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Emt Training

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by NatureGirl, Nov 1, 2002.

  1. NatureGirl

    NatureGirl Junior Member
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    I've noticed that some of the posters here have become EMTs or paramedics to get their experience in the medical field before applying to med school. I was wondering exactly how you went about it, and especially how long it took. Is it possible to do it over summer break? Also, how often did you work after you got it? Just weekends or what? Above all, would you recommend doing it over volunteering at a hospital or in another clinical setting?
     
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  3. PluckyDuk8

    PluckyDuk8 Pluck of all Plucks
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    Hi there,
    I'm working on my year off full time as an EMT-B for a private ambulance company. I am not sure how things are in Ohio, but I can speak a bit for Illinois. I actually got my training abroad and got my certification transferred. However, I know that here they have intensive programs in the summer (about 3 months) rather than having to take 6 months over the year. Local community colleges have the classes as do some hospitals. Illinois also has you spend time in the er and ride along time in the ambulances before you are certified. In general in the city the only way is to work through private companies if you are only an EMT-B, but maybe if you're in a rural area it will be enough for you to work public. Since I am only an EMT-B most of the calls we get are prescheduled and the "real" calls go to the paramedics. As for doing this over volunteering in a hospital, it probably depends on what kind of job you could get in the hospital and what you prefer. I also volunteered in a hospital abroad (I did EKG's, transported, was a gopher, did whatever they needed me to do kind of thing), and both have their merits. One thing that's good about the ambulances is that you are in more control and it is nice to be out and about, in the hospital I had people telling me what to do/what needed to be done. Either way, you are going to be doing mostly the same thing, communicating with your people/your patients (since as an EMT-B you can't really do much medically). Also, beware that ambulance work is also a lot more physical in nature (I'm pretty small) and soon in the cold weather it is going to become pretty nasty! If you have any other questions please feel free to pm me, I could keep going on this a lot more!
     
  4. NatureGirl

    NatureGirl Junior Member
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    Hey,
    Thanks a lot PluckyDuk8! That's really neat. I appreciate it. I'll probably think of more questions later. :)
     
  5. Green912

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    EMT training in Ohio is about 4 months (depends on the program) and classes are usually held two nights a week. Most people with an EMT-B certification work for: vol. fire depts, ED's, and private ambulanch companies. The training is not hard and can be thought of as indepth first aid training.

    It takes about 10 months to become a paramedic (must be an EMT-B first). Classes are 2-3 times a week, mostly nights, for 4 hours per session. Much more indepth training including cardiac drugs, EKG strips, advanced airway techniques, etc. It's much easier to find a job as a paramedic vs. basic.

    I'm currently a paramedic, and EMT/paramedic instructor in Ohio. If EMS training is something you had in mind already then you certainly can get some valuable experience. However if getting clinical experience is what you're after you may be better off spending the 4 months shadowing a Dr. or volunteering instead.
     
  6. NatureGirl

    NatureGirl Junior Member
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    Thanks,
    I guess I want a little bit of both, so I'll have to think about that one for a while.:)
     
  7. saga112

    saga112 Junior Member
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    Over at UCLA they have a program where you can do it in 3 weeks. (M-F 8-5)

    Might be worth it if you want to spend your winter break in Cali.
     
  8. Green912

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    Cali during the winter, nice. If you went to an out of state program with intentions to return you'd have to consider certification reciprocity. If it's a National Registary certification it would be easier, but you may still have to take an equilavency exam.
     
  9. manna

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    The only EMT program I could discover in my state seems to take 12 months, and that's just the "basic" one! But there could be some others out there that I didn't have any luck finding yet.
     
  10. NE_Cornhusker1

    NE_Cornhusker1 12" Member
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    The DOT cirriculum is 110 hours of classroom training but your state can pile more hours on top of that. For example, in Nebraska our EMT-B program is 160 hours along with ten hours of work in the ER.

