EMT-B

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ComplexPuzzle, Jan 11, 2002.

  1. ComplexPuzzle

    ComplexPuzzle shakin dat a**

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    All right. This is my first time so here goes. I just decided that medicine is the thing that I want to do. So I took an EMT-Basic certification class this fall. Thought it would help me get some practical experience. I am trying to figure out how I can use this to do something useful. I live in DC and it is really not possible for me to do volunteer ambulance work in the district. I thought about trying to work in an emergency dept, but alot of them want prior experience. What should I do? Or does anyone have any other suggestions on how I can gain some experience. <img src="confused.gif" border="0">
     
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  3. The Fly

    The Fly Senior Member

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    Their are a plethora of problems being an EMT-B...I know because I was one for two years (then an EMT-Intermediate and now NREMT-P). The first is that you really aren't trained to do that much as an EMT-B despite the fact that most are extremely excited about driving with lights-and-siren and pushing drugs--this does not happen anywhere near any metropolitan areas. I went to college in Maine and had the fortune of working with a service where there was a medic and emt on each truck and so I did emergency runs.


    The moral is that basic emt's aren't trained in anything beyond very basic life support measures. EMTs, by and large, are used for patient transport. This is where you take patients from nursing home -&gt; hospital, vice-versa, or nursing home to nursing home. Its extremely tedious, poorly paying and the burnout rate is really high. But there's such an influx of basic EMTs that the demand for such jobs is high. Then, one of two things happens...1) they leave the field or 2) they get their paramedic. At this point, you are trained for so much more.

    BUT...you still usually can't do 911 in major cities because usually this is the property of the fire departments that NEED ems runs in order to justify their personnel levels--85% of current day fire dept. responses are NOT to anything fire related---they're EMS runs, responses to car accidents, and the like. Some cities, like NYC have private ambulance companies take some of the 911 load because of the extremely high call volume. And some cities (e.g. Boston, Newark) keep their EMS systems completely separate from the FD. New York and DC are largely FD run--the problem then is integrating medics and firefighters...LA, SF and some other major cities have rectified this problem by having all emts/paramedics become firefighters as well, thus eliminating the gap. However, in DC and NYC, this has not been done and as such, the two groups, although they work together do not always get along very well.

    I hope this helps--feel free to ask any other questions you have about EMS.

    Ultimately, its really hard to do anything exciting with an EMT basic license--with good reason--its only about 200 hours training--you shouldn't be pushing drugs, defibrillating and the like... ;)

    If you want to work in the ED then you'll probably have to do something not involving patient care or maybe you'll get 'lucky' and be allowed to do triage, but its really hard to do that as an EMT basic. You might best be served by travelling outside of DC to some small suburb with a volunteer ambulance service and starting there...
     
  4. Coalboy

    Coalboy Senior Member

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    I volunteer in Baltimore County, about an hour north of DC. I know there are volunteer ambulance opportunities in Anne Arundel County, Howard County, and several of the other Maryland counties surrounding DC. Contact MIEMSS ( <a href="http://miemss.umaryland.edu/" target="_blank">http://miemss.umaryland.edu/</a> ) to find a station near you. You might end up having to drive a bit, but there should be plenty of volunteer opportunities in the DC area, if not DC proper.
     
  5. Ultimate_freak

    Ultimate_freak Junior Member

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    ComplexPuzzle,

    I too took an EMT-B certification course this fall and live in DC. I have yet to go out and volunteer my services, however, I know that it is possible to do "ride-alongs" with DC Fire or one of the University EMS groups.

    Also, you might try asking Georgetown Hospital about either volunteering or working there as a tech. I know one of their techs and his only training is an EMT-B certification .. though i'm not sure if he went out and rode with an ambulence service before he got the job. You could also ask about volunteering at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. I think they are pretty friendly about accepting volunteers and if they
    find out you are an EMT-B and at least have some basic knowledge, maybe they will let you do more.

    I hope this helps! By the way, where did you take your certification course??
     
  6. Ultimate_freak

    Ultimate_freak Junior Member

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    Oh yeah, here is some contact information:

    To schedule a ride-along with DC Fire/Rescue:
    Public Information Office (202)673-3331

    Georgetown University EMS: <a href="http://germs.georgetown.edu/" target="_blank">http://germs.georgetown.edu/</a>
     
  7. irongirl

    irongirl Member

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    The university I attend has a basic EMS service ran by a student organization. Through that service, I worked as an EMT-B for a couple of years. I also volunteered my services for athletic events, such as working in the medical tent at marathons and adventure races. My EMT work was the best premed experience I had. It was a true test of whether I have what it takes to be a good physician, it gave me a lot of confidence that I am entering the right career for me. Part of the reason my experience was so great was because I worked for a basic service, so I was the one in charge of the scene. You might look for a similar opportunity.
     
  8. IlliniEMT1

    IlliniEMT1 Member

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    I have found that there are alot more opportunities for EMT-B's in rural areas. I know of areas around where I go to school where there are several volunteer and paid volunteer services that use Basics teamed with P's or I's and run 911 calls- calls are more rare, but they can be pretty "good". It is probably tougher to find such oppotunities on the east coast that in IL, but I would suggest looking.
     
  9. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member

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    I'm getting ready to start an EMT b program. But I live in a rural area...what types of opportunities will there be for me?
     
  10. Coalboy

    Coalboy Senior Member

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    It all depends on where you live.
     
  11. skelly99

    skelly99 Member

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    Check out <a href="http://www.bccrs.org." target="_blank">www.bccrs.org.</a> Its a link to the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad. It also has links to volunteer stations in Montgomery Co., MD.
     
  12. ComplexPuzzle

    ComplexPuzzle shakin dat a**

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  13. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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