Anastasis

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I have heard many people talking about getting EMT certified to get clinical experience. What are people's experiences with that?
 

tony1853

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I am doing that myself. The class ends in June, and I will take the NYS licensing exam, and hopefully start touring.

I am torn between PA school and med school - but every PA program I have looked at requires clinical experience - from as little as 50 hours to as much as 2000 hours.

It was the quickest route - 4.5 month course for $750.

Anastasis said:
I have heard many people talking about getting EMT certified to get clinical experience. What are people's experiences with that?
 

Febrifuge

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I love being an EMT, and without the clinical experiences I've had, I would not be nearly as sure that chucking it all to study medicine was right for me. This, I think, is by far the most important aspect.
 

Febrifuge

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I should add that I've never worked on a truck (even though some of my local companies do 911 calls with a Paramedic/EMT combo). I'm a tech in a busy urban ED, and that is what I would consider the best bang for your pre-med buck. Especially if you're a non-trad, and can't quit your day job just yet.
 
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Anastasis

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Thanks for the help everyone -

I have been looking into programs in the area where I will be living in the fall (South Texas) but all the programs I seem to find are 2 year intensive courses and I was under the impression that you could get certified in a one semester course. I'm not being lazy I just don't know if I want to go through a two year degree when I'm thinking of starting med school in 2-3 years.

Thanks
 

Febrifuge

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A two year degree sounds like Paramedic to me. At least, here in Minnesota, the EMT-Basic course is a semester (or two) whereas Paramedic is one to two years.
 
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Anastasis

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I finally found a program in the area I will be living that offers an EMT-B course that lasts 15 weeks.

I was reading around on other threads and heard mention of an ED Tech - or something like that. At the risk of revealing my ignorance - what is that? and what's the difference between that and being an EMT?
 

Jambi

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Anastasis said:
...mention of an ED Tech - or something like that. At the risk of revealing my ignorance - what is that? and what's the difference between that and being an EMT?
An ED-Tech/ER-Tech is generaly an EMT that works in the ED/ER. The difference? an ER-Tech works in the hospital and can have a slightly different scope (depending on state, county, ect...). An EMT in traditionaly Pre-Hospital (ambulance, ect...). Both offer great experience. If your looking for clinical experience go for the ER-Tech, that experience will be more relevent to medicine. If have more questions as the the specifics of the job I'd suggest a search of the forum or tossing Febrifuge some questions.
 

sanford_w/o_son

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i work on an ambulance and volunteer in an e.d.

e.d. tech experience does have serious advantages. generally, it offers better pay, you get to know doctors for recommendations, you learn more about medicine watching doctors work on and discuss patients than you probably would in the field by yourself, and in many cases you get to do procedures you shouldn't as a basic (namely, needle sticks and ekgs).

the advantages to working on an ambulance does seriously depend on where you live. in the best case scenario, you're linked into the emergency dispatch (most likely in small towns or suburbs). in that case, you will have serious autonomy in applying your medical knowledge and performing the limited procedures you're allowed to do (in the e.d. the most you can hope for is scut work (which is probably useful to be good at for med school) as you're surrounded by people with more medical training), you will have a great learning experience intruding into people's homes from all walks of life and comforting or yelling at them near the beginning of an emergency, and if you go into emergency medicine you will gain an appreciation of the physical and logistic hardships experienced by the people who bring you patients.

if it's doing emergency calls, i'd go for an ambulance job. it's a unique life experience whose tasks are not to be repeated in med school. e.d. jobs are usually harder to get. in many places that i know, you gotta have some kind of personal connection.
 

Febrifuge

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I concur with the above. Work on a truck if you want to experience the wider spectrum of emergencies, out in the field. Work in an ED if you want to see from the inside how a department functions.

Advantages (for me) of being in the ED include the experience with blood draws and EKGs, plus many other little things that might or might not come up if I were working on the truck (which would be alongside a Paramedic, in my location). I've held traction during conscious sedation/ fracture reductions; I've held any number of little kids still for IV sticks; I've assisted with casting and splinting; I've dressed wounds. And yes, there are advantages to knowing and working with, say, the EMS director for our county, the director of med student training, the directors of research projects...

One disadvantages of being in the ED is that I'm never the first person to lay eyes on a patient, and I don't do much real assessment. (I've worked at Triage and been the one to decide that a patient needed to be a critical case, but then there were two RNs there who would have done it 0.003 seconds later if I hadn't.) Another is that honestly, the way the job function is structured where I work, you don't need to be an EMT to do it well. There are plenty of us, and some Paramedics too, but your regular ol' Certified Nursing Assistant can do perfectly good work.

Which might mean, depending on conditions where you'll be, that a shorter nursing assistant course could be enough to get you that ED tech job. I wouldn't trade my EMT for anything; I like having scratched the surface of medicine. But it's an option...
 
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Anastasis

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Thanks to everyone for the help - it's been great to clarify some jargon so that I don't look like an idiot talking to people face-to-face. Plus it's nice to know what my options are.

Thanks again! :luck: