My little patch of Desert.

Here's where I work:

It's a tiny clinic situated in a small man-made oasis, smack-dab in the middle of the desert, surrounded by pipelines, gas plants and other assorted facilities for oil production. Salt water is de-salinated and pumped in from the Arabian Gulf to provide drinking water, irrigation and such. The place is charming, green, full of songbirds and looks like a little paradise. Now, it exists as a housing and administrative facility supporting all the oil-related operations that are scattered around the desert.

in this little pocket of green is a small clinic. We have an ER of sorts. About 4 regular beds, a "trauma room" and an isolation room. Not much to it. its' staffed by 2 nurses around the clock and the doctors are there from 7 to 4 Saturday Through Wednesday. The weekend is Thursday-Friday here. Typically, we have 2 paramedics on duty at all times, along with a driver. How we deploy those resources is the subject of another post. (Got a bit more research to do on that one before I publish).

So, there we are. In the middle of nowhere. Apparently, the 'Medics average about 15 calls per month! Yah, busy, I know!! HA! The prehospital care unit (my department) exists to provide EMS to the residential community and the outlying work areas at all the various petroleum facilities. We also will respond to auto accidents and other "110" calls in the area. Though there is no national EMS service or even a guarantee of medical care in this country, my company, altruistically, offers care to anyone who calls for it. Things are pretty slow (thank goodness) but I hear that most of what they run are auto accidents. I can see why. Nobody in this country wears seatbelts. Not even for their kids. They go careening down the road, ignoring lanes, directions of traffic and the like. It's chaos! My two hour taxi ride to my new home was an amazing and somewhat harrowing experience. Craziness!.

So, I can imagine a couple of these yahoos going flying along at 160Kph each, ignoring all concepts of traffic regulation, unbelted and then, BAM! Well, you can figure the rest. Nice, eh? I've been on the job for a week and haven't run any of those yet.

I'm not on shift-work yet. They've got me on day hours so I can dash about taking care of all the various paperwork messes that need my attention. Good thing too, I've spent half of each of my workdays running from one office to another figuring out what color my ID badge should be! (that took about 5 days!). Machiavelli would weep! Unfortunately, I was on just such an errand when the ambulance went out on an accident with two patients. DRAT! Oh, well. There's more where that came from!

We've got brand now Ford F-350 ambulances with the standard box on the back along with a hydraulic lift for an isolette in case we transport a sick baby. Odd thing: they only stock ONE Backboard per unit. They also don't have a decent place to park the ambulances inside so, we don't keep any medications on the unit. If we do, the heat will destroy them. We medics have a semi-permanent trailer outside the ER for an office. It's got a couple computers in the office side and another room with a TV, couch, fridge, etc. It's not a bad place to hang out. If that's too boring, one can always go in to the ER and hang out with the nurses. They're a pretty amiable bunch. I'm sure I'll have stories about them soon.

Here's a neat thing: If we get a really sick patient or one that needs to be intubated, the staff call in the paramedics to do that! How cool is that? I write a whole other post on HOW. I kinda want this one to be about the WHERE.

The weather here is pretty nice in November. It gets up to about 90F (32C) in the midday but drops to about 60F (15C) at night. Very breezy and VERY dry! I went for a 5k run the other day and, though I sweated, I wasn't wet. Just coated in a fine film of salt. Like I said, dry! The dry air and regular breeze keeps it feeling pretty nice, even in the heat. Now, I understand it'll get up to 135 degrees Fahrenheit (57C) during the summer months of July and August. UGH! Right now, I'm enjoying the balmy fall into the winter.

More to come!


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