Police dogs

K9 officers from the Sheriff's Dept. came to hang out with our SAR team today. Reason being that we often participate in evidence searches, and their dogs are sometimes used as "last resort" search dogs when the risk of a person remaining missing outweighs the risk of them being bitten

Example: once upon a time a woman attempted suicide by overdose and then wandered off into a rural area. was last seen going in and out of consciousness. extensive area searches on foot and by cruisers failed. she was eventually found by a police dog and was bitten, but she survived. To be fair, the dog didn't bite her until after the lady kicked him in the face.

They really are crazy critters. They truly love biting people. It's obvious. They did a demo for us and once they knew they were going to get to attack our Deputy Chief (yeah, he was suited) their demeanor totally shifted. He might as well have been the mother of all steaks combined with the coolest squeaky toy ever. Once the handler gave the cue, the dog took flight (like really... he basically flew) and sunk his teeth into the gigantic suit, his tail wagging all the while.

Many of the dogs play this game... they nose-nudge people in the crotch to try to get them to jump so they can bite them. They're freaking nuts. I love it.


But I don't have wrinkles!

I work at a nursery (kids not trees). I was talking to this 7-year-old boy.

Me: "Guess how old I am."

Him, dead serious: "In your fifties."


So I had my first ambulance ride-along yesterday. It went well... too well.

I loved being on scene. I loved the challenge of building a rapport with patients and initiating the assessment/treatment of them in such a short amount of time. I loved the autonomy of the ambulance. I loved being in the patient's homes and catching a glimpse of their life. I loved walking into situations without really knowing what was wrong. I loved the look of relief on the face of the family members when we pulled up. I loved chatting with the crew.

Shepp you're right. Being 0ut in the field is addictive.

I had planned on working as an ER tech because it pays better and it would give me a good head start on my nursing aspirations. I don't know anymore. I think I'd like the field more.


Neonate-in-the-pants and intubation adventures

I just have to share this story.

A paramedic was telling me about this "imminent delivery" he ran a while back. It took them a while to get there, and when they did it seemed like the delivery was not-so-imminent. The woman was relaxed and told them that she had one contraction several hours ago. No contractions since and her water hadn't broken. (Not sure why 911 was called).

So they started walking her out to the ambulance when she said she had another contraction. And then her water broke.

So they get her in the ambulance and then they hear a "waaaah". Both of the medics think the other is just screwing around. Nuh uh. That was real. But where's the baby? One of the medic feels for crowning over the clothes, but there's nothing.

The baby was in the leg of the woman's black stretchy pants. They cut him out and he was alright. :)

On another note, although I know I'm not supposed to do it, today I learned how to intubate (on a dummy). It was really fun. I don't know why. It's like a little treasure hunt for the cords. Just dig around a little until you find 'em. I've been told that it's usually nowhere near as easy or fun on a real person who's sick enough to warrant an ET tube. :(

PS: first ambulance ride-along tomorrow. Wish me luck.


Irrelevant ponderings and realizations

English teachers read thousands of student's writings in their career. When was the last time you read something meaningful that your English teacher wrote?

There is probably a kid out there who has discovered the truth about Santa by looking him up on Wikipedia.

Do kids in the UK walk to left in their school halls?

I wish I could have like a discomfort-free, UTI risk-free foley inserted nightly. Because I really really hate being woken up by the urge to pee exactly 2 hours before I actually need to wake up.

In about 900 million years, the sun will be too hot to allow for survival of life as we know it on Earth. What are we going to do about that? Planet-hop?

Why on Earth would anyone in their right mind want to be a middle school teacher? Or a dentist (I understand the $$ factor, but really... beyond that... do people really have a fascination with other people's teeth?)

On many aeromedical services I've seen, the majority of the flight nurses are blonde. Examples:

It's kinda bizarre. (Crzegrl... are you a brunette in a sea of blonde flight nurses?)

In a couple of years I'm going to be applying for a flight nurse position and they're gonna be like...
"Oh yes, you're a great candidate... but about your hair... we've gotta do something about that..."


Because I want to be a nurse. That's why.

I don't know how many times I've had to tackle the well-intentioned but highly-irritating question, "But you're so smart! Why don't you just go to medical school?" when someone learns of my nursing aspirations.

People just don't understand. I don't want to go to medical school because I want to be a nurse. I want to be a nurse for several different reasons... the holistic philosophy, the direct patient contact, executing treatment rather than choosing it. Maybe it's because I'm a little masochistic.

It's not because I want to go into health care but I'm not intelligent enough to be a doctor.

It's not because I'm female.

It's not because I'm worried about the cost.

It's not because I'm incapable of being in charge.

It's not because I'm afraid to take O-chem (although I'm not a big fan of o-chem, it's not a reason I want to be a nurse)

It's not because of the sleepless nightmare known as residency.

I don't want to be a doctor because I want to be a nurse. I know perfectly well that if I really wanted to, I could definitely tough it out through medical school and residency and as a doctor. I know that I'm smart enough.