    I would agree to some extent that it is glorified first aid training but the nature of pre-hospital care limits what you can do (you can't perform surgery in a ditch with a drving rain pounding down on you).

    On the flip side Nebraska's 160 hr. program teaches cool stuff like endotracheal intubuation.

    If you want an awesome introduction to medicine the EMT-B is the way to go rather than changing bed sheets in the ER or shadowing a doctor if and only if the patient doesn't mind you doing so. Peace.
     
  11. rjhtamu

    rjhtamu Stargazer Royale
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    I got my EMT-B here in Texas over a summer vacation, so yeah you can do it during a break. Since then, I've used it on my campus's volunteer first responder service, for pay with our Student Recreation department, and as a volunteer nurse at a local free health clinic. So it definitely opens some opportunities for you if you get it. I also used it as my primary medical clinical experience, and I just recently got accepted to Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. Hope this helps.
     
  12. Saf1

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    I'm also in Texas, and I'm wondering, where should I look to get the training? Should I check local community colleges or are there other institutions that offer it?
     
  13. GoldShadow

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  14. MedicFL

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    Please don't go into EMS just to "Pad" you app to medical school!!!!! Admin com, will see through it and many people in the field will not respect you. Spend your time on your grades and MCAT scores, it will serve you much better. You take up a spot in an EMS class that someone who actually wants to work in the field could have had and then you get trained my an agency only to leave in a year or so, please do everyone in EMS a favor and go to school and don't use it as a app booster.
     
  15. momtwo

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    Being an EMT did help my daughters get into both PA and Medical Schools - adcoms told them so. However they did their training early on (in highschool) and worked tons of hours. All during four years of college they did at least a 12 hour shift every week - at least - and much much more over the summers and breaks. One daughter worked a paid squad about 10 hours a week in addition to the mandatory 12 hours a week volunteer and any shifts she could pick up - all through college. They kept their certifications up for all those years and joined EMT squads on campus as well as the community volunteer work. Admissions people in Med school and PA school loved the fact that they stuck with what they started from the ages of about 15/16. I think that was the key to it being a big plus on the professional school applications- it really did catch the adcoms eyes. It also has helped my daughter who is currently an M1 - to secure summer research involving emergency medicine between M1 and M2 year. Her license is still active. The EMT training is more than the initial training. I don't know exactly but I just remember the girls always going for other courses and also to keep up their licenses. It's not just a one-time thing. There are also meetings when you are on a squad and events that the EMTs in the community sign up to work at. It's time consuming but worthwhile if that's a passion of yours.
     
  16. nu2004

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    if you can get your EMT-B and parlay that into an ER job, you'll be better off. EMT-Bs in the ambulance don't get to provide or observe a lot of real medical care; it's a lot of transport work.

    in the ER, you'll be working alongside medical students, interns, residents, attendings... the whole spectrum of where you want to be. nurses can be a great resource too. some of the work you'll be doing is menial, but depending on where you are you'll get to see an extraordinary number of procedures and conditions. it's a much more valuable 8 or 12 hours than seeing 6 patients for about 15 minutes each (while you drive them from point A to point B) in 13 hours on an ambulance.

    "app boosting" is only one reason a lot of pre-meds seek EMS work. another reason is that it is a great form of exposure and introduction to providing REAL MEDICAL CARE, as opposed to volunteering which many times entails running specimens to the lab. please do everyone at SDN a favor and quit being such a negative nancy.
     
  17. MedicFL

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    I don't mean to come off negative. I too did my paramedic training in highschool and it is something I started at age 16, I do think if you do something meaningful with your training then it will def help you get into school. I also agree that EMT is a good way to get some good medical experience. If would seem on this board though that many people just end up going to EMT/Medic school just because they think it will look good..
     
  18. cpants

    cpants Member
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    I can speak to the fact that the adcom's will grill you on your experience in the interview. One of my interviewers specifically told me that he sees a lot of applicants who just do it for the resume and have little to no actual experience. I had worked on and off for 3.5 yrs and had some stories to share with him, but if I would have felt pretty stupid if I had just gotten my cert to "pad".

