Very Boring Entry

Saturday, September 03 2005

So. In lieu of anything interesting, we ask DTs, “What’s new?”

Several things. DTs is now precepting as a medic. A shocked silence greets this news. “DTs,” you stammer, “You lying bastard. You told us lo these many months ago that you had passed your NREMT-I and were now a bona-fide Paramediate!”

Even so. Yet, considering the nature of the work, e.g. people’s lives, you might be driven to agree that the more time spent in study, the better. Therefore, precepting.

The precepting process is not unique to EMS, but an explanation might be in order. Having passed the rigorous tests imposed by the National Registry, DTs was entitled to wear the coveted “Intermediate” rocker patch on his sleeve. The NR tests were comprised of both written exams and practical stations, wherein the candidate proved he could perform certain actions – read an EKG, intubate adult and pediatric patients, start IVs, administer medications… the list goes on.

Am I then given a big ol’ box full of drugs and told, “Go forth, DTs, and do Good in the world.” Hell no, and for several good reasons.

First, have you ever crammed for a test, and passed, only to be unable to recall much of the information a week later? That’s one way to pass NREMT, but it’s not a good way to provide patient care. We still gotta remember all that stuff, and memorization comes with repetition. Second, performing say an intubation on a manikin while standing comfortably at a table in short sleeves is quite different from doing it, oh, upside down in a ditch, reaching through a windshield in driving wind and rain while wearing turnout gear. While your fire guys are cutting the car up to free the patient. So there’s the reality thing, there.

Precepting is a bit closer relationship than mentoring, I believe. While precepting you do everything under the watchful gaze of someone who’s been a medic for ages, knows it all and shares what he knows.

Anyway, the hours are better – 24 “on”, 24 “off”, another 24, then six days off. Guaranteed 8 hours OT every week, and use your six to fill in extra shifts or putter about the house, as you will. Oh, and study, of course. Sweet.

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