours and I had a lot of homework. One experience I had a few weeks ago was volunteering for the 23rd annual Chili-Cookoff. I sold waters and sodas and floated around wherever they needed the help. This event was really fun because 100% of the profits go to the Tucson Firefighter’s Charities. This money will be used to make food boxes for the holidays, as well as buy toys for children. Each station had their own booth, as well as their own theme. It was cool to see the different crews who I have ridden with again and get to talk to them. I learned about the Fire Cadet program and had the opportunity to talk to one of the boys. He was testing with National Registry in December and I was able to answer some of the questions that he had about the program. I did not realize how much I learned from Pima until I was able to answer all of his questions with confidence.

At the beginning of the semester, my mentor and I worked to create a spreadsheet that was shared with all of the coworkers I was interacting with. They were able to go in and input times that my help was needed, or not needed. I would say that for the most part, I stuck to my schedule. In the end, I did not come in every week since I had already hit my hours. A couple of days over fall break I left an hour early, but my mentor was understanding. When I could not make it to my site, I emailed my mentor that I was not able to come in and explained why. I also went into my spreadsheet to mark it down that I would not be present. To succeed, I made sure that I was never scheduling things when I did not have the time. Once I committed to something, I did not go back on it.

I believe that I managed all of my tasks very successfully. I was worried at the beginning that I would not hit my hours due to my huge time commitment with JTED. I was successful because when I scheduled my internship days, I put my whole focus into them. I used Sunday’s to do my homework and the time in between JTED and school to get more work done. This was the first year that I used a planner and calendar, so I was able to exactly map out my time for everything. I think that next semester I can be even more successful by only going every other Friday just so I can study a little bit more. If I keep doing the same amount of activities, I will be able to get my hours even with the break.

I learned the term “KED Board” when I was playing a patient for the NREMT. Its official name stands for Kendrick Extraction Device. The board is used to stabilize patients who are in a sitting position (most often patients in motor vehicle accidents) until they can be moved onto a regular spinal board.