Bledyn

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A few months ago I started volunteering at the ER of a hospital in Chicago. I have formed some friendships with the nurses / paramedics / and EMTs who work there, and some have recommend becoming an EMT (the EMT, surprisingly, is quite the champion of it) while others don't think it will give me an edge in my med school application. What's the truth? And what are the good EMT schools in Chicago?
 

jammin06

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ok, here's my input.

I've been an EMT for over a year now and absolutely love it. It's great exposure to a part of medicine that you wouldn't otherwise experience until your 3rd year of med school. That being said, a lot of students are doing EMT because it "looks good on the app". If you're going to go through the training, make sure to use it by either joining or volunteering with a service somewhere. Just my 0.02 though.
 

gujuDoc

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Bledyn said:
A few months ago I started volunteering at the ER of a hospital in Chicago. I have formed some friendships with the nurses / paramedics / and EMTs who work there, and some have recommend becoming an EMT (the EMT, surprisingly, is quite the champion of it) while others don't think it will give me an edge in my med school application. What's the truth? And what are the good EMT schools in Chicago?

I think getting the EMT license is good if you actually plan on using it and working in the field for a good year. You'll probably get a lot more real world experience in healthcare as an EMT then as a volunteer because you'll get to actually perform medical tasks and not just be doing the typical wheeling around patients kind of scut work. Of course, when I compare EMT to volunteer, I am not including positions such as counseling positions. Anyhow, if you are interested in ER medicine, EMT experiences will be some of the best medical experiences you can get. There are some posters on here who have an EMT job and they have found it worthwhile.


As per EMT schools in Chicago, don't know much about the answer to that one.

TheProwler,

Perhaps, you may be able to comment on this one, since you know quite a bit about this.
 

SitraAchra

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I am currently training to become an EMT-B in a summer program that culminates August 11th. Since graduating college in May, I wanted to do something with my year off while I apply to med schools and I thought EMT would be a good opportunity to expose me to another facet of healthcare.

I don't think there's anything wrong with just getting the certification to try it out - you don't have to dedicate 5 years on an ambulance just to prove your worth. I plan on using the certification in the coming year before med school starts up in 06'.

The training itself can provide some valuable experience even if you find out that emergency medicine isn't for you. I have enjoyed my rideouts on the ambulance and my shifts in the ER quite a bit, and you learn to think quickly in an environment that isn't a quiet doctor's office.

Less than a week ago on an ER shift, I found myself doing CPR compressions on a patient and we actually got him back. I'll carry that experience with me for the rest of my life, as an EMT, med student, whatever. I think it's a perfect entryway into a cool area of healthcare that doesn't require a monumental committment.
 

newguy357

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SitraAchra said:
I am currently training to become an EMT-B in a summer program that culminates August 11th.
What does the 'B' in EMT-B designate? I am thinking about doing some EMT training this fall, and have seen reference to this but don't know what it means. Thanks....
 

SitraAchra

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the B means Basic.

the heirarchy of pre-hospital medics, as far as i know, is this:

first responder
EMT-Basic
EMT-Intermediate
Paramedic

Often people abbreviate EMT-Basic and EMT-Intermediate as EMT-B and EMT-I respectively.
 

naimist

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newguy357 said:
What does the 'B' in EMT-B designate? I am thinking about doing some EMT training this fall, and have seen reference to this but don't know what it means. Thanks....
It stands for EMT-Basic. There are three levels of EMT.

EMT-Basic - usually the minimum certification required to ride on an ambulance. Trained to assess patient's condition and provide basic treatment (basic airway management, CPR, AED, splinting, bleeding control, limited medicationss such as glucose and oxygen, as well as assisting patients with some of their own medications like nitro and albuterol) Usually about 120-160 hours of training.

EMT-Intermediate - intermediate level of care. Provides more advanced patient assessment, more advanced airway techniques, and limited medications and IVs.

EMT-Paramedic - highest level of prehospital care provider. In addition to all the above skills, they can also provide advanced airway procedures like intubation, numerous medications, IVs, advanced trauma and medical care. Usually around 1000 hours of training.

Of course protocols, training, and guidelines may differ depending on region but that's a basic summary.

And to get back to the original post, I agree with what everyone else said. Only get your cert if you plan to do something with it. Also do a search because posts about this topic have been popping up all over the place.
 