Since when is someone "too smart" to be a nurse? I guess people outside of the field just don't realize that some of the brightest minds in health care belong to nurses. Nurses with Bachelor's degrees, Master's, even PhDs. Nurses who have written textbooks, performed medical research, educated thousands of students, changed policy, and sparked innovation. Nurse Practitioners who effectively fill roles once occupied solely by physicians. Nurse Anesthetists who are rivaling anesthesiologists.

So please, don't tell me that I'm too intelligent for nursing until you know what modern nursing is up to. Thanks for complimenting my smarts, but don't insult the field I'm passionately pursuing.


Danny Dietz scholarship

Today I turned in my application for the Danny Dietz Scholarship of Honor.

Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Danny Dietz was a Navy SEAL that was killed in Afghanistan, along with Sonar Technician 2nd Class Matthew Axelson, as they were engaged in fierce combat while mortally wounded. Because of their courage one of their teammates was able to crawl away to safety. They were both posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

He was an alum of my high school, and a scholarship was set up in his honor. I really hope I receive it. Everyone who knew him remembers him so fondly, and his bravery is inspiring. It definitely is a Scholarship of Honor.

I'll let you know how it goes.


Wide-eyed recruits

Tonight was the first informational meeting for prospective members of my SAR team and their parents (we're the only search and rescue team in the nation manned by youth).

They were all so quiet and reserved. They didn't speak up much. One kid was so tiny. I was glad when another short kid showed up a little later, because I knew he would at least have a good partner on the litter.

I gave a powerpoint to the group, which was thankfully large. I felt good... I noticed that my public speaking skills have been improving, and the group (especially the parents) were receptive to my wisecracks.

It hit me afterwards that it was just a year ago that I was in the audience for this same exact meeting. I was too shy to really talk to anyone, but I couldn't wait to get started.

I knew that my time on the team absolutely changed my life and pushed me through personal growth freakishly fast but it really hit me tonight. I'm more confident than I was a year ago. I'm tougher than I was a year ago. I'm more knowledgeable than I was a year ago.

I'm glad that I'm a sergeant while the new class is coming through.... well I kinda hope to continue to be one for a while. I'm excited to take some probies under my wing. There's a good chance, however, that once the new class comes in I'll be promoted to lieutenant. Promotion is great and all, but I won't be as connected to the probies because I won't be their first link in the chain of command.


My First Meme

From Derek:

Here goes:

The rules are:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What I was doing 10 years ago:
Learning my multiplication tables or something. Trying to make it through third grade. :)

Five things on my To Do List tomorrow: (not in any particular order)
1. Go to school
2. Work out
3. Give presentation to prospective members of my SAR team
4. Work on getting all of those donated sterile surgical gloves out of all of their excessive packaging. They're taking up too much room in the supply cabinet and we don't need our gloves to be sterile.
5. Plan/prepare for another recruiting presentation and a CE class on Thu.

Snacks I enjoy:
Lemons, lime, lemon pepper, pizza goldfish, parsley and salt water, vegetarian "chick'n" nuggets, mint choco chip ice cream, candy candy candy.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Rent out a water park, have it filled with warm bubble-bath bubbles, play some awesome music and have a sweet private party.
Travel everywhere. Chile is on the top of my list.
Spread modern techniques and technologies of emergency medicine around the world, especially in Latin America and South America. Take back their knowledge of traditional healing and herbal medicines.
Buy my SAR team a helicopter with forward looking infrared and a submarine just for shits and giggles, among other things. Make a scholarship fund for future members.
Chef and maid.
Make Chris a killer studio.
Stop worrying about paying for my education and the cost of education for my future family.

Three of my bad habits:
1. Compulsive hair-touching
2. Messy room
3. Work-a-holic

Five places I have lived:
1. Denver, CO
2. Littleton, CO
3. Littleton, CO
4. Aurora, CO
5. Littleton, CO

Five jobs I’ve had: (I'm too young to have had this many jobs, so I'll list volunteer and school stuff too)
1. Babysat for one family - preschool twins and toddler - twice a week every week for 2 years.
2. Drop-in child care center / nursery at a rec center.
3. Search and Rescue sergeant, EMS officer, co-PIO (public information officer), Chair of Fundraising and Recruiting.
4. School newspaper news section editor, designer and reporter.
5. EMT-B student. Concurrent high school senior and college freshman: pre-nursing (BSN) major.

For this one I'll be tagging:

Mr. Shepp
Other people when I get around to it. :)

An ode to nitrous oxide

I have a confession. I love nitrous oxide (laughing gas). I ask for it every time I go to the dentist and they have to do anything remotely invasive.

First I can feel the relaxation and numbness settling into my muscles.

Then that "adult soft rock" music on the radio starts to sound muddled, like I'm underwater.

When the assistant walks by, his footsteps sound like the rustling of a bird's wings.

And then I start to reflect on what I'm doing with my life. I wonder about what I need to be doing more and what I need to be doing less.

I need to study more. I need to exercise more. I need to eat less junk food. I need to eat more vegetables. I need to be friendlier.

It's strange, I do that every time I go under the gas.

One time they must've given me too much or something because I looked down at the mask and convinced myself that I was a duck. I wasn't truly hallucinating or anything, but I talked myself into believing that I was a duck and the face mask was my bill.