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12 week paramedic program?

Discussion in 'Pre-Hospital [ EMS ]' started by slick27, Dec 29, 2008.

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  1. slick27

    slick27 controversial

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    McCook Community College has a 12 week pramedic program. What does everybody think of this accelerated program?

    http://www.mpcc.edu/Accelerated_EMT-Paramedic.html


    I know most people in EMS do not think highly of accelerated programs, but I can't image spending a year to become a paramedic when to become an RN would only take one more additional year.
    I have a biomedical degree and minor in chemistry, NREMT-B, CNA, PADI Open water diver, shawdowing experience......GPA 3.8, MCAT 29O and still can't get into med school, so what would be the best back up plan?
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  2. EMmedic

    EMmedic

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    Others might disagree with me, but I think its a terrible idea. I think every minute of the year I spent in paramedic school was valuable and necessary. Shortening that down to 1/4 of the time just seems absurd and quite frankly a little scary. What are the hours of this accelerated program? My normal program was a full day every day so I'm not sure how you could squeeze the same info into 12 weeks. For those of us who wish paramedics got more respect within the medical community -- more rigorous training/requirements are better than skimming it down. Saying you can get your paramedic in 12 weeks just takes steps backwards for the profession.

    Sure you can go to school for 2 years instead of 1 and get your RN...but an RN is not a paramedic. They are not the same thing at all. Which do you want to be?
  3. EMmedic

    EMmedic

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    Your stats don't seem bad at all - how many places did you apply? Did you try DO schools?
  4. psychbender

    psychbender Cynical Member

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    Do not, do not, DO NOT become a medic as a "back up plan" to help your application to medical school. This has been said many times on this forum, but always bears repeating.

    That having been said, I don't see a particular problem with a 12-week paramedic program. I had several coworkers who completed similar "Zero-to-Hero" programs, and are fine and capable medics. The more standard 2-4 nights a week, plus clinicals, for 1-2 years works for those with other jobs or in school, but 12 weeks full-time will work just fine if that is not the case.
  5. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA

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    Call and ask the medical schools who rejected you what area of your application needs improvement.

    As it is, my program is "accelerated" and its 7 months long for the didactic portion...that's 28 weeks long and it's brutal. 12 weeks is just not possible. I can guarantee that anyone who goes through that program will do more harm than good to patients.

    Personally, I think programs like these exist to rush firefighters through if their fire chief wants them to have their P-card. These programs have no interest in quality nor do they care about turning out good health care providers. I'm not even going to get started on FF/medics and programs that cater to making them since it disgusts me too much but this seems like one of them.
  6. slick27

    slick27 controversial

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    The 12 weeks portion is just the classroom instruction. Clinicals would be followed and it does not say how long it takes to complete this part other than 200 hours or so of clinicals. From what I see at the EMT-B level most of EMS training takes place of the job anyways, the certification just leads to exposure more than anything.

    I have not applied to DO school simply because I'm not sure I am sold on their perspective towards medicine. I would hate to take a spot away from someone who really wants to be a DO.
  7. leviathan

    leviathan Drinking from the hydrant Moderator Emeritus

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    Our BLS providers here spend 12 weeks * 40 hours/week for the didactic portion (or 2 years in a regular college courseload schedule), and the base level of knowledge that they have is FRIGHTENING. I can't imagine ALS going through all of that in the same amount of time. It scares me to think of people graduating from these programs and having the responsibility of airway management and giving very potentially lethal drugs to patients. But that's just my biased view...
  8. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc2B2015

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    agree- I think you can't possibly get as much out of a 3 mo program as a 1 yr program like you and I did.
    what is truly shameful are the handful of rn to emt-p TWO WEEK programs like at creighton in nebraska.....
  9. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA

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    Yeah, see it's crap like this which is why I don't want to stay in EMS forever and I'd rather be in a position to start attacking things like this which are a detriment to a great profession. I don't think paramedics and EMTs will begin to be respected by other health care professionals until they are held to the same standard of rigorous education. Don't even get me started on pay.
  10. slick27

    slick27 controversial

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    I feel like I could handle the program since I have a biomedical degree and a couple of years experience as an EMT-B. Most of the paramedics in my area complete a 6 month program, I might just do that one instead of heading out to NE.

