Are you EMT? Do you use it?

  • Yes I am - I work on an ambulance

    Votes: 44 34.9%
  • Yes I am - I work in an ED

    Votes: 7 5.6%
  • Yes I am - I use it for somethin other than ED/ambulance (specify below)

    Votes: 9 7.1%
  • Yes I am - But I don't use it

    Votes: 21 16.7%
  • No I am not

    Votes: 45 35.7%

  • Total voters
    126

DavisStudent

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I was curious as to how many people have their EMT license, and how many actually use it. I know at my school, there is an EMT course, so a good amount of premeds here get trained. However, I haven't noticed many who use it. Wondering how it is on SDN.
 

joanofarc0907

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Yes I am- I work in the ED, but I don't use it. It has nothing to do with my job in the ED
 

AloLove

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Although I don't use my EMT certification to work as an EMT or in a related field, I am so glad that I took the course. I'd recommend it to any pre-med who's interested in learning how to apply what they've learned in academic classes to help people...I feel like it's the closest thing to being a physician we can do at this point in our lives. You learn to become comfortable with touching patients and learn how to speak with them (even if you're just doing practice scenarios). I'd recommend the class to anyone--it's simply just good info to know in case you even come across a situation where these skills could truly help out someone in distress.
 
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DoctorPardi

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I didn't vote because I will be completing my emt-b course in a few days. Now that I am finishing it, I really have no idea what I am going to do with it. I guess I might try to volunteer in an ER, but I am not sure what I'll be able to do.

If not that, I might volunteer for an ambulance service, either way I will not be getting a job as an emt. Hopefully I can use it as a good way to rack up a few hundred hours of volunteer work, wherever I end up using it at.
 

Vincir

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Yes, I do. I work full-time but I volunteer 48 hrs per month with the local volunteer rescue squad as it helps give me that sense of direct patient involvement that I don't get sitting behind my desk job :D
 

DropkickMurphy

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EMT-Intermediate here. I run with a local volunteer fire department and was previously a full time EMT-I (prior to 2001).
 

DropkickMurphy

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Oh, and I will be completing my paramedic course once I move to Virginia.
 

leviathan

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DavisStudent said:
I was curious as to how many people have their EMT license, and how many actually use it. I know at my school, there is an EMT course, so a good amount of premeds here get trained. However, I haven't noticed many who use it. Wondering how it is on SDN.
We have different EMS training here, but I guess I'd be on par with an EMT-B. I will be getting my Primary Care Paramedic license (after a one year course) next Summer, which I think would put me somewhere between an EMT-I and an EMT-P. I currently use my training in a volunteer organization. Eventually, I will continue on to get my Advanced Care Paramedic training (on par with EMT-P), and then Critical Care Paramedic license (about an extra 2 years beyond EMT-P training).
 

45408

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Had it. Let it lapse on June 30th since I start med school in six days, but I worked on an ambulance for 18 months.
 

shook33

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Had it up to last april; and worked for a ski resort ski patrol for 3 seasons!
 

aliendancer84

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It doesn't do any good to have your EMT license and not use it. Med schools don't care if you have it if you haven't had any experience with it.
(I work on an ambulance)
 

swim2md

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Have it and used it for 7 years before moving out of state--- haven't had time to take the conversion exam so that I can use it in my new state..... but I think the 6000+ hours of patient contact experience I've racked up should be enough for now. :laugh:
 

credfield

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I've had mine for 3 years and worked full time on an ambulance for all of them. It gives me a lot fo patient contact that I would not be able to get any where else.
 
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greytmedic

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EMT-Paramedic. Started out as EMT-B on private ambulance for a few years, got my medic and worked part-time for fire dept for 5 years. Recently moved now work part-time for ambulance service and volunteer for fire dept.
 

breck

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EMT-Paramedic. Started out as EMT-B on private ambulance for a few years, got my medic and worked part-time for fire dept for 5 years. Recently moved now work part-time for ambulance service and volunteer for fire dept.
I would love to hear why those of you who work on an ambulance chose to work on an ambulance and not in an ER and vice versa. I'm about to finish my EMT-B course and am considering getting a job on an ambulance or in an ER and am trying to get some feedback. I did a day in the ER and a day on an ambulance for my EMT course. I really liked the ER and felt that it would provide me with more of a chance to physically participate in patient care. Additionally, I like to see how the problems that people have are treated. The decision seemed like a no brainer to me until I asked one of the EMT's on my ambulance ride why he chose to be on an ambulance instead of in an ER. He said he didn't want to be some nurse's peon, and spend 8-12 hours a day on his feet, cleaning up urine and vomit. He also said he didn't like having doctors and nurses constantly looking over his shoulder. He thought the ambulance offered him some independence and he liked the idea of not having to deal with patients for any longer than the time it takes to transport them. I don't know how true this is but it was valid logic. Perhaps my ER experience was unrealistic b/c I was only there for a day and the nurses wanted me to do some of the more fun things. In that case I may like being on the ambulance more, but nursing homes are depressing and I feel like transporting patients day after day could be get real boring real fast, and the pay sucks too. So to make a long story short I would like to hear what others feel are positive and negative aspects of an ER tech job or working on an ambulance.
 
