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Starting Cardiology

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by ShotGlass, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. ShotGlass

    ShotGlass

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    I am starting Cardiology in my Paramedic Class saturday. Just looking for any tips on how to approach this section. From everyone I hear from, If you get through Cardiology, you should be good to go for the rest of the class. Any tips would be great!
     
  2. sgtwunder

    sgtwunder

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    Cardiology can be very overwhelming at first. You are gonna start it and more than likely get thrown everything at once. Your head will spin, you will be confused, frustrated, anrgy and many other emotions. It will seem like forever that you are lost, and then one day, toward the end, it will "click" and make sense. Just remember to try to divide it into small pieces that are easy for you to remember. Dont try to memorize everything all at once. Take is slow and keep your notes and flash cards (if you dont have these made already, get on it ASAP) organized. Good luck!!;P
     

  3. gruntmedik

    gruntmedik Honk Honk CLM

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    I can sympathize with you--my son was born 2 days into my cardiology section. If you don't have this book, get it. Written very well, where even someone like me can understand it;f Book

    Good luck
     
  4. JGinzo

    JGinzo

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    Learn your meds. Don't just memorize them. Everyone tries to memorize them and just repeat them verbatim and you are only setting yourself up for failure that way. I would suggest taking one med a day and do nothing but learn EVERYTHING about that med. Then the next day learn a new one, and review the one you just learned. Soon after about 2-3 weeks you will really know the majority of them.

    I found that most people who appraoched algorithms like cookbooks did poorly because they were following a "recipe" instead of just using the meds like tools in a tool box.

    Example: No one gave you an algorithm to change a tire, but you know what tools you need and how each tool works in the process of changing that tire. So choosing the next tool becomes second-nature instead a procedural regurgitation of a recipe.

    Hope it helps...
     
  5. TxFire

    TxFire

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    I agree. Know it, don't just memorize it.
     
  6. JGinzo

    JGinzo

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    It helped me alot. Takes more work but it's worth it.
     
  7. TerraMedicX

    TerraMedicX

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    For cardiology I would recomend that you develop a system for EKG interpretation and stick to it! Personally I do it like this:
    Regular or irregular
    If irregular are there ectopic beats or dropped beats
    Rate.
    Rhythm.
    Axis
    If abnormal axis, look for reasons.
    ST-segment abnormalities.

    If you stick with the same system consistantly, it will speed-up your interpretation.

    I also agree about learning meds and not memorizing them. Unfortunately for me, in school we had two days of lecture on field medications and then were tested on them first thing the third day. So I HAD to memorize meds, but I later went back and continued to review and study them. Also be sure that you understand pathophys and pharmacokinetics involved with treating different cardiac problems.


    Nate.
     
  8. JGinzo

    JGinzo

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    I know a lot of medics that had only one or two days to learn their meds. I was lucky to have had one of the best paramedic instructors. His name is Randy Boaz and was one of the first medics to come out of the University of Miami way back in the day. The first thing he told me was to lose the algorithms and learn the meds. The rest will just come to me after that becuase it would simply be just a matter of picking the right med out of the box.

    I kind of use the same methodology for interpreting rhythms. Fast/slow, regular/irregular, wide/narrow.

    When all else fails just put them into a rhythm you know how to work. Mine happens to be asystole, or the "ultimate bradycardia."
     
  9. Cavalry Doc

    Cavalry Doc MAJ (USA Ret.)

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  10. chrisemt

    chrisemt

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    Dale Dubin is a tool! Save your money and by the Barbara Aehlert book instead ECG's Made Easy ECG's Made Easy
     
  11. Ravenn

    Ravenn

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    Dubin's is what we used when I took the course in '81.Excellent reference book. The facility Cardio program sorta stunk as it started with a basic in 12 lead interpretations,rather than tailoring it to the needs of the street medic. That has since changed. Same deal with ACLS, used to be designed strictly around in hospital staff. they didn't know what to do with street medics, now that has changed and the course Paramedics take is tailored for their use.

    Trust me,it seem harder than it is, you learn a few questions to ask yourself. The ones TerraMedicx stated are an excellent example. It becomes second nature after a bit..Wait til you start having dreams in LeadII, or MCLI !
     
  12. WIMPY

    WIMPY

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    GET THE "NORMALS" DOWN COLD. EVERYTHING ELSE IS ABNORMAL & NOT TOO HARD TO FIGURE OUT.
     
  13. BeMan

    BeMan

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    Shotglass,

    I am new to this particular forum, usually browsing the classifieds. May I suggest spending some time in a hospital CCU setting while applying the didactics from your texts.

    An older CCU nurse can probably teach you more in a couple of weeks than Paramedic school can in 2 semesters. I attended Paramedic school in 1977-78 and was lucky to have known such a nurse. She was a tremendous help and I gained an edge which has always helped me to explore experienced people as well as text resources.

    I even became so interested that I gained certification as a RCVT, working in a Cardiac Cath Lab for 3 years. I believe that it was all due to me learning from that one CCU nurse. I continued to seek advise and help from nurses, special procedure techs, physicians, and other paramedics. I am 53 years old now and continue to work as a paramedic.

    It all seems so intimidating. Don't worry! If all the rest of us made it through, you will too. Stay motivated and keep a good attitude. Be compassionate about what you do. No one else does what a paramedic is called upon to do. You are a unique individual with a unique calling. The fact you are so concerned about this cardiac component indicates that you are conscientous. You will be in our thoughts and will be welcomed into an honored brotherhood with your completion of requirements. But, what difference you make in the world will be up to you and how well you apply your skills and knowledge.

    Anthony Barnett, EMT-P
    University of Tennessee Medical Center LIFESTAR Aeromedical Program
     
  14. Mr. Ajax

    Mr. Ajax

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  15. afdrookie

    afdrookie

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    Go my friend....with an open heart!


    Sorry, I just had to say that
     
  16. ShotGlass

    ShotGlass

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    Thanks for all the input...I am happy to say I achieved a 97% on my cardiology Exam, and passed both the dynamic and static competencies. It all seems downhill from here....can't wait to finish in September!