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Ready for winter break

Today is my last day of paramedic class until after winter break, and I am fully prepared for winter break.

I apologize for not keeping up with my columns and writing various updates, so here is a brief update from the past few months.

So far in class, I’ve made so many friends from so many different areas of Iowa and Nebraska. I have two amazing ladies in my squad currently, one from the Gretna, Nebraska, area and another from the Avoca area.

We’ve completed several sections already, which are basically fast-track classes like pharmacology and advanced patient care. In each section, we have several chapters to read, quizzes to complete and tests to take. We also have skills to test out on so we can then do them in a clinical setting.

My favorite class days so far were starting our first IVs on each other, which was messy but a great learning experience, and practicing IO (intraosseous, or into the bone if a vein is not available) therapy on an egg. My squad members and I put more than 200 holes in the egg using the IO drill and a hand-held needle called a jamshidi.

We have also been practicing tracheal intubations so we can do them in an operating room at a large hospital.

The most recent section we’re covering is cardiology. It’s been the most difficult section so far, thanks to learning the various ways the heart can malfunction and how to correctly interpret an EKG strip. We broke the basics down during our class last week, and I got extra help from some friends of mine I am so grateful for.

Even though I will have to continue studying and put in time in an emergency room over the break, I’m excited for it because I can then relax slightly and maybe read something for pleasure rather than work.

Despite all the homework and quizzes, though, I’m still loving this course. I want to help my classmates succeed as much as they and my instructors want to see me succeed. It fits my schedule, and, even though it’s getting harder and harder each week, I know I will be happy when I’ve completed the program and have to prepare for the final testing.

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