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DavisStudent

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breck said:
I would love to hear why those of you who work on an ambulance chose to work on an ambulance and not in an ER and vice versa. I'm about to finish my EMT-B course and am considering getting a job on an ambulance or in an ER and am trying to get some feedback. I did a day in the ER and a day on an ambulance for my EMT course. I really liked the ER and felt that it would provide me with more of a chance to physically participate in patient care. Additionally, I like to see how the problems that people have are treated. The decision seemed like a no brainer to me until I asked one of the EMT's on my ambulance ride why he chose to be on an ambulance instead of in an ER. He said he didn't want to be some nurse's peon, and spend 8-12 hours a day on his feet, cleaning up urine and vomit. He also said he didn't like having doctors and nurses constantly looking over his shoulder. He thought the ambulance offered him some independence and he liked the idea of not having to deal with patients for any longer than the time it takes to transport them. I don't know how true this is but it was valid logic. Perhaps my ER experience was unrealistic b/c I was only there for a day and the nurses wanted me to do some of the more fun things. In that case I may like being on the ambulance more, but nursing homes are depressing and I feel like transporting patients day after day could be get real boring real fast, and the pay sucks too. So to make a long story short I would like to hear what others feel are positive and negative aspects of an ER tech job or working on an ambulance.

I work as an ED tech. I received my EMT cert. in December of last year, and chose to work in a hospital because I was hired quickly. I would have gladly worked on an ambulance too, and would like to at some point. However, benefits to working in a hospital (atleast the one I work at): Lots of close physician interaction, great learning experience, very minimal butt wiping (i.e., almost never), I am now telemetry certified so that is cool, and good pay (18/hr in an ED compared to 8-10/hr on an ambulance in this area). As a premed, I'm not sure you can beat the physician interaction. It is much like shadowing in that I have learned a lot about the medical field by asking the EM docs questions and they have explained a lot. And finally, it reaffirms my desire to go into medicine because I always enjoy going to work.

Now I can't give great answers about working on an ambulance because I have never done so personally. BUT, what makes me a little worried is the fact that a lot of places hire "EMT-drivers" which makes me a bit skeptical in regards to the patient contact aspect. But I'm sure someone with ambulance experience can chime in and give us a real view on the role of EMT-Basics on an ambulance.
 

sentrosi

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I'm an EMT-B. I have around 2000 hours logged with the volunteer all-student ambulance service at my undergrad. I also worked a summer at a private service full time (50 hours a week).

If you have a cert...it's best to do something with it. If nothing else, you gain clinical experience. Otherwise, I think it looks kind of bad that you go certified but never used it.
 

DropkickMurphy

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I would love to hear why those of you who work on an ambulance chose to work on an ambulance and not in an ER and vice versa.
I'd rather make $25 an hour + shift differential as an RT in the ED or ICU than $12 an hour as an ER tech (not to mention that you need your EMT-P to do that here for the most part). Not to mention that I get to do more as an EMT-I in the field than the EMT-P ER techs can do and I get to actually make decisions, not just do what I am told.
 

Vvandenn

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I'm 18 and just graduated high school in May but I already have my EMT-B certification (took it through a new pilot EMT high school course). Now I'm working 50+ hours a week at a prestigious (read: wealthy) retirement community as an EMT/Security Officer. I start college soon so hopefully I can put it to good use then. I'll be returning to the retirement home each summer though since it pays very well for a teenager. :)
 

45408

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breck said:
I would love to hear why those of you who work on an ambulance chose to work on an ambulance and not in an ER and vice versa.
I tried. Nobody would hire me as an ER tech, although I had three job offers at ambulance companies, and I probably could've gotten a fourth. The EDs all wanted people who already HAD experience or were paramedics. I could've gotten a job after I'd been working for a while, but there weren't any openings at the hospital I wanted for the shift I wanted.

