Thanks to all that have helped!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Scene Safety for the EMT and Amputee

It's been a few days since I've last posted. Not much to report around the Prosthetic Medic HQ these past few weeks. I'm working on getting on two feet and off of the cane for good. I'm trying not to get discouraged as the progress slows down. I'm still making progress at least, no backwards steps, now the challenge lies in endurance and stamina, as well as getting the socket fit to the right point where it supports me but doesn't hurt me. That has been the biggest challenge over the past few weeks. It's a razors edge to get to the point where it's comfortable and supporting and where it's too tight or too loose to function properly. In the next week or so I'll be moving from the hard rigid socket to a flexible socket with a rigid frame...I'll post a picture if I can find one similar to what I'm talking about. Today in Louisville we had a multiple death/casualty shooting. As responders were working on the first scene a shooting erupted and another soul was lost. This got me thinking about how unsure/unsafe our jobs can be. We go out on each call, never knowing what lies behind the door or what exactly we are walking into. This is the randomness of EMS that brings most people into it and in the end can be the death of us. We try our best to control the scene, to never go in unless you know the scene is safe, That's easy to do when scene control is possible, or when you are sure what you're going into...more often than not this is never the case. We have to constantly be aware of everything that's going on around us and it's this attention to details that can mean the difference between life and death for not only your patient, but for you and your partner as well.

This applies to the amputee community as well. Attention to detail is vital for success. We have to be ever vigilant about the obstacles ahead of us while walking. It's the difference between noticing that raise in the sidewalk five feet ahead of you and tripping over that raise in the sidewalk that came out of nowhere. I have learned in my limited time as an amputee that attention to detail is a necessity and skill set that will benefit me as I learn how to full integrate and adapt to my new life. I have a routine now, when donning the leg I go through the same mental checklist, paying specific attention to each feeling in the stump and noticing any changes that may signify an issue. For instance, today I got my new socket, it's smaller and a tighter fit in many areas, but I have noticed that there are some problem areas that need to be addressed before this socket is the perfect fit where it full meshes with me to become my leg and not a piece of carbon fiber I wear over my leg. These small details are the difference of being able to walk and being stuck without a leg to stand on if you don't mind the pun. The oddest thing I have noticed is the similarities between the EMS world and the Amputee world, both are made up of a group of strong minded individuals who rally when one of our own needs us. This is one of my favorite things about having a strong community behind us, in a word support.

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