Tuesday, November 1, 2016

October volunteering

October was an easier month, with material that I felt more comfortable with than in previous blocks. I was cleared to return to duty as a paramedic with the city of new orleans after a major motor vehicle collision in February, so I'm still figuring out how to balance my commitments to the city with academics and volunteering. I've definitely noticed that I have a greater awareness of medications and their clinical interactions when assessing patients in the past two weeks. I had a patient with CHF and A-Fib complaining of strange dreams last week and surely enough when I asked him about his medications he said he takes digoxin!

I worked on Halloween, which was an extremely busy day, and made my 26th birthday on October 29th.

I made it out to two nights of Street Medicine New Orleans (10/12 and 10/26) with Dr. Zhang and a group of residents, medical students, social workers and housing workers, where we made rounds of the CBD, French Quarter and nearby areas to try to encounter houseless people and offer them resources and medical care. We had meaningful conversations with about 12 people each night, on topics regarding accessing further care via referrals to Healthcare for the Homeless, getting sheltered or housed through Unity, and obtaining medications through the UMC pharmacy. I mostly checked blood pressures and blood sugars, and was able to connect a few people to needle exchange resources via New Orleans Harm Reduction Network.

Lastly, things are coming along with this scholarship program I'm working on setting up to enroll Sci High seniors in an EMT class at Tulane. We're applying for a grant from Job1, a municipal vocational education fund, the department heads at NOEMS approve of the project, and I've met with staff at Sci High on separate occasions, and they are very excited! More updates to follow, and I'm hoping to have a viable program with 6 Sci High seniors enrolled in this class by January 30th.

Total hours: 4 per night at SMNO, 2 hours with sci high EMT education organizing- 10 volunteer hours in October.

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