    The military rountinely accelerates many of their programs. To be trained as a surgical tech in the military can be completed in weeks while in the private sector is a two year associate program. I bet the military trained surg tech are no worse or better than their cilvian counterparts. I think the training could be effective in 12 weeks, a lot however depends on the student.
  11. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA

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    Right. You should be more concerned with the fact that you're willing to gamble with your future patients' lives rather than your chances of succeeding academically in such a program. There is a very large difference between whether something is routinely done and whether it's the correct thing to do. And the military is completely different than the civilian world. You're comparing apples to oranges, and as far as I can see, you seem to have asked for advice then rejected it and/or got defensive with what you received because you didn't like the answers. So why ask in the first place?
  12. COMedic2Doc

    COMedic2Doc

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    Your academic stats sound great and amazing. However, 12 weeks for a Paramedic program that many of us (quite possibly every Paramedic that is reading this audacity) took over the time span of a minimum of six months to a year (which if you do the 6 month program is 8-5 Monday through Friday and you don't have a life outside of school)?

    Seriously? I despise programs like this that take the Paramedic profession and turn it into something that is light-hearted and something easy to accomplish. This is the reason why there are others that question the profession of Paramedics is because we have these "cracker jack box" programs that belittle the training and thus usually produce horrible Paramedics, I'm not saying all are just most are horrible.

    Personally, there must be a catch somewhere because I know in Colorado there are state mandates that mandate how much time you spend in lecture and how much time is spent in the field (Roughly 600 hrs of Clinicals and Field Rotations and roughly 430 hrs of Didactic). So, I'm rather suprised that any program can take you and make you a Paramedic in 12 weeks (which by the way is only 720 hours of 12 hrs a day, 5 days a week, hmmm compared to CO that would leave you about 300 hours short of our standards)! I don't care what kind of student anyone is, there is way, way too much in the NREMT-Paramedic curricula to be accomplished in 12 weeks and be able to function well as a Paramedic, in my opinion.

    A note on military medicine. Have you run into the fact, that you cannot become a Paramedic in the field with just the training you receive in AIT for Combat Medic? Sure, they are allowed to do some ALS skills but they are not trained to the same standard, at least for EMS, trust me on this one. Many, many times I've met various Medics, Corpsmen, etc. and they admit that they are EMT-Basics in the civilian world (if they choose to go after the additional requirements for certification). The only Medics that I have met that are Paramedics in the civilian world and seen as such are your Special Forces Medics (i.e. 18Ds), Flight Medics, or those Medics that have sought additional Paramedic training in the civilian sector. The reason why the Advanced Medics are recognized as Paramedics is because they go through additional training, i.e. SOCM in the case of 18Ds, which is 24 weeks, of which 19 weeks is dedicated to the Paramedic level of training (and your program is 12 weeks, hmmm).
  13. MedicFL

    MedicFL

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    18D's course is 52 weeks long and they no longer are able to test for the NREMT-P because of some BS that went down... But having worked with many 18D's they function on the level of a PA when they are in the service esp when they are in the field... THe military does speed up lots of training but thats because you can't be sued in the military. Not everything is better faster..

    In FL my paramedic program was a total of 1500 hours classroom and clinical's.. 12 weeks is only a total of 2016 hours no way you can spend the same amount of time in class as someone who went to a real training course.. I have seen the 7 months programs that you go to fulltime and that would be fine but 12 weeks no way...
  14. slick27

    slick27 controversial

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    Does anyone have their firefighter 1 certification? I'm not sure I want to be a firefighter, but I'm thinking about taking the course just to better round me out on calls. What do you think?
  15. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA

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    I think firefighters, for the most part, make terrible health care providers because they don't care about patient care since they only got their EMT or medic to please their fire chief or get the job in the first place.

    If you want to fight fire, go become a firefighter. If you want to do patient care, go become a medic. If you want to do patient care without killing anyone, go become a medic at a real program. By the way, I rarely ever see good fire medics. In fact, most of the case studies that are cited when I do CEs or lecture in medic class that involve a patient getting hurt or killed involve a fire medic as the person providing health care (or lack thereof). There's a strong correlation between FF/medics and poor patient care. I'm not saying there aren't good FF/medics out there, but there sure as hell aren't a lot of them because their heart's not in medicine.

