So I started up my EMT-Advanced course 3 weeks ago. It has been so different than the basic course and I feel so overwhelmed with information. But, that said, I also feel like I'm learning A LOT! I'm so excited to be learning these things and to be able to go in a direction I never ever thought I'd go.
Last week we got to practice injections. If you know me, you know I do not do well with needles. So imagine my surprise when it wasn't that bad! My partner was a pregnant woman who has complicated pregnancies so I was a little stressed about that, but I was able to learn the skill and feel comfortable with what I was doing. I came home that night with 7 new holes in my body and beaming from ear to ear! I felt like I could do anything and that I had this EMT-Advanced business in the bag.
Last night we started practicing IVs. My old familiar wozzy feelings started when we had to practice on the dummy arm. Then it was go time. We partnered up and went for it. I got sick. I didn't throw up or pass out and I did my best not to show my discomfort and act tough, but it was hard! I stabbed the IV in my partner's arm (different partner, new challenges=tiny, difficult veins) and I started getting light headed and nauseous. "No! Not now! You can do this! Just breathe!" I kept telling myself. Then she had a go at my veins--twice. I finally had to excuse myself and go to the bathroom and try to get the spinning to stop. I looked at my reflection in the mirror--a pale, ghostly person staring back--and for a moment I thought, "What am I doing?!?!? I can't do this!" And then I remembered a good friend's mantra: "I can do hard things." Yes I can. I collected myself and went back out there. I tried her tiny veins again (this time with several people watching) and I DID IT!!!!! I got the catheter in her vein!!!! I was wozzy and nauseous but I didn't give up. I know that this is going to be one, if not the hardest thing I'm going to have to do/overcome to be an EMT, but if the drive stays there, I know I can do it. And hey, maybe it will get easier. But if not, what matters now is not that I get sick, but that I get back in the game. I can do hard things!!!
**Cool side note: another girl had gotten the IV in her partner's vein but forgot to apply pressure so her blood literally started SPRAYING out of the IV! it was the most horror-movie thing I'd ever seen! Then, after it was all cleaned up, the other girl got to put an IV in her partner and blew her vein so she started bleeding everywhere. By the time they were done, their whole section was covered in blood. Awesome!
***Tonight (1-31-12) I was nauseous for the first few sticks and then it magically all went away! No kidding!! I even watched blood pour out of a few people's veins and it didn't phase me! hooray! (it may have helped I had a bit of caffeine in my system. . .but I'll use all the help I can get!)