Maggie Martin – EMT Internship
My internship is with the New Holland Ambulance Association. When I signed up for this internship, I knew I was going to like it. I already took an EMR class last January and have been running with Fivepointville since then, so I sort of knew what this internship would hold. Fivepointville doesn’t get as many calls, so this was definitely a good experience.
My day-to-day is pretty simple. I get to the station, grab a pager, and sit at the kitchen table or the couch to do some schoolwork. We often go to New Holland Coffee Co. to grab breakfast. Sometimes, the rig check is performed a little later in the morning, so I help out with that on occasion. On the rare days, we don’t get calls, this is all I do. Usually, we get one call in the morning. I am on first due most days, so when I feel my pager buzz, I jump up and see what the call is. When everyone gathers their stuff and grabs a radio, we go out to the ambulance. The crew sits in the front and I sit in the back. When we get to the call, I put gloves on and grab the first-aid bag before hopping out. I open the back and get the stretcher ready for the EMTs. Once we get to our patient, I grab stuff out of the bag for the EMTs and sometimes take vitals. Depending on the nature of the call and the crew, we get a medic to come and help. This is where I get to observe IV placements and help with attaching the monitor to the patient when we get in the ambulance. When we don’t have a monitor, I take blood pressure and listen to lung sounds. When we get to the hospital, I either listen to the patient report or wipe down the stretcher for the next patient we get. Every call varies, but this is what I mostly do.
I have learned so much valuable information during this internship. The most interesting medical procedure I observed was the placement of an IO. An IO is a line that you get when you can’t get an IV. You gain access by drilling through the bone in a tibia, then pushing fluid through to move the marrow out of the way for medication. It doesn’t happen often and is more common in pediatric patients, so I was lucky to be able to watch it. The call I learned the most on was a horse and buggy VS car accident. I climbed into the smashed car and held C spine while the fire department got the door open and extracted the patient. I learned how to navigate a scene safely, remain calm while calming an injured patient, and hold a spinal cord perfectly still while in a cramped car. I translated these skills into other calls by learning to freak out on the inside, not the outside, and communicating with a scared patient. I am always taking vitals and asking the patient and the medics questions, so I am definitely learning a lot. I had the opportunity to treat all ages, from teenagers to the elderly, to people who passed away. I am now much more confident in my ability to treat any patient because of the incredible EMTs I get to work with every day.
I am so lucky to have this amazing opportunity, and it helped me see that this is definitely something that I want to do for the rest of my life. It helped me decide that I want to be an ER nurse. From the amazing co-workers to the rewarding job, this is a job I want to pursue.