Episode 6: Words Matter


Show notes:

Colombian Supreme coffee from Costco 

Kerrygold Irish Butter (use the unsalted in the coffee)

Writing sample from Fiona:

A methodical crunching sound drew Carrie to a tiny upstairs bedroom at the back of the house. Patrick was nowhere to be found, but their strike leader was there in a heartbeat, also drawn by the rhythmic noise emanating from the room. Through the half-open doorway, Carrie could see a partially open closet, tattered and dusty baby’s clothes hanging haphazardly off broken hangers, and an overturned rocking horse that was more than a little worse for wear. She pulled her .45 from her belt, training it in the general direction of the noise, and nudged the door the rest of the way open with the toe of her boot. She froze at the strike leader’s groan behind her, and the creature hunched on the floor looked up from its dinner of rats, one tail hanging out of the corner of what had once been sensuous, full lips.

The creature jumped atop Carrie before she had a chance to fire, gnawing contentedly on the unfortunate woman’s neck, arterial spray indicating a quickly fatal bite as the dying woman’s screech was cut short. Within minutes, Carrie was in pieces on the carpet of the bedroom, one arm draped over an upended cradle and a lower leg decorating the windowsill. The creature sat in the middle of the carnage, smacking now-scarlet lips happily, before looking up at her husband standing silently on the threshold. She tilted her head curiously at his presence.
The strike leader moved into the room, gingerly stepping around the most recent bloodstains, and carefully pulled her head back into place from its motion-disrupted position before planting a gentle kiss on the waxen forehead.

“Made…. Mess….” She frowned at the macabre scene around her, sucking blood from her hands finger by finger.
“That’s okay, honey,” her husband reassured her. “We can always tidy things up again. Simple enough to fix.”


Journals await her.

Emergency and Disaster Management at Western Carolina University

How to answer: “What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen?”

EMS Nation’s episode 11 with Fiona Thomas and Ann Marie Farina (iTunes)

Same Episode (not iTunes) 

Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) 

Tania Glenn

Her coping strategies

“Suicided” versus “committed suicide”

Tracking the number of suicides with Jeff Dill at the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance

STEMI Imposters

A Beautiful Funeral by Jamie McGuire

Parasite by Mira Grant

CDC’s Zombie Response Guide

Hot Zone and Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston

How to jimmy open a window

Medic Mindset Episode 2. Fiona references this medic who sighs on tough calls.

Posterior Wall MI EKG changes

“Listen to your patient. He is telling you the diagnosis.” William Osler, MD

Every Patient Tells a Story by Lisa Sanders, MD

Code Green Campaign on:













Episode 5: The Strong-Silent Type

The guest in this episode is a true “student of the game.” Listen to the FOAMed (Free Open Access Medical Education) resources he uses. He is stoic, thoughtful, and a man of few words. For the listener, that means each concept he chooses to share drips with intrigue. In particular, the discussion of his second failed intubation is a must-hear. I respect him tremendously for bringing that conversation back to the focus of the patient.

Show notes:

Online media he follows:


EMCRIT Podcast

Dr. Smith’s ECG Blog


His 12-lead analysis

Call that would put him in a heightened state

What makes for a good partner

Adjustments he would make to his paramedic school

Boots he wears: Haix

How his stress manifests itself on calls

Michael  Lauria

Square Breathing

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” Archilocus

3 kinds of paramedics

Benefits of awkward pauses

Eating habits

Medical error he made

King Vision Video Laryngoscope



Episode 3: A Medic in Pumped Up Kicks


Video Laryngoscope review by emcrit.org

How to make the tongue more realistic in an intubation mannikin

“Hubbing” the suction catheter during intubation

EKG reciprocal changes seen in posterior MI

VTach criteria

Wellens’ syndrome criteria

Adscope Cardiology Stethoscope

Study suggests video gaming may help with PTSD

His list of blood thinners

NIH Scale

Redback Boots

Blundstone Boots

The camping chair

Websites he uses:


Dr Smith’s ECG Blog

Life in the Fast Lane

Instagram profiles he follows:

Medical Talks

North American Rescue

Apps he uses on calls:

Paramedic Protocol Provider

The Dharma Bums, by Jack Kerouac

Understand Pathophysiology textbook

Tomas Garcia’s EKG Books:

12-Lead ECG: The Art of Interpretation

Arrhythmia Recognition: The Art of Interpretation

Bob Page’s Capnography resources

Baking soda as shampoo?

