Welcome to the Blackbelt Medic. This is the web home of Nathaniel Bland: Former Firefighter, Paramedic, EMS Educator, 2nd Degree Blackbelt, and student.
So of all the things I’ve done, classes I’ve taken, certifications I’ve worked for, and classes I’ve taught, by far the most challenging thing I’ve done has been paramedic school. We are by no means done, but as I look at the schedule posted on the wall next to me, I see that I have about 3.5 weeks of class left with new material. There’s 5.5 weeks of the semester left then finals week. During the last 1-2 weeks, we study for our comprehensive final. Whew!
I say this has been the most challenging, but not the hardest thing I’ve ever done, because of the myriad of ways that I’ve been challenged. The obvious one is the course work. There’s so much to learn, remember, and apply; so much that it seems overwhelming and huge, but everyone in my class has done it! We’ve survived the weekly exams, skills tests, quizzes, projects, drug sheets, discussion posts, and countless hours spent reading and studying. I’m not 100% sure how we did it, but it’s happened so far. The end is now in sight and we buckle down for the final stretch.
Wow, what a rush these first two weeks of medic school have been! It’s been this mixture of crazy amounts of work and sheer boredom to motivate myself to keep reading in yet another book about pathophysiology. Each week, I have ended up reading for about 10 hours on average and then on top of that are the hours I’ve spent studying what I’ve read, watching lectures, finishing assignments, 12 hours of lab each week, and teaching my own class. This is intense, but it is rewarding. Outside of my class work I do maintain a social life with my girlfriend, the amazing and wonderful woman that she is, who, incidentally, has also been helping me study pharmacology (THANK YOU! Do you have any idea what you’ve gotten into?).
There's also been time for great personal things. The picture on the left was a double date the included my favorite thing: My girlfriend, friends, cooking, cookies, and learning something new (Ice skating....covered below).
Now…some personal thoughts (Click "Read More"):
My name is Nathaniel. Or as the online name I've picked states, The Blackbelt Medic. It's a bit of a flash name I suppose, but when I was faced with having to pick a domain name and a name for this blog site I decided to pick two of my favorite things: karate and being an EMS provider. Despite the word "medic" in the name, I am not a paramedic yet. More on that later. I am however a 2nd degree blackbelt in Ko Sutemi Weisi Kan Karate. I first started in karate when I was about 8 years old back in late 1999 or 2000. I don't remember the exact date. The point of this site is to provide a slate for the coming years of my life. I have tried to blog before but lacked the motivation to keep up with it. That all recently changed.
I am currently living in Albuquerque, New Mexico and I attend the University of New Mexico. Go Lobos!! Woof woof woof....hehe. I am originally from California. Northern California. Small little town called Volcano, but these days I am a student with the UNM School of Medicine: Department of Emergency Medicine EMS Academy. I am pursuing the completion of my undergraduate degree in Emergency Medicine with a focus on Emergency Medical Services. The core of the degree in their Paramedic program. I was just accepted into the program after the application process which consisted of the application, two letters of recommendation, a entrance test, two interviews, and then waiting. Of course the waiting was the hardest part. I waited nearly 2 weeks from the time I knew they made admission decisions for my letter to arrive. I got it on 4/16/2014. I went for a walk about 11:30pm and ended up checking my mail to find a large manila envelope bearing the return address of the UNM School of Medicine. I grabbed it and felt more than one piece of paper; at this point I got really excited and opened it. I was accepted!