    You can get a ton of experience as an EMT-B if you live in the right area. In my small town we are all-volunteer, and we are desperate for anyone with a cert and a pulse to answer calls. A lot of colleges have some pretty active squads too. If you don't mind not getting paid, there is plenty of opportunity to go on some tough calls.
     
  19. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    You probably won't get a response. S/he hasn't posted here in three years.
     
  20. nu2004

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    you're right. i should not have pounced on you. i would just hate to see a well-meaning person swayed away from doing something in which they are genuinely interested.

    but yeah, there are a surprising number of cut-throat "i'll-do-anything-to-get-to-the-top" students around these parts.

    oh damn, this is an old thread
     
  21. gplex86

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    My program at Huron Valley was 248 hours (4 months), including four 12-hour ALS Ambulance clinicals, and four 8-hour clinicals at a level-two trauma center.

    Great training, with all the best toys, at one of the largest providers in the country.

    And I got to do specialist/intermediate training, too. That adds IV's, intubation, and EKG's.
     
  22. pseudoMCAT45

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    geez whys everyone startin to do emt now? couple of years ago werent that many premed kids doin it but now.... just abt everyone :rolleyes:
     
  23. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Oh, the humanity.
     
  24. TopperHarley

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    wow...strong 6 year bump :eek:
     
  25. Saf1

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    lol, I didn't realize the topic was so old. What is EMT-B? Is it like a certification? Honestly, if I could work in a hospital setting I'd be much happier. I just want real world hospital exposure, and I figured EMT would be the closest I could get as an undergrad with no experience in, well, anything.

    :(
     
  26. nu2004

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    EMT-B is the first level of certification in many states. the B stands for Basic.

    when you have this level you can work on a BLS ambulance (basic life support). several have mentioned it around here, but BLS is not great work. it is mostly transport.

    however, once you have your EMT-B license you might be able to impress an ER manager into giving you a job as a tech. on the other hand, you might just need your CPR cert ($50 class through an organization like American Heart Association).

    call around to your local ERs (during business hours), ask to speak with the manager - if you get hassled, say that you're interested in working as a tech. leave a message if you have to, otherwise just be polite and explain your interest in working.

    gl :luck:
     
  27. Saf1

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    What does a tech do? Why at an ER?
     
  28. nu2004

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    it can vary depending on how major/well-funded the hospital is. if i were you i would try to be at a Level I Trauma Center (able to take anything and everything).

    at any ER, as a tech you will be doing some menial work like putting clean sheets on beds and stocking shelves. at rich/small ERs, it's likely that this is ALL you'll be doing (in addition to observing, of course). i worked at a private hospital system that i get the impression was not rolling in dough - the ER wasn't chronically understaffed by any means, but when things got really busy all hands had to be on deck providing medical care.

    i learned all manners of venipuncture and got quite good at it, in addition to running blood and urine samples (for urinalysis, blood sugar, cardiac markers, etc) doing EKGs, orthostatics, assisting ortho PAs, cleaning and bandaging, cutting clothes off trauma patients, doing chest compressions, even taking blood pressure by auscultation when it was too low for the machines to get. not saying this is typical - but possible if you show some interest and pluck. the more hectic and underfunded the ER, the more likely you'll get some great hands-on experience.

    if the docs are cool you can also get some early experience reading x-ray and CT results (impossible at first. what?! that spot is a bleed?), as well as observing the management of every chronic and acute condition imaginable. you'll also see them deal with drug seekers and other people abusing the system (one of my favorite examples is a couple - adults - who came in and got VERY impatient with us because we took too long to serve them. chief complaint? they both had toothaches.) you also get to see all the way up the ladder from 3rd and 4th year med students to interns to residents to attendings. and the nurses (regardless of your sex) will flirt with you endlessly. the ER's just a great place to be.
     

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