    My accelerated program is 1,336 hours plus 160 hours of clinicals and a minimum of 480 hours of field internship. I'd recommend if you want to speed it up a little then find a program that doesn't seem too good to be true and/or ridiculous like this 12-week program does.
  16. greytmedic

    greytmedic Faster than you

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    Can you please provide links to any articles that support this.
  17. MedicFL

    MedicFL

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    FD's have the power so we will never see any real studies on this but I have to agree that FF/Medics tend to be worse on patient care. Esp. the departments that dont transport..
  18. jkelly2

    jkelly2 Huge member

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    Wrong wrong wrong. Providers that work for private services are the worst. In fact, all private providers just couldn't get hired by fire departments; of course they are going to disparage fire-based EMS.

    Doesn't that sound ridiculous? EMS varies too greatly throughout the country make generalizations based on your limited geographic and temporal experience. Zip it up.
  19. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA

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    Precisely. I would love to see objective studies that determine whether FF/medics are not as good at providing patient care or they are. I would expect the results to say that patient care is compromised.

    Ironically, judging by your MDApps profile, you're a FF/medic so your opinion on this matter is not exactly neutral. Of course you're going to defend FF/medics being equally competent. At any rate, programs like this 12-week one have to go because the only thing they benefit are firefighters who need their medic cert to get that fire job or keep it; I fail to see how patient care benefits from this sort of garbage training.
  20. Tristan14578

    Tristan14578

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    Ok so with your background in the science classes already you should go ahead with the program if being a paramedic is what you want to do (rather that be short or long term). All these people who say it s a bad idea I disagree with. I have seen some of the Accelerated medic programs and it tends to be Monday-Friday 8am-4pm and after that you do clinicals at night and on the weekends. By the end of the program your total hours is around 860-1080 hours. Remember paramedics (in the US ) are paraprofessionals at best since its normally a certificate or diploma course like LPN. And its taught on cook book medicine style. If you are ok with dedicating the 3-4 months to nothing but the class you will be a fine medic.:thumbup:
  21. EMmedic

    EMmedic

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    I'm sorry but Monday-Friday 8-4 for 12 weeks does not make it accelerated. My medic program was 6 months didactic then 6 months clinical...Monday-Friday 8-4. You have not accelerated anything. You've just cut the hours in half (aka cut the information in half) and called it "accelerated." This is dangerous for your patients and for the profession. And please - don't be satisfied with "cook book medicine" style. Strive to be the best you can and be able to think not just follow algorithms.

    You have a tremendous amount of power and responsibility in the back of that ambulance -- you have tools and drugs that can easily kill your patient with the wrong decision. This isn't a joke.
  22. greytmedic

    greytmedic Faster than you

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    The statement by emttim is a pretty strong statement that comes off as fact. If there is no evidence to demonstrate this, it can only be anecdotal evidence. If you want to change things, propose some studies in education, skill retention, and may be even patient outcomes. Until then no one will be able to get rid of these accelerated program.

    For full disclosure I was a paramedic that worked for a municipal fire department where we were cross trained. I have also worked for a private ambulance company that only did transfers and nursing homes, a municipal ambulance service that was the counties 911 EMS and also interfacility transfers, and a private ambulance service that did the city 911 EMS and interfacility transfers. So I've done fire/medic, 3rd service, etc. Now granted this has only been in the state of Illinois, but each on of these had its excellent, good, mediocre, and scary paramedics. I think the private that only did SNF and interfacility probably had the highest ratio of scary paramedics. But the fire department, municipal EMS, and the 3rd service pretty much were all the same. Some guys on the fire department only got their paramedic because they wanted to do the fire, but they were professional and preformed their duties well. Some guys only got jobs at the municipal EMS because the fire departments in the area were all rural volunteer departments and they wanted to make a living. Some guys on the 3rd service got there paramedic because they couldn't get hired by the fire department for some reason, but still wanted to work in the emergency services and could get hired at the 3rd service where all you needed was a paramedic cert and no written tests, psych tests, or physical tests to get hired. Summing up this long rant, there is no way to just blanketly state that fire/medics are bad and that's that.
  23. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA

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    Fair enough. For clarification, as of now my statement is indeed anecdotal since I have no proof to back it up. However, it sounds like that state has a better ratio of competent fire medics compared to private ambulance medics if you felt they were roughly equal. At least in Sacramento and the bay area out here, it's atrocious as far as I'm concerned.

