Thursday, July 9, 2009

on me

Inspired by this post on Random Acts of Reality I will share with the world what I carry with me on the ambulance and in my uniform.
This will also be a good reference if one day I look back on this blog post and reminisce "cor blimey, that was me as a junior ambo just starting out, what a whacko :-) "

Starting from top to bottom:

  • Cap: to be worn if it is a) sunny or b) my hair is pointing every which way and it just won't listen to it's master (me)
  • White T-shirt: for those chilly nights (and winter days), worn under my
  • Shirt: meticulously ironed, you could slice bread with the crease on the sleeves
  • Left shirt pocket: contains two pens (how often do you give someone a pen...and then you're stuck with nothing) and patient detail forms - for relatives on scene to fill out addresses, phone numbers, medical history etc. Also my namebadge is attached.
  • Right shirt pocket has my penlight (to check pupils for reaction and maybe nystagmus). I've also got a little drug wheel with our current drugs and doses. Then a little booklet with extra info (mass casualty help, burns rule of nines, drug indication and contraindications, paedoayric tips and apgar). Plus a little notebook.
  • Jumper, to be worn if cold, has a pocket on the sleeve for one to two pens and maybe a penlight.
  • Further down the line we've got my bellybutton, which always has a bit of fluff in it, just in case you need a bit of padding, or a pillow for you dear insect friend.
  • Moving right along, my belt has a 3 compartment pouch, which houses a pair of trauma shears (excellent for cutting clothes and bandages). Next to it a mini maglight, a permanent marker and a whiteboard marker (writing things on the windscreen, like stock to be replaced in van, obscenities on other crews trucks...) and two pairs or disposable gloves.
  • Right hip has a maglite belt loop for the big long maglight. Normally though I just clip the van keys to it (even if we are attending that day we have a set of van keys on us). Around that is a roll of micropore tape, always comes in handy.
  • My right trouser pocket stays empty, my fingers are usually housed there when I am pretending to look cool. Actually, the van mobile phone lives there. And the van keys hang there - I hate dangling keys, it gives off the impression of "look at me I'm important".
  • left trouser pocket is the rubbish bin, I hate to leave my scene untidy.
  • left bum pocket houses my personal phone and my iPod touch (with an offline Wikipedia database - very handy!)
  • right bum pocket has my wallet and my home keys, which are kept in place via a lanyard that loops around my belt.

Unfortunately we don't have cargo pants. Two extra pockets would be awesome, I'd rather have my bum pockets clear.

All this seems a lot, but I use it. Gotta be prepared.

In a next post I'll write what else I carry with me in the van.

What do you carry on you during work? Even if you don't work on an ambulance - I'd be thrilled to know!