Where Does it Hurt?

After more than four weeks of waiting for the results, I finally heard that I passed my EMT test. So if you’re going to be stricken ill or have an accident, feel free to do it in front of me because I may be able to help — just try to get sick on the first floor of your house so it’s easier to get you in the ambulance, OK? Better yet, why not do it out in the driveway?

I’m trained to give CPR, control bleeding, insert on airway in your throat or nose, splint broken bones, assess your medical history, administer oxygen, strap you to a backboard, deliver a baby, and much more. I can’t give you an IV; that’s a more advanced certification.

If you call 911, depending on where you live you may get a paramedic responding — which is the gold standard of emergency medical care — but the rank and file of people riding in the ambulance are EMT-Bs, which I am, or EMT-Is who can give some more advanced treatment.

While a lot of people who do this stuff are volunteers, many work for paid services. They could probably get jobs that bring in more money and have better hours, work where they aren’t going to be in incredibly stressful situations dealing with things that most folks will never see. Now that I’ve been through the training and ridden on the ambulance I have tremendous respect for these people.

Take my word for it, the EMTs who come to help you at 3am have great skill and experience, and though on the front line of providing care, they are truly unsung heroes. Like a kid who just got his license, I may have passed the test but there is still much to learn.

6 thoughts on “Where Does it Hurt?

    1. Sure!

      Lesson one: if the patient is about to vomit, turn them on their side, preferably toward your partner.

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