Student Paramedic Placement: Week 2

My placement schedule is usually 2 days, 2 nights, 5 days off (which is really good). One in every 4 shifts there is an extra day shift in there as this is the pattern my mentor has on her line, which I follow. With this placement I have been really lucky to get a mentor who is on a line at a station as this means that my shifts are set (basically a year in advance) and I only have one mentor (unless I have to make up any shifts as I cannot do them). On placement, I am one of the lucky ones! Lots of people have multiple mentors and stations, and I am very lucky that I have been given consistency as I do get quite anxious at not being in control of the situation and not knowing what the outcome will be.

This week went from being a long, 3 days and 2 nights, week, to a 3 days and 1 night. I have had a shift moved, which my mentor kindly discussed when we could both do this shift as she had to change it due to her mentoring course (to mentor me). Some mentors are willing to be flexible for their students which is really good!

On my second week, our calls were less time critical and required more time on scene. We transported less patients into hospital (as A&E was not the answer to their problems) and completed more falls referrals and called more GP surgeries to make appointments for our patients. Falls referrals are really useful, patients can receive help from occupational health teams. They can provide equipment such as walking frames, hand rails and bed sides to reduce falls and make patients able to live in their own home safely. Good care for falls patients includes making them comfortable, assessing their mobility and capability compared to normal and ensuring that the patient (and their family) is happy with the decision to convey or not.

We transported a time critical patient to a specialist stroke hospital after witnessing her aphasia, which in this case the patient was speaking in full sentences, just using completely the wrong words so it did not make sense. We also dealt with some fractures and a lot of patients with chest pain, which meant I had the great opportunity of constantly practising my 12 lead ECG.

What I have noticed regarding my practice:

  • My confidence when interacting with patients has improved greatly. I can ask some awkward questions to try and get a thorough history. Sometimes it can feel very awkward on a long journey to hospital when the patient does not really speak (but that is okay!). I am still struggling with thinking of all the questions to ask and areas to investigate, but this is a step in the right direction.
  • Patients can be difficult sometimes! Patience is a virtue.
  • I have improved by asking questions but still sometimes lack the confidence to interject or ask if I can do something. Shove yourself forward, get hands on but don't be annoying!

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