FutureOrthoDoc

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I was an EMT-IV-D for 5 years. That sort of clinical experience can give a sort of "stretcher-side manner" if you will. It is good experience to see what happens before the patient ever rolls through the E.R doors. The ability to see both sides of the coin may make you a more subjective doc. :thumbup:
 

45408

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Holler. A few things to make sure - can you handle an extra four credits in your schedule? It's not a hard class compared to most pre-reqs, but it is eight hours of classroom time a week, plus at least an hour or two of study time. If you are able to attend all your classes (in my state, if you miss a single class, you have to make it up or you won't pass - making up more than one or two classes is almost impossible).

Will you be able to actually get a job?? It took me quite a while to actually land a job, but I took the class my sophomore year, so I'll have almost a year of experience before I even interview, and almost two years before (hopeful) matriculation.

If you do get a job, will it be with a company that does Grandma Shuttles? Taking people from the hospital to the nursing home is BORING. Fortunately, my employer doesn't do much of that - maybe once (twice at most) in a 24-hour shift. I run a lot of 911 calls, but those aren't what you see on TV. There are plenty of legitimate calls (broken bones, lots of car accidents, seizures, diabetic emergencies, assault/battery), and those are intense and fun, but you can bet the farm that you'll get calls for a paper cut.

Can you fit work into your schedule? I like 24-hour shifts, and I had Fridays off last semester, so I worked almost every week on Friday.

Last of all - it's a blast. I love it. If I never even get into med school, I won't regret being an EMT for a minute. The pay is pretty low, but the job is fun. I have hilarious stories and serious stories. Lights and siren? Yeah, it's awesome. I work in the inner city (absolute ghetto :D) and we run red lights like it's going out of style.
 

carn311

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If you want clinical experience there is no better way.

How else can you be the sole treatment provider for a patient who is at risk of dying with just a ~6month course under your belt? I mean how cool is that???
 

donnyfire

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I was a paramedic/firefighter for six years prior to med school, and an EMT-B for two years before that (yes, I'm semi-old). However, I have no doubt that the experience has helped me with med school.
First, I truly believe it helped me to get in.
Second, I know that it has helped me to have a greater understanding of what we are learning, and to appreciate the "why" behind learning the material.
Third, I think that having patient care experience will come in handy when they finally let me onto the wards.
Finally, and most importantly, being a paramedic helped me to know without a doubt that being a physician is what I want to do in life.
 
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Bledyn

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Thanks to everyone who applied to my first ever SDN post - this is quite the resource! I think I will take the EMT class offered at a local community college here in the fall. Now I just have to decide whether it is better to take my post-bacc at UIC or through a specialized program like Loyola...
 

gujuDoc

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Bledyn said:
Thanks to everyone who applied to my first ever SDN post - this is quite the resource! I think I will take the EMT class offered at a local community college here in the fall. Now I just have to decide whether it is better to take my post-bacc at UIC or through a specialized program like Loyola...

Postbac questions might be better answered in the postbac forum. They have a lot of info about different programs and benefits of the programs. But it depends on a lot of different things such as whether you are a career changer of someone who is doing postbac for GPA boost. Also, it depends on whether you've had the prereqs or not, and things of that nature. But there are formal post bacs and informal ones. There are also SMP programs like at Loyola and Gtown. So depends on what you are looking for from postbac.
 
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Bledyn

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gujuDoc said:
Postbac questions might be better answered in the postbac forum. They have a lot of info about different programs and benefits of the programs. But it depends on a lot of different things such as whether you are a career changer of someone who is doing postbac for GPA boost. Also, it depends on whether you've had the prereqs or not, and things of that nature. But there are formal post bacs and informal ones. There are also SMP programs like at Loyola and Gtown. So depends on what you are looking for from postbac.
I am a "career changer" and I also haven't taken any pre-req's. Right now I think the Harvard Extended School sounds great but the website provides no cost information. In addition, can you start at HES in the Spring? Does that throw you off when it comes time to take the MCAT? And do they really accept "anybody"? I will try and find the "Harvard" thread and post this there - thanks gujuDoc.
 

gujuDoc

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Bledyn said:
I am a "career changer" and I also haven't taken any pre-req's. Right now I think the Harvard Extended School sounds great but the website provides no cost information. In addition, can you start at HES in the Spring? Does that throw you off when it comes time to take the MCAT? And do they really accept "anybody"? I will try and find the "Harvard" thread and post this there - thanks gujuDoc.

Oh ok. Like I said, the postbac forum will have tons of people who know about the different programs and the differences between them. So you might some of those questions answered there. I don't think it really matters whether you do a formal or informal postbac, But the advantages of doing a formal one is that some are directly linked with med schools and give you guarantee of getting in a particular med school if you maintain a certain GPA/etc.