BY ALYSSA PARKHILL
First time experiences can be scary.
Jennifer Smith is a paramedic for Halton Region who shares her story on her first call as a paramedic two years ago.
Paramedics experience a variety of different emotions when answering a call. Fear, nervousness, stress and frustration. Smith’s first time as a paramedic was riding in the passenger seat of an ambulance, on the way to her first call in 2017.
“We got the call details for a hypotensive (low blood pressure) patient who fell and hit their head off the vanity in the bathroom, and they were bleeding. As we arrived on scene and went to the top floor of the house, the patient was laying on the bathroom floor with a cut on their head,” Smith explains.
“This call involved several steps because the patient had many complications. We stabilized the patient, controlled the bleed, and I performed my first IV in the pre-hospital setting to help with his hypotension. We then had to remove the patient from the bathroom, down the stairs, and into the ambulance,” Smith says.
She was excited to go on her first call but was scared about what was in store.
“I was nervous to perform my first IV on a patient in the pre-hospital setting, yet proud of myself when I succeeded and helped the patient with their hypotension (low blood pressure),” Smith says.
“I was stressed with how many things we had to do to stabilize the patient before we could get him to the ambulance. I was frustrated with removing the patient from the bathroom because it was a small space and hard to maneuver around,” she adds.
Despite all of the emotions Smith was feeling, accomplishment and pride soared through her knowing that all the hard work and training she put into building a career was paying off.
“I learned to be confident in my knowledge and skills because the things I am capable of doing in the pre-hospital setting, make a difference in patients outcomes.”
“I learned how to work as a team, with a partner, and to be dedicated to getting everything done for the patient in an appropriate amount of time. I also learned the importance of taking the time to talk to the family, explain what is going on, what we are doing and what they can do while we help their loved one.”
“By the end of the call, I was happy, excited and motivated that I completed my first call, that my partner and I helped the patient in every way we could, and I was ready for the next call,” Smith says.