Riding with boys in ambulances…and placentas

So, a heck of a lot happened this weekend!  There’s a perpetual tiredness that often pervades medical school – I have found that even days when I don’t have an exam on the horizon and I get my 8 hours of sleep I still feel tired, foggy headed and groggy.

Thus, when I tell you that I feel completely awake and aware at this moment, and that I was awake for 19 hours on Saturday, I want you to realize how weird that is.

Adrenaline.  It’s a fantastic thing 😉

But yeah, I had a pretty great few days.  We did a lab Friday that was so fascinating to me – the placenta lab.  See, in our program, we don’t have anatomy (beyond surface anatomy) until January, so we haven’t really gotten the chance to get our hands dirty yet, so to speak.  Thus, the placenta lab – which yes, is exactly what it sounds like, which is that we got to put on our lab coats and gloves and play with placentas – was our first chance to actually touch things.


Mostly, we just use people as living models. This guy and his dryer tube is a fetus 😉

But oh, are placentas cool to touch!  They are surprisingly tough to the touch, and the membranes are really very strong.


Also, they kind of look like lungs, or really bloody stingray 😉 The picture above is from wikipedia, as we were asked not to share the photos that we took of the placentas that we were looking at (they were fresh from the previous night, and patients get understandably touchy about that) but for me, whose main interest is currently Obstetrics, the lab was a fantastic learning experience that I really enjoyed.

And then, I got to have another learning experience on Saturday that was even more fun.  MUN does a program where medical students can do a ride-along with a paramedic crew for a 12 hour shit, and I, in my obsessive Facebook watching managed to snag a shift for Saturday from 6:30am-6:30pm.


Ambulances are huge inside, just FYI!

Now, the fact that I had to get up at 5am on a Saturday was hardly a selling point, but it was an amazing experience.  I had a slowish shift – we had 2.5 active calls, but I enjoyed it a great deal, and had so much fun.  We had two calls, and both needed to be taken to emergency in the ambulance.  The paramedics, two really nice (if a little crude) guys let me take one persons blood pressure, the only doctor skill I actually know, so that was a really great experience for me, and I even got it close to the automated machine 🙂


2 crazy, but really nice guys 🙂

The .5 active call was a woman in labor, but another ambulance got there quicker, so I didn’t get to see that 😦  I did get to ride in the ambulance with the lights flashing and the adrenaline pumping, so that almost made up for the disappointment – almost 😉  Overall, the ride-along was a fantastic experience that I’d love to do again, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to do one.

And then I, after a 12 hour shift, went and saw Mockingjay with a friend, because sleep is for the weak 😉 I really liked Mockingjay – I’ve read the books so I knew what was going to happen, but the movie was great and I liked it most out of the three movies so far.  Part 2 is going to be out of this world if that trend continues, let me tell you!  And then, I played Pokemon Alpha Sapphire yesterday instead of doing a book report I was supposed to do, because responsibility is less appealing than levelling up your Pikachu 😉

Placentas, ambulances, movies and pokemon.  Ah med school weekend, you get more interesting by the week!

2 thoughts on “Riding with boys in ambulances…and placentas

  1. That all sounds so exciting! Studying placentas sounds like a much more appealing use of them than making weird food out of them 😉
    Also, the ambulance run seems like an awesome opportunity. I wonder if I could “shadow” EMTs?
    Good to hear that Mockingjay was good. I only read the first two books years ago but I need to watch the third movie soon!

    • The ambulance was super cool – if you could find a way to do a “shadow shift” with an EMT in your area I’d definitely recommend it! Mockingjay was pretty amazing: I couldn’t think of anything about it I didn’t like, so I hope you enjoyed/enjoy it! Thanks for dropping by 🙂

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