Mindsocks In The Dryer

Friday, November 05 2004

Having finished my clinical requirements, my only out-of-class “to-do’s” are the lead-seat calls. I still have Lab, however, as my one remaining class. In theory this class is to provide us with practice for the upcoming (Jan 29) NREMT-P test. For most of us in the class it does.

Lab is on Thursdays.

Like Arthur Dent, “I could never quite get the hang of Thursdays”. I go into class and it’s like a hood drops over my face, or the Stupid Pills take effect. I’m like a sock puppet – one half my brain went missing in the dryer, never to return. And yet, I’ll leave class and return to the parking garage, get into my car, and presto! Full functionality. “I am the very model of a modern Major-General, I’ve information vegetable, animal, and mineral…”

I’ve experimented. I set up the experiment in advance by pinning instructions to the front of my own shirt. Enter Lab, Experience Shutdown. Do whatever Lab requires that day – ECG interpretations, megacodes, IV arms, etc. Do them stupidly. Breaktime. Examine paper pinned to shirt. “Go To Car”. Car? Why? Why not? Leave Lab, go to car. Information floods in. My name, stuff like that. Aha! Break is over, return to Lab and the numbness, a prelude to Alzheimers – taste of the future.

What’s the problem? Is it the lighting? Something in the air? Am I the only one affected/afflicted? Is this Burnout, maybe Lab Burnout? I don’t know – I came to EMS from the computing field (28 years or so) and never burned out there, so I have nothing to compare.

If it is burnout, should it not have been ameliorated to some degree this yester-Thursday? I was out from Lab last week with illness; the week prior with PALS class at another facility. Two-week break. So yesterday should not have been a problem, or should have to some extent been less acute.

A most curious phenomenon. All I know is my teeth hurt on Fridays, because I make the conscious effort Thursdays, before entering Lab, of shutting my mouth tightly to (hopefully) reduce the slack-jawed, drooling Look that I may not sport on the outside, but sure seems to be there on the inside.

via DTs EMT.


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