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Field internship for medic w/full courseload

Discussion in 'Pre-Hospital [ EMS ]' started by emttim, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA
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    So I have a quick question for those who have already gone through a paramedic program. As far as field internships go, how lenient are the preceptors with the student's schedule? I'm going to still have to go to Davis full-time for the particular quarter that I would be doing the internship, because if I take the quarter off, then due to the classes only offered during the Fall then I would be held back an additional year from graduating.

    I'd probably be able to do 1-2 shifts per week during school then full-time during winter break but what are the chances of the preceptor or my medic school caring? The medic school's policy states that the student must be available 24/7 but I have a hard time believing they enforce that since it's completely unrealistic due to the fact most medic students work part or full-time as an EMT on a schedule that may not be changeable.
     
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  3. COMedic2Doc

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    For my program it was completely understood that once your field internship started, your work needed to be ready to flex around the schedule of field internships. Our internship was based on the Modified Kelly Schedule (24 hour shifts), and it was our responsibility to be ready to do the internship. Otherwise, we were looking at having to pay again for the internship portion of the class and not graduate with our current class. So, it's much like clerkships in Medical School, they expect that you're ready to do the field internship as defined by the program. If you can do 24s, then do 24s it will be much easier on your schedule versus trying to cram in 10 or 12 hr shifts, at least here it is.
     
  4. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA
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    Hmm, yeah sounds like 24s are my best bet. As my girlfriend pointed out, I skip a good portion of the lectures anyway so I guess as long as I'm present for the labs, mandatory discussions and exams, I suppose it's not a big issue. The professors at UCD are so horribly atrocious that you're basically teaching yourself the material anyway, hence why going to lecture is not necessary for most classes (unless you get lucky with a good prof which doesn't seem to happen too often).
     
  5. 146233

    146233 Phthirius pubis

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    Agreed; for my program, we were assigned a shift day and were expected to be there. Everything else was secondary to completing our field time.
     
  6. COMedic2Doc

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    24s are definitely a great way to do your field internship, if it's available for your Paramedic program. However, on that note be prepared to not take any classes (if you can avoid it) as 24s introduces a whole new way of life. Depending on the system that you're in, you will be chronically fatigued (probably worse than you are now, unless you've already had 24 hr shift experience), thinking through a call is very hard to do at 0200 when you've been running your butt off since 0700 the morning before, and your girlfriend will probably notice you to be different than you are now. I noticed some issues in my own relationship, but after a short amount of time my girlfriend at the time noticed when to bring stuff up, and when not to, as well as when to let me sleep after shift (but also really enjoyed having me home on those days off). The nice thing about 24s is that you only have to work 10-12 days a month and have the rest of the time to yourself, but in a busy system days between shifts can see you in bed til 1 or 2 in the afternoon because you're that fatigued from the day before. Here's some general rules for 24s (kinda similar to the rules for surgery or disasters) in a busy 9-1-1 system:
    1. Eat when you can
    2. Sleep when you can
    3. Whatever you do, don't f#%! with the Pancreas!
     
  7. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA
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    I actually do have prior experience working with 24s, both on a slow system and on a busy system but both experiences were with transport companies so I didn't have the benefit of the adrenaline kick when I got a call which probably screwed me further. I was actually planning to take the quarter off if I do have to do 24s, otherwise if I can find a preceptor who does night 12s, I may just take 12 units at 3 classes. Considering I can just make up lost coursework the following summer, however, I'm leaning towards just taking the quarter off regardless....that way if my preceptor gets any OT I can do extra shifts to get my internship done faster.

    I've seen this several times though...eat and sleep when I can makes sense for obvious reasons, been there done that, but I don't get the pancreas thing? What's the meaning behind it?
     
  8. COMedic2Doc

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    Sounds like you have a good, solid plan for doing your internship. Personally, I found 24s to be the best and quickest way to get through the field internship. We had one person that did the 12 hour shifts in our class, and he was working twice to three times as much as the rest of us to get the required amount of hours in. Also, I found the 9-1-1 system to be somewhat different because if it got busy, there was definitely not as much down time as with interfacility transports, and the nice thing about 9-1-1 is you tended to be able to do a little bit more than most (not all) transports. Good luck, and let me know if there's anything I can do to help you out (Cherry's Paramedic Registry prep was definitely one of my favs for prepping for the NREMT-P Exam)

    The pancreas thing is a joke from a friend of mine, who was a Surgical PA and was passed on to him by a Surgeon that he used to work with. :D
     
  9. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA
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    Thanks! If I think of anything, I'll definitely let you know. :) thanks for the tip about the exam prep book...I've had really good luck with Learning Express but I'll get Cherry's too; can't hurt to have two exam prep books.

    I know the pancreas joke is an inside joke in medicine but I just don't understand the meaning of it. I'm assuming since it's "don't **** with the pancreas" that it has some correlation to med students and/or doctors not having enough time to eat since the pancreas is necessary for that to release digestive enzymes into the stomach, synthesize glycogen for storage, break it down for energy, etc.?
     
  10. pseudoknot

    Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I think the pancreas is kind of fragile in a mechanical sense, and a lot of things can go wrong if it is traumatized during a case. Hence the traditional warning for surgeons.
     
  11. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA
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    Ahh ok, thanks for clearing that up! That makes perfect sense now since I've seen surgeons on Discovery Health tossing organs around like they were pieces of a salad and I'm aware that there's actually such a thing as traumatic diabetes, which is probably just one of many problems that can happen. Hell after finding that out, I'm going to try my best to never let a patient kick me in the stomach...screw getting diabetes from that.
     

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