Saturday, December 17, 2016

My Lightbulb Moments

"Do you want to be lead medic?" My partner asked as we headed to our first scenario.

I twirled a pen between my fingers.
"Uh, I can be. If you want." I didn't. Not really. I didn't want to give instructions. But neither did he. So our tentative dance continued until we reached the doorway. We exchanged glances and peered inside. I breathed a sigh of relief. Robert! He sat upright in a folding chair, a slip of paper clasped in his hands. I felt my confidence surge. Laid back and funny, Robert been an excellent patient in the past. Why should that change now?
"I don't really know..." I trailed off. We had yet to decide who would lead.
"I mean, if you insist." He relented.
"Naw, it's okay." I prepared myself for a leap of faith. I could do this. At our whispering, Robert broke character and piped up. "What's wrong"?

"We don't know what we're doing." My partner admitted. I smiled. It was true. How long could we stand in the hallway and pass the buck? If insecurity won this time, it would win again the next time.
"I'll go." I announced and stepped inside. The quicker we got this started, the sooner it would be over.
"So what's going on today?" I knelt by the chair, focusing only on finding out what we needed to treat. Who cared that we had no plan; we'd get through everything eventually, right? Robert peeked at his paper and responded that he had been in a car wreck.
From there, we continued to poke and prod until deciding he needed a KED board; a short, flexible spine board.
"Oh, I got this." I jumped up and dumped out the kit and began strapping it in place. Right there, was my first 'aha' moment. The first time I felt confidence solely in my ability to provide treatment.
Yeah, it was an awesome moment.

Skip ahead to a different patient; our instructor. Red, swollen eyes, and soot around his nose and mouth, he'd walked in on an explosion in the chem lab. My partner had taken lead medic, with me back to my stiff, awkward, self.
"I feel like I should apologize for the awful wrapping job." I admitted as I rolled up the last piece of gauze. It had been a slow assessment, with calculated treatments. Why was it so scary to to act on all the knowledge I had? I knew a lot, but did very little. He shook his head.
"Don't be. So what else could you have looked for in a blast victim?"
He looked so expectant, yet I didn't feel that our answers would suffice.
"Headaches, or ringing in the ears?" I offered. *fingers crossed*
His face lit up. "Yes. What else?"
Second 'aha' moment, right there. Practically using textbook information. I wondered at his expression later that night. I think I actually saw excitement! Seeing the wheels start to turn must be a satisfying moment at as instructor. Maybe we are learning!

A lot of light-bulbs went off for me on Monday. Not the kind you screw in, switch on, and presto! Light! No, this was the kind you turn on, and wait impatiently as it warms up, and it slowly brightens the whole room.  As hard as it is to wait, so many things clicked into place, I wouldn't have wanted it to happen any sooner.

Stay tuned for details on our Explorer Christmas Party!

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