Monday, 26 January 2015

Diary: Weeks 14,15 & 16 - Back to Uni

So Instead of writing week by week of my return to Uni, I appreciate it's probably less interesting to read than zipping around on Blue Lights so I thought that I'd condense my first three weeks into one post instead.

Coming back to Uni after Christmas and the excitement of Placement was harder than I'd thought. Initially I found myself lacking that get up and go with my home studies after lectures each day. Before placement I'd happily sit for a few hours when I got back to my room and study things around what I'd learnt or read ahead on things I was going to learn but now I was having to force myself to do the same. After a few days I gave myself a kick up the back-side and just remembered how bad I wanted this and how hard I'd worked to get here and I was fine again.

Seeing all of my colleagues again has been great, everyone has their own war stories to share from Placement and hearing about their experiences helps my own learning too.

Read on to find out what I've been learning about since I got back!

I think I was expecting the first few days to ease us back into the swing of University - I was gravely mistaken however when we were thrust straight into Anatomy and Physiology and Study Skills as if we'd never been away in the first place! A&P is gearing up for our Exam later in the year so everyone is paying attention and trying to absorb the myriad of complicated names for tiny bones in your body and hoping that it will all stick in.

Eventually we had a debrief about our first Placements, what went well and what didn't, what could be improved and what can stay the same. Most people, myself included, seem to have got keen and interested Mentors but some students experience of their Mentors have been the opposite where they do not feel supported or that they've had an interest taken in them. No one seems to be disillusioned though and it seems everyone still wants to be a Paramedic.

Once we'd fought through all of the Power Points on being professional, understanding care pathways, and even more A&P we were treat with our Venous Access and Advanced Airway Training.

Venous Access covered the use of Intra-Venous (ie in your vein) and Intra-Osseous (in your bone - yes in your bone, google that one!) cannulas and how to put various drugs and fluids into each of them. We were taught using different sorts of mannequins and prop limbs and once the Lecturers were happy, signed off as ready to practice on live patients out on the road in our next Placement.

Advanced Airways consisted of Intubation (passing a tube between the vocal cords and into the Trachea to secure an airway), and use of the Supraglottic Airways iGel and Laryngeal Mask Airways (LMAs) which were slightly less invasive but not by much and still involves sticking a tube down ones throat! We also went over Needle Cricothyroidotomy (putting a needle and tube into a throat below an obstruction) and Needle Thoracocentisis (relieving a Tension Pneumothorax - air trapped inside the pleural space in your chest). Obviously all of this was very interesting for people and whilst I'd covered it before through the Army - it was nice to be signed off to be able to use these skills in Practice.

Looking forward I have two more weeks at Uni then I'm back out on the road and working in A&E - but not before getting a chance to fly out with the Air Ambulance!

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