Code Black Documentary on Netflix Streaming


Episode 2: “It’s Such a Weird Job”


Morning sickness while transporting

Dangers of the job

A recommended book: 1000 Naked Strangers

Favorite medical website: Life in the Fast Lane

Reference materials she uses

Why she hates her utility belt

Her trick for staying awake when driving home from shift

Her strange habit when she’s nervous

Introverted versus extroverted medics

Attached-at-the-hip with your EMS partner

Changes she’d make to her paramedic program

Food she eats while on shift

Her habit for prepping her gear for shift


Intimacy with EMS partners

Sleep habits

Job she’d do if she didn’t do EMS

How journaling fits into her life as a medic

A very honest answer about why she decided to be a medic

Joys of noticing artifacts in patients’ homes

Call types that get her blood pumping

It’s not about being a bad-ass.



The papers stuffed in her pockets


Journaling about her EMS partners





The Essentials


Emailing 101 for the Paramedic Student

As we enter back-to-school days, here are 5 simple steps to get off to the right start when emailing professors. These tips may seem overly formal, but remember, this is how the first email should look. Subsequent emails can relax as you follow the lead of the instructor.

  1. Format similar to snail mail. Yep. This isn’t a text message. For example, address the person formally and use salutations. “Good afternoon Ms. Locke.” This may be the only time you ever address the instructor this way, but it demonstrates that you understand how to communicate in a professional environment.
  2. Be succinct. Since you have regular face-to-face communication with your professor, email should be reserved for simple requests or notifications. Save the rest for in-person. Educators love to talk about their fields of expertise. If you have questions about classroom topics, you can ask them in an email, but request office hours to get the most out of their answer.
  3. Prepare to wait. It is customary to allow one business day for a response. If you desire a quicker response, simply request that and then wait. The emails that get the quickest responses from me are the ones that have one topic.
  4. Use spell and grammar check. You are emailing an educator. They care about these things. Don’t use texting jargon. Remember, this is electronic mail. Even though it gets delivered electronically, don’t confuse it with a text message.
  5. Sleep before send. It is natural for conflicts to arise. Professional communication should largely be devoid of emotion. If you notice you are angry while composing the email, do not send. Sleep on it. In fact, if something arises that makes you angry, schedule a meeting. Dialogue is best for conflict resolution.

Now go to bed. Don’t you have class tomorrow?




How to protect sleep-deprived EMS personnel

The effects of sleep deprivation are akin to alcohol intoxication; build a safe sleep room and a culture of watching over tired medics

Jul 5, 2016

By Ginger Locke

EMS responders are unfit to drive a vehicle at the end of a sleep-deprived 24-hour shift. That’s because long shifts with inadequate sleep makes driving a risk to the responder and others on the road.

Multiple studies demonstrate that prolonged wakefulness is comparable to drunk driving. Twenty-one hours of wakefulness produces impairment of the same magnitude as a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content [1].

FullSizeRender-1 2

When I read accounts of EMS personnel dying in vehicle collisions on the way home from work, like EMT Susan Elizabeth Kersey, I consider sleep deprivation as the possible culprit. Undeniably, some form of state or federal regulation would improve the current practice of EMS providers logging unsafe numbers of hours worked consecutively.

Until external regulation is forced upon us, we must monitor and care for ourselves by creating safe sleep rooms. Inside a safe sleep room, a tired medic can get some sleep before driving home from their shift. In order for the room to work, we need to first agree that important, potentially lifesaving sleep is happening inside the safe room.

Read full article at EMS1.com