    If I do end up going into EM, I'll probably have an interest in working to better EMS and part of that will involve research of this topic. I'll be very interested to see the results of such a study. Hopefully the results will pleasantly surprise me since I'd rather find out that it's just a localized problem to this area rather than a nationwide issue. For the record, I agree that private ambulance company medics who only do IFTs and nursing home runs probably are some of the scariest as far as competence goes.
  24. pseudoknot

    pseudoknot

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    I think the 12 weeks is only for the didactic portion, not including clinical rotations or field work. This is comparable to some fairly strong programs I know of in California, so I don't know if this is such a big deal. Going from EMT-B to paramedic in a total of 12 weeks would be hard to imagine though, even if the person had years of experience beforehand.
  25. jkelly2

    jkelly2 Huge member

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    I'm not sure what opinion I offered other than saying that EMS throughout the nation is varied and it is silly to say one type of provider is universally better than another. Also, I'm not sure that your opinion on this matter is neutral either, and try as I might, I fail to see the irony.
  26. BostonEMT

    BostonEMT

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    I think it really depends on the quality of the program and the motivation and background of the student. Lack of formal education is a big part of the reason why EMS wages remain so low and medics are viewed as ancillary staff chiefly responsible for driving. I would love to see busy systems in the US require paramedics to have a four-year degree related to science. Maybe there they'd learn how to spell. As long as young men and women are becoming paramedics solely to get on a fire department, paramedics will remain woefully various in terms of knowledge and ability and will be universally underpaid.

    That said, the quality of the paramedic program I'm currently in is so poor that I've wished at times I did an accelerated or partially-online program because it would save me hundreds of hours of sitting through firemen telling war stories. Just my two cents.
  27. howelljolly

    howelljolly

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    This sounds fishy to me. My paramedic class was 16 hours of didactics plus 16 hours of clinicals each week.... and thats because it was condensed into one year.

    If you try and condense just the didactics into 12 weeks, i think that amounts to 64 hours per week (if i did the math right).
  28. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA

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    Pretty much hit the nail on the head....needs to be much more regulation in paramedic schools and nobody is going to start respecting us until we up our education requirements. Unfortunately, until they raise the pay for private ambulance company jobs since not everyone wants to be a firefighter, nobody is going to be willing to go through additional training or get a degree for a job that doesn't pay enough for it to be worth the hassle.
  29. COMedic2Doc

    COMedic2Doc

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    Sadly, there will not be a change in pay for quite some time. One of the main reasons is even the private ambulance companies know that there are many more warm bodies lining up for positions to take over those that don't fit the mold of the Paramedics, replace those that leave, etc. I don't really think a Bachelor's for Paramedical Science will make a difference except now you'll have Paramedics with Bachelor's Degrees that are still getting paid the exact same amount as before, especially since there is such a difference in the reimbursement for charges amounts from Medicare and the rest of the healthcare insurance companies.
  30. dogpython

    dogpython New Member

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    i know of a paramedic class at TEEX fire school in Texas that has a fast-paced paramedic program for 10 weeks of classroom plus clinicals to follow

    10-week course
  31. pseudoknot

    pseudoknot

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    The didactic phase at UCLA's paramedic program, the most highly regarded in Southern California, lasts four months at four days a week. That's the equivalent of 14 weeks full time.

    http://www.cpc.mednet.ucla.edu/UCLA-CPC/About/Programs-Paramedic.shtml

    Can we agree the initial horror over this program was when we thought it was 10 weeks for everything including clinical and field work?
  32. LilHouse

    LilHouse Failed Premed

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    :)
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  33. COMedic2Doc

    COMedic2Doc

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    Definitely. :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup: (almost as bad as the Zero-Hero programs that are out there where they take someone with absolutely zero medical experience and make them a Paramedic)

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