May 26th, 2010

Chesterton fool

Paramedic moving from America to England...

Googled: Various terms relating to emergency medical services in Britain, also found and read this page but it doesn't quite address my specific situation.

My character was born, raised, and trained as a paramedic in America. After just a little less than a year working in the field, she was transplanted to London rather suddenly and ended up working in a bookshop for two or three years, doing a lot of typical effing-up her life, as many young 20-somethings do, especially ones like her who have been obsessively super-responsible their whole lives and then discover the real world.

Anyway, my problem is, I'm not sure how she would go about getting back into the medical technician field. Would she have to re-take training courses from square one, or could she "test out" of basic courses? What if her proof of certification in America was either lost, not accepted by the NHS, or expired?

Basically, I'm trying to figure out how long it's going to take her to get back in the field as a practicing paramedic, either as an ambulance technician or a medical technician assigned to like... a home for the elderly or a hotel or ship or something. The story takes place in a world with fantasy elements so there's a lot of wiggle room when it comes to the fine details, but I'd like to be at least partially realistic when it comes to addressing the issue of getting her re-certified and working again.


Kansas High Schools & Scheduling

Terms searched: Kansas high school schedule; Kansas high school + block schedule; Kansas high school + traditional schedule, etc.

I have two characters in two different Kansas high schools and I need to know what kind of scheduling their schools would have. Both towns are fictional, but one is in central Kansas and the other is somewhere along the Missouri border, if that helps.

Would these schools be more likely to have block schedules or traditional schedules? And would they be on the quarter system or the semester system?

We've had a couple of post about the same general subject, but not specifically about Kansas. Those posts are here and here.
spikey 100

disfiguring scars

I am trying to locate an edged weapon that will leave a very distinctive scar pattern, preferably something crescent-moon shaped.
I found a Swedish Mora half-curved knife but I don't think that a knife used for extracting the innards of pumpkins really fits a serial killer.
Thanks in advance!

edited to add:
This guy likes to torture his vics by cutting them many, many times with the knife before he eventually kills them by slashing their throats. Only one person has escaped him alive and he has the cresent shaped scars on his back.

Thanks very much for the ideas - you've certainly provoked the muse more than I had hoped!

Anon post: Hospital care of someone shot in the back

It's Utah in modern times. How would a hospital care for someone who's been shot in the small of the back? (Severed cord at L1 or L2 vertebra.) The patient is 27, male, and overweight but otherwise healthy--except, you know, for suddenly suffering complete paraplegia.

Googling "how to take care of an open spinal injury", "complete paraplegia", "hospital care of spinal injury", and so forth has gotten me great deal of info on what to do before the ambulance shows up and what to do over the ensuing weeks to regain function and avoid bedsores, but I can't find out what happens in between those times. For instance, I can't imagine the staff would put the patient on his back, but I don't know whether they would put him on his side or front instead. Would there be a choking hazard if he vomited--or tried to eat something? (I know I have trouble eating lying down.) What kind of surgery would be required? How would the staff manage the risk of infection? How long until the patient would be able (or allowed) to roll over or try to sit up? All the info about rehab seems to presuppose the injury has already healed as much as it can. Does rehab not start immediately?

I have been hospitalized twice before, once for a normal delivery and once for a Caesarian, but my experiences aren't terribly relevant. For a start, I walked out a few days later...