Challenging the Classroom

Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?


The best way to learn is through blood, sweat, and a little bit of vomit. Prior to my relatively new experiences in EMS I always believed that the classroom was where you learned and the real world is where you apply your skills. 150 hours of Emergency Medical Technician class left me feeling confident, until my first call at least.

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A two-toned beep came from my hip. I coiled my stethoscope around my neck and within seconds, I was being led to the ambulance by a paramedic. I stepped into the back of the truck and was unprepared for the putrid odor of bleach billowing from the open door. The only redeeming quality of the smell was the knowledge that the ambulance had been cleaned recently. The ambulance turned the corner onto a street adjacent to the hospital; the lights and sirens flashed and blared as soon as we had left hospital premises. Having no knowledge of what this call was I turned to look toward the center console (I sat in a rear-facing seat in the back of the truck) and saw the dispatch report of “88 YO F, NV” meaning our patient was an 88-year-old woman with nausea and vomiting. After deciphering this fantastic news I went over all of the likely causes of these symptoms that I could remember, upper GI bleed,...

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