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first responder course..good idea?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by mspaic, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. mspaic

    mspaic Senior Member
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    hey i'm in second year of undergrad

    i'm trying to find activities that give me an edge over other med school applicants

    there's this course running at my univeristy in january

    -----------------------------------------------------

    Red Cross First Responder Course

    Time Commitment: ~40 Hours (100% attendance required)

    Prerequisite: Standard First Aid highly recommended

    Course Materials: Red Cross First Responder: Second Edition (Included in course fee), Red Cross First Responder Certification Card (valid for 3 years).

    Description: The Red Cross Emergency First Responder (EFR) course focuses on advanced first aid assessment techniques and skills. This course is geared toward individuals who have an interest in first aid and pre-hospital care or those who will be responsible for providing first response in the workplace. The EFR course provides training in the following areas:

    -Emergency scene management
    -Human body systems
    -Preventing disease transmission
    -Patient assessment techniques
    -Respiratory and cardiac emergencies
    -Advanced breathing devices (such as bag-valve-masks and oxygen therapy)
    -Treatment for bleeding and shock
    -Musculoskeletal injuries
    -Treatment of Head and Spinal injuries
    -Treatment of medical emergencies (such as diabetes and strokes)
    -Treatment for poisonings and heat/cold emergencies
    -Treatment of special populations (such as paediatric and elderly casualties)
    -Emergency childbirth
    -Crisis intervention
    -Reaching and moving casualties
    -Multiple casualty incidents

    -----------------------------------------------
    it's pretty expensive, about $275 canadian.. so about $16.18 american ;)

    also, when u complete it, u have the certification for 3 years and u can apply for this emergency respondance team on campus next year

    so is this a good edge for med school or not??
     
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  3. Lindyhopper

    Lindyhopper Senior Member
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    I'm surprised by the 40 hrs. I'm an EMT & my course was about a 120 hours.
    The course is probably only worthwhile if you use the training. Emergency work at this level, is fairly common among pre-meds so it is unlikely to be a big edge. But it is still good clinical experience. It will also make you a more interesting interviewee.
    If you enjoy the work & it fits your life you may consider eventually becoming a paramedic. There the training & experience gets super relevant for med school.
     
  4. Captain Fantastic

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    I don't think you'll find it gives you much of an edge in and of itself. Other applicants will have different patient/clinical experiences: phlebotomist, nurse tech, medics, etc.

    Still, I think you should do it. It's good knowledge to have: dealing with medical and traumatic emergencies pre-hospital.
     
  5. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Don't bother. If you're interested in an EMS position, be an EMT-Basic, not just a first responder.
     
  6. indo

    indo Feed me a stray cat
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    Did anyone catch the article regarding doubling the number of chest compressions during CPR?
     
  7. If you want to do it, do it. If you want to put something on our app/resume/CV, then don't do it. Do something else. Something you really want to do. The key to getting into med school is not to do certain things just because you think adcoms want to see them but rather to do what you like/want and to do it very, very, very well.
     
  8. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    yeah, a nursing student friend of mine told me that
     
  9. SanDiegoSOD

    SanDiegoSOD Milk was a bad choice
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    Don't bother with this first-responder stuff, it sounds like a waste of time (that is, if you're only doing it for an EC).
     
  10. letmein!please?

    letmein!please? Senior Member
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    Yeah, they were talking about it on NPR. It sounded like they found out that untrained people were helping patients better than those using the old methods. I thought that was kinda funny. It makes sense too, think about all the pushing you would have to do on someone's chest just to come close to what a working heart can do. :idea:
     
  11. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee.
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    As a current paramedic, I started many years ago at teh bottom of the barrel - I took a first aid course, then first responder, then EMTB, then finally paramedic. In my opinion, the first responder course was little more than advanced first aid. It would show an interest in medicine, it would get you familiar with (but certainly nowhere near proficient) taking histories, touching patients, doing basic secondaries, taking vital signs. It's also a very (very) easy course. If you're interested, take it. It certainly can't hurt.
     
  12. polargirl

    polargirl Member
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    While I do think that this course is a lot less intense than an EMT class, if you think you'll actually be able to use what you learn here, rather than just put it on a resume, then go for it. I am an Outing Club leader and all leaders are required to take the Wilderness First Responder, which actually allows to do some pretty cool things in the backcountry, such as clearing as spine and reducing some dislocations.

    Although I've never encountered any emergencies while camping, I'm really glad that I have the WFR because if something were to happen, I would feel somewhat more prepared.

