PJ's brain unfiltered. Now with more pulp!

Posts tagged “question

Answering googled questions

  • “how to insert a jelco”

A jelco is actually a Jelco [see below]. It’s the IV catheter that pretty much everyone in the medical field uses. It basically consists of a plastic tube (the catheter) slid over a hollow needle, which is attached to a clear plastic handle. The tip of the needle sticks out just barely from the end of the tube — you use that tip to pierce the skin and insert it and the surrounding tube into the vein. Once both are inside, you use the plastic handle to retract the needle out from the tube. At this point you can detach the clear plastic handle from the green part [** in the diagram]. The green part sits on the outside of the skin and acts as a port into the vein; you can attach IV tubing, syringes, or other items directly to it.For people who are afraid of needles, I find it helps to explain that the IV site doesn’t actually have a needle in it once I finish with it. It’s just a thin, plastic straw that can mostly bend with your arm.

jelco diagram

When I first started paramedic school, my “big threshold” was starting my first IV and getting the hand motions down right. I found that the best way to practice (besides sticking people) was getting a few of the expired jelcos and practicing on a drinking straw.

The most basic “how to” follows: find your potential vein, tie a tourniquet above it, let the blood accumulate for ~15 seconds so that the vein will become more conspicuous, clean the site [alcohol, betadine, alcohol], “let it dry”, hold the jelco between your thumb & middle finger, push it into the vein, use your pointer finger to hold the hub while retracting the plastic with the thumb & middle finger, occlude the vein with your left hand, detach the needle casing. Minus the details, that’s how I’ve learned to do it and it works for me.

  • “how long does it take to finish autopsy”

About 30-40 minutes, unless they suspect foul play or things get complicated and they can’t find the fragmented bullet.

  • “can i have long hair as a paramedic”

Yes, you can, but only if you wear it in a pony tail or something similar. You don’t want that shit flying in your eyes when you’re carrying someone across the highway, getting in your mouth while giving CPR, potentially catching vomit, or existing as an attractive head-handle for a psychiatric patient to yank. Our service doesn’t allow us to wear earrings for that last reason alone.