Everything you read here should be considered fiction. Patient rights will always be respected. Any resemblance to persons living or not is purely coincidental.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Paramedic Clinicals, Part 1 -- Getting There

I got lucky.

See, when I started this Paramedic adventure a few years ago I knew it was going to be a struggle to get it all done.  Back in 2006 when I was diagnosed with cancer, I used up all my sick and vacation time (as well as a few people who donated their time to me).  Truth is, in the 7 years since, I did not build up much of a "bank" of time.  Vacation days became more precious than work to me and I spent them with my family and friends.

Once I started this Paramedic education, however, I knew that I would be taking a ton of "vacation" days from my normal job in order to do my EMS education on the side.  So I saved up time and money.

Optimistically, I saved enough for Base Camp and EMSWorld Expo, with a few days left over for the slop, figuring I could do my clinicals every other weekend.  You see, I work 5 days then 4 days, then get a 3-day weekend.  I figured I could leave after work on a Thursday, drive 3+ hours to the hospital, work part of a night shift, sack out in the car/shower at a truck stop, work Friday night, sack out in car/shower at truck stop, work Saturday night, sack out in car/shower at truck stop, work Sunday night, drive home (nap in car along way somewhere), shower at home and work 8 hour shift at regular job Monday.  I would get every other weekend at home to recoup, and I could be finished in 14 weeks.

That may have worked...when I was 22, but at nearly double that age I'm just not able to swing it. 
It took 2 nights sleeping in my car to realize I needed:
1.  a bathroom. 
2.  to stand up, stretch, and do yoga
3.  a coffee pot
4.  a fridge with some real food
5.  sometimes a shower AND a bath to soak away 12 hours in the ED
6.  a decent internet connection
7.  someplace I could call "home" away from the hospital

There was no way my original plan would work.

Lo and behold, the idiocy of the Federal Government saved me.  They shut down the government for a few weeks.  I managed to score a fabulous serviceable room at the local Motel 6 for the duration, and managed to knock out 14 shifts of at least 12 hours each.  Although I hated the whole mess, the shutdown really worked in my favor.

Next time:  Paramedic Clinicals -- Day 1

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