    So, what I'm trying to say, is take the First Responder if you have a desire to do it (and not do EMT-B), but don't take it just because you want to put it on an application, because I don't think it will make you stand out.
     
  13. carn311

    carn311 Dead tired.
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    Find a volunteer squad and do EMT-B. Not only will the state fund your education but you will get some relevant experience. There was a 1st responder in my Basic class...a BVM (this is what you use for artificial ventilation) was totally new to him.

    BUT do not do this just to get certified. Make sure you actually get involved in EMS and USE your cert... Resume padding is making all of us that are dedicated and experienced EMTs look like the average applicant.
     
  14. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Don't do anything just because it will look good on your application. Don't do any training that you don't intend to use at least an hour or two per week (average). So if first responders are assigned (or volunteer) to be on the scene at school events in case of an emergency, then take the course if you plan to be one of those "on the scene" people on a regular basis over the next 2.5 yrs. If not, it is just padding. Does hanging around sports venues and musical events or whatever when you could be studying, working in a lab, doing other paid or volunteer work sound like something that you really want to do? If so, go for that training. If not, look for something else that makes your heart sing. In the end, it is not about learning medical techniques as a pre-med (you'll learn that stuff as a med student) but doing useful and informative things that will come across in your essays & interviews as genuine, not as a series of tasks performed for the purpose of making an application look good.
     
  15. 786

    786 Member
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    I took this course in 2003 and enjoyed it immensely. However, I too thought that it would benefit me when applying to medical school this term. During my interviews, no one has asked me about it, not even once. That is to say, I do not know exactly if it helped me out or didn't matter at all. FYI, so far out of 5 interviews, I have been accepted to 3 schools and still waiting on the other 2. But the knowledge you gain is definitely beneficial and I would take it again if given the opportunity. Check to see if in your county, you are able to volunteer as a First Responder aiding the Paramedics and EMTs on their EMS calls. I was able to ride along with them for a day, and man, that was GREAT!.
     
  16. beanbean

    beanbean 1K Member
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    As an EMT and former EMS Instructor, I would recommend taking an EMT-B class rather than the First Responder class if there is one available. Although you can ride on an ambulance as a first responder, it is often more of an observer position and you are not responsible for patients. One of the main benefits of being an EMT as a premed is the leadership experience if you ride with a paid or volunteer service. You will not get this as a FR. I also agree with the above posters who advocate taking EMS classes only if you plan to use the training. Just listing the course on your application means nothing; it is the experience that counts.
     
  17. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee.
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    whether the state pays for your EMTB or not depends on the state. Colorado does NOT pay for EMTB classes (or EMTP classes). Also, check your state and county laws to see if you can work on the ambulance. Many places in Colorado have rules that a FR can only drive the ambulance and not actually care for patients. Of course, as an EMTB you'll be mainly driving, too, unless it's a "basic" call. The really cool calls go to the medics because they can actually do some care for the "good" calls.

    I also agree with other posters - if you take the EMTB class, make sure you use it. The class means nothing without the experience. Rather like learning chemistry and never setting foot in a chem lab -- won't do you any good if you're applying for a lab job. Medical school is a patient contact job in a sense, and patient contact experience is a good thing.
     
  18. indo

    indo Feed me a stray cat
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    I think you'd have to squeeze the heart from all sides to even come close to the natural capacity. It is good to know, though. It'll probably save some lives or some brain damage.
     
  19. futuremd22283

    futuremd22283 Titleist
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    I would definitely recommend that you take an EMS course. I agree with most of the people that replied that you should take an EMT-B course however. I'm a reapplicant, and I was advised to improve on my clinical experience. I mentioned the EMT-B course to the dean, and he thought that was one of the best way to get some practical skills as well as get some patient contact. I absolutely loved the course and finished numero uno in the class. I learned a lot about patient contact as well as many basic skills. I am also working as an ER tech now at a local hospital. Obviously, this was all the med schools were looking for me to do, because when they received all my new stuff (including the EMT-B course), they let me in without even another interview. The first responder course is alright, but you definitely don't learn enough to prepare you for most cases. Good luck.
     
  20. nimotsu

    nimotsu 荷物
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    If you're going to take the plunge, EMT-B is the optimal value for your time and money spent. I think it gives you a good idea of how you can react in a physical situation. For instance, can you take vitals and interact with a patient, etc. Riding on an ambulance for just a day can be really exciting and change your viewpoint, especially depending on what you see.
     

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