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October 2016

The rare perfect shot (in Golf and Health Care)

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By Mark Davis

Golf is a peculiar game. No matter how badly you play on any given round, there’s always that one beautiful, perfect shot that keeps you coming back for more. EMS is the same way. My golf game is by no means on par with Phil Michelson or golfBubba Watson, but I love getting out on the course with some good friends and having a good time. Similarly, I don’t count myself among the “Paragods” of our local EMS scene, and we have many, but I do consider myself a solid EMT, and the bond with fellow EMS, Fire and Law Enforcement brothers and sisters is amazing. Just as I relish the moment I strap my clubs to the back of a golf cart and head for the first tee box, I enjoy racing to the scene of a call knowing that the people I will be working alongside and trusting with my back are among the very best in the business.

In the game of golf, it is critical to know the right club to use in the various fairways hazards and greens. Likewise, it is critical to know the correct equipment and drugs to use to treat a patient.

I remember the first birdie I scored. I still have the ball. I also remember my first CPR, although I have no souveParamedics loading patient into ambulancenirs other than the mental images. It was a 19 year old female who had been transported to the ER with an asthma attack. Her condition deteriorated to the point that she coded. When the Code Blue was called, my partner and I happened to be heading back out to the truck after dropping off another patient, so we jumped in for manpower. They threw everything but the kitchen sink at that patient, but never could get her back. I still remember the Latin Kings gang tattoo on her chest. Those things stick with you.

But just like the good golf shots we make, so we also celebrate our saves. I remember the approach shot I made with a wedge that left the club face perfectly, hit the green exactly in the right spot, and rolled to the right, tracking gracefully into the hole as my buddies whooped and hollered. One of them commented that it was the best shot he’d seen since he attended the Masters in Augusta five years earlier. Likewise, I remember the code we ran on a middle-aged male who worked at a car wash and had a MI. The teamwork and smoothness of that call was phenomenal, and that man walked out of the hospital 3 days later.

emt_after_a_very_long_shiftOf course, the fun and camaraderie doesn’t end after the 18th hole. After the round of golf, friends gather for food, cold beverages and to talk about the game. Just as we interact with our partners in the ER, handing over patient care to the Doctors, nurses and techs who will continue to care for the patients we bring.

There are good times, bad times and great times. If only we in the medical field could have mulligans.




[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Mark Davis, is a longtime SMYS member, AEMT (Advanced Emergency Medical Technician) and FTO with Lifeguard Ambulance Service. He has been in EMS and rescue for over 20 years, and currently works in Chattanooga, Tennessee[/author_info] [/author]

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