Does anyone work at a critical access hospital? I've worked in 3 of them. My new job is really interesting and dynamic. It is really providing an enormous service to a rural part of my state. Of all the hospitals I've worked at, this one has the feeling of really being a rural outpost.
The first critical access Hospital I worked at was relatively close to a major cardiac center. It was mostly served by the local Fire Department that had its ownparamedics. It was a level 4 Trauma Center.
The second critical access Hospital where I worked had its own medic units attached to the hospital. It was in a tourist town in the mountains, and it mainly fed into a large Hospital about 50 minutes away. It was a level five Trauma Center, and saw a lots of weekend warrior stuff, but anyting looking and all seriously was immediately diverted down to the local medical center which was a level three.
My new job is very cool. It's in an area that is mainly a logging economy, but also near a national park and other major recreational areas. EMS is mostly supplied by various rural fire stations that are mainly comprised of volunteer EMTs. I am doing things in this job that I have never done. My last job was in a medium sized hospital that always had Pharmacy in house, and other ancillary support.
In just a few weeks of orientation I have mixed up critical IV meds, patients who would have been intubated in the field at my other jobs arrive requiring high level interventions. I'm getting to apply skills and learn new ones that I never dreamed I would have to do. The closest cath lab is an hour and a half away, therefore thrombolytics are much more routine. The staff is very skilled, resourceful, and versatile. If anybody thinks that critical access hospitals are merely Band-Aid stations, you need to come here.