12 February 2015
Paramedic Science student Oli shares his initial experiences on his first ambulance placement.
So, it’s actually begun. I have begun my clinical placements and now get involved with all aspects of work on an emergency ambulance.
Arriving at the station and meeting my PEd (Practice Educator) and his crew mate, I was soon put to work, checking that the ambulance was fully stocked with the equipment required for any call we could possibly attend during the shift and, of course, cleaning the ambulance’s exterior.
Following these preparations, it was a very short wait until we received our first call of the evening, to an elderly gentleman who had had a fall and had to be transported to hospital as he was showing signs of a fractured hip.
While a high percentage of the 12 calls we attended this week involved the elderly (as is the case with all the ambulance services in the UK), I also got to experience some more ‘youthful’ cases, including a one-year-old child with breathing difficulties, a young man who had fallen off his motorbike, and the aftermath of a student drinks party.
On arrival to this last patient, we found her to be totally unresponsive (GCS 3, for those who like medical lingo) and following the taking of routine observations, we discovered that the patient's alcohol consumption had also caused her blood sugar levels to fall below the normal levels.
We rectified this issue by giving glucagon (a drug that converts the patient’s energy stores back to glucose) and then transported her to A&E.
On arrival at the hospital, the patient was still largely unresponsive and she was taken into ‘resus’ for further treatment and close examination.
To those students who read this blog: enjoy your nights out, but please don’t end up so intoxicated that you require treatment like this from the ambulance service and A&E staff!
This week I am working day shifts and am looking forward to seeing what other cases will come my way as placement progresses, and I get to participate more and more in the process of patient assessment and treatment.
Oli studies Paramedic Science at ARU in Cambridge. Find out more about this and other degree courses at one of our Open Days.