Curious about ppl's EMT experience

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by E'01, Sep 23, 2001.

  1. E'01

    E'01 1K Member

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    For all your EMTs out there - I was just curious as to how you are finding it. I have been riding for a couple of months now and I find it to be an extremely rewarding experience, yet I can't help but feel helpless and frustrated at times, for not being able to provide as much help as I'd like. Any thoughts/comments would be welcomed :)
     
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  3. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc

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    I worked as a paramedic through school and loved the experience. if you are currently a basic emt and want a better scope of practice and more knowledge/skills, you might want to consider an emt iv/defib. or intermediate class. they are only about 500 hrs and you learn many of the fun skills usually done by paramedics. good luck
    emed p.a., emt-p :D
     
  4. If you want more patient experience and you are only a basic, you might want to consider working in a hospital emergency room. Many hospitals see EMT-B training equivalent to training of certified nursing assistants and you can get an NA job (or ER Tech some call it). In the area that I work, the 911 system heavily realies on the fire department (who only employs paramedics, not basics) and it's hard to get rewarding experience working for a private ambulance company as a basic because you mainly do transports from nursing homes. In my opinion, working in a hospital provides a much more beneficial experience with patient care because you are able to help and observe doctors and nurses in action. Also, you are able to interact with patients for a much longer period than it takes to transport them from point A to B.
     
  5. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc

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    Nikki is correct, you will see more pathology in a hospital setting, but working in the field allows you to make your own decisions about patients' conditions and initiate treatments before confering with someone else. I have done both and each proved a great educational experience.
    hope that helps
    emed p.a., emt-p
     
  6. The Fly

    The Fly Senior Member

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    I too began as an EMT-B and then eventually became a paramedic during my undergraduate years, and worked for two ambulance services (one paid, one volunteer). Indeed, basic emt's can't really do any of the things that basic emt's get excited about at the beginning of their classes.

    Although some medic courses are short, mine had over 500 hrs of lecture and then a significant amount of field internship. For example, I had to complete 25 intubations in the hospital and then work 480 hours aboard a Los Angeles City Fire Paramedic Ambulance, which was 20 24-hour shifts. All in all, it was about 1480 hours and, therefore, pretty substantial. Fortunately, my college had a short spring semester, and I took the course one summer when I elected to skip this term (summer ran mid april to Sept.), and I took my course 6 days a week for that entire time.

    Being a medic is a lot more responsibility and also a lot more rewarding precisely because your interventions make more of a difference.

    For me, what was frustrating was running my college's EMS service...I put a lot of hours in to end up cleaning up vomit from drunk freshman---for me, that was most frustrating!

    Good luck!
     
  7. mdtrauma

    mdtrauma Junior Member

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    I've been an EMT-B since 1998, and I worked on a unit full time for 2 years post-bac. P-school or Masters degree were my two choices, and I chose to get my Masters in Science in Public Health. I had an excellent paramedic partner that taught me loads of stuff...and I just completed my refresher course. I got a clinical job at a wound care and hyperbarics unit, which also allowed me to see the physiology behind lots of conditions. The doc I worked for was AWESOME and he taught me how to read chest xrays, determine osteo in our older patients...so, your EMT-B, albeit minimal in the field, opens many doors for you in the long run.
     
  8. 12R34Y

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    I agree completely with most all of the above posters. I've been working as a paramedic for 4 years and it is an amazing experience. 12-leads, intubation, IV, IO's, MCI's, extrication, pacing, defib, the list goes on...........Very rewarding also.

    However, if you don't have much time and need clincial experience in a shorter period, I would recommend the ER tech. This does allow you to see more pathology in a shorter time. It's like the shotgun approach to learning about medicine.

    later
     
  9. Southern Gentleman

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    For anyone that has experience in being an ER tech, what time commitments were you faced with? Did they allow you to work just weekends or were you required to work during the week as well?
     
  10. E'01

    E'01 1K Member

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    Wow! I really appreciate everyone's comments...thanks so much everyone. Becoming a paramedic seems like the most logical next step to take, but unfortunately I wouldn't be able to commit myself to a FT program $20K program (I believe that's what it roughly costs at two schools near where I live) when I have just begun a FT research position in addition to some other things that I do. For now, I plan to go on more calls.

    Nikki and 12R34Y - I'm assuming the med tech position requires certification?
     
  11. The Fly

    The Fly Senior Member

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    That seems abdurdly expensive for a medic class. Mine was FT and only costs around $3,500 (out of state was $4,500).

    For those interested in learning more about an excellent medic program, follow this link:

    null

    This is a program in Los Angeles that I would highly recommend and that I went through myself. Feel free to email me with any questions!
     
  12. The Fly

    The Fly Senior Member

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  13. For those of you asking about the ER Tech (certifications and hours) it depends what hospital you work for. I know some hospitals require their techs to be EMT-Ps (i think those are few in number though and they have more responsibility and are allowed to do more). My hospital only requires a person to pass a test through the Human Resourses/Employment office to be considered. Much of the rest is taught in orientation and on the job. If you have taken an EMT-B class, or CNA class you will pass the test. I do have coworkers that have had no clinical experience, but simply taught themselves to take blood pressures, pulse, respirations (because that's what you mainly have to do for the test, plus add, subtract and have common sense). So, basically, it depends on the hospital and you should call the employment offices and ask what the requirements are for ER Techs/ER Nursing Assistants.

    As far as time committment goes, personally I can work as much as I want or as little as I want. You'll find many students in these positions, so they are very flexible. Shifts can range from 8-12 hours, though some are shorter. Many students are just fill ins when the regular 40 hour or 20 hour employees don't fill up the needs. I work about 20 hours a week, but there are other students that work with me every other week, once a week, whatever they can. Another bonus is that some hospitals (mine included) offer tuition reimbursements (not all reimbursed of course, but a substantial amount of money). Hope this helps
     
  14. 12R34Y

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    The ER tech/Nursing ASsistant positions in the ER vary from hospital to hospital. I have never had any formal training to do these tech jobs. However, I am a paramedic which makes it easier.

    I have worked in ER's on weekends only, PRN, full-time. It just varies.

    My duties in the ER I'm currently at are vitals, patient transport, phlebotomy, suture removals, assisting doctors/nurses with procedures, foley catheter insertion, etc......obviously, great experience.

    Just contact the hospitals and ask about hours and committments. with the nursing shortage the way it is they usually love the help.

    later
     
  15. Southern Gentleman

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    Thank you so much for the help! I really appreciate it!!!
     

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