Sunday, October 14, 2007

Work can be fun

One of the more exciting parts of my job is doing transports. This is when we have to go to another hospital to pick up a child too sick for them to care for. This usually means they need some type of specialists of which we have a lot here. Tonight I got to go out on transport in the fixed wing air ambulance. Basically, a small jet plane rigged for transport of medical patients.

On the way out I was able to fly in the co-pilot seat, and yep I got pictures and will post them as soon as I can find my camera cable. From what I could see, our top speed was 235 knots and our top altitude was 2400, flight time was 35 minutes on the way out, 40 minutes on the way back. On the way back I had to sit in the back of the plane to monitor our patient, but still had a decent view out of the portholes.

While I enjoy these trips, I only wish they didn't have to be at the cost of a tiny baby being seperated from their parents, having to endure many tests and procedures, and the associated physical and mental pain that go with them. No matter how exciting or fun the trip is, when we pick up that sick infant my feet hit the ground and I forget all else except that baby.

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At 15 October, 2007 21:43, Blogger Carolyn said...

So sorry about the baby, but the plane ride sounds fun! Do you do transports often? 35 minutes to the other hospital would make it fairly far away, no? I have to admit pretty complete ignorance about pediatric nursing.

At 16 October, 2007 13:48, Blogger snarfdog said...

I quite frequently do transports, but usually by ground ambulance. Once in a while we get to fly either by fixed wing or helicopter (which takes off of the roof of the hospital.) The other hospital I went to this night was in the Central Valley so a decent distance away.

As for pediatric nursing, not a lot of people know a lot about it, so don't kick yourself too hard there. Because Stanford is one of the top hospitals in the country, with lots of high profile specialists, many tough cases get transferred in to us. Some come in while the Mom is still pregnant, others we have to go get like this particular baby. So, if you think about local hospitals, we have 4 level 3 NICU's in this area. That's the top rating for a NICU, but the other 3 often transfer babies to us because they don't have pediatric specialists in cardiology, surgery, and genetic diseases. Nor do they do ECMO (a form of cardiac bypass that we use on our sickest babies). So even though we are technically ranked the same, Stanford is actually a level up from the others because of the services we can offer.

Sorry, that was a bit long winded, but hopefully it made sense.


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