You do have a lot more independence as an EMT on the streets. You're the final word on a lot of decisions, especially if you're a paramedic and/or in a remote rural area. I had a lot more down time to relax and watch TV, but I still ran plenty of calls in a 24.
 

sentrosi

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DavisStudent said:
Now I can't give great answers about working on an ambulance because I have never done so personally. BUT, what makes me a little worried is the fact that a lot of places hire "EMT-drivers" which makes me a bit skeptical in regards to the patient contact aspect. But I'm sure someone with ambulance experience can chime in and give us a real view on the role of EMT-Basics on an ambulance.
The whole EMT-driver thing. If you get hired exclusively as a driver (to say...drive for paramedics), you're only going to get experience when on scene really.

However, I know that a lot of places run P-B trucks. That is Paramedic-Basic. All their trucks are like this, who is in the back and who drives is determined by how bad the patient is. So if it's something the basic can handle, then the medic drives. If it's something that needs a medic, the basic drives. This is good if you're a basic, because you'll get to see stuff that medics get called for. I've heard medics say they are unhappy about it...since they have to go to BS basic calls...that they wouldn't have had to if it ALS and BLS were split. Anyway, that may possibly be what they mean by EMT-driver.
 
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DavisStudent

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DropkickMurphy said:
I'd rather make $25 an hour + shift differential as an RT in the ED or ICU than $12 an hour as an ER tech (not to mention that you need your EMT-P to do that here for the most part). Not to mention that I get to do more as an EMT-I in the field than the EMT-P ER techs can do and I get to actually make decisions, not just do what I am told.
Hey Dropkick,

What's the training necessary for an RT, and how long? Seems like it would be a pretty cool job. Also, I agree in that if I was an EMT-P, I would not work in an ED. I would go ambulance because you basically are running the show until the hospital.
 
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Pose

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I'm at the low end for the ED tech, then. I make $0.50 less than your "low end" $12. Although, I do have full (and excellent) health, dental, life, and disability insurance for a low price.

Anyway, that's more than the ambulance companies were paying near-by (Boston), and given I'm only a Basic, I've picked up several "skills" in the ED. I'm open to take any class open to nurses and physicians free-of-charge, as well. Including a semester's worth of 12-lead interpretation. And that definitely makes the 09324823840293 EKGs I do a day seem much more interesting.

I've made some buddies, too. It has definitely kept my interest in medicine -- and EM specifically -- very strong.
 

DropkickMurphy

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RT is an associate's program at a minimum. There are bachelors programs out there with Salisbury in MD, Ohio State, Kansas, and University of Misery (oops, Missouri) all being excellent bachelor's programs.
 

greytmedic

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I chose to work on an ambulance basically because I never wanted to wipe an a$$. I don't care if I worked someplace for years and only had to wipe someone's code-brown once, that is one time too many, but that is just me.

Working as an EMT-B on an ambulance you will get to see and do a lot. Depending on what type of service and rig you work on will determine exactly how much you will see (and get paid).

Private ambulance company-Ambulance service that is owned by a private business. Depending on location they can have contracts with cities to provide ambulance for the city's emergency calls. Usually ride with one paramedic and one EMT-B, because they do not want to pay extra money for two paramedics. Will also provide interfacility transports (hospital to nursing home, hospital to hospital, etc.). Interfacility transports are usually boring, but you can develop basic skills in a no pressure environment. EMT-B's will ride in the back on basic transports so you get to talk with pt's and perform vital signs and write reports. Emergency response-depending on the seriousness of the calls, EMT-B's will usually drive, but if the emergency call only requires Basic care, the EMT-B will stay in back with the pt en route to the hospital, communicate with hospital, and write report. So, an EMT-B will get to see a lot and perform a fair number of skills. Also, if the call is bad enough that extra man-power is required(ie, full arrest, major trauma, etc.) the EMT-B will get to stay in the back with the paramedic and do stuff while someone else drives. Pay usually sucks though. When I started as an EMT-B working 24/48 for a private ambulance I made a whopping $6.50/hr, it is not as horrible as it sounds because there is always overtime for a 24/48, but it still sucks.

Municipality-Ambulance service provided by some type of government body. City, township, county government controlled and funded off of tax payer money. Depending on location may be part of fire department or separate entity. May be volunteer, part-time, or full-time. Usually only respond to emergency calls, but some municipalities will provide interfacility transport if rural enough that there is no other service available. If it is volunteer you will respond with whoever shows up to the call, so you may get to perform basic skills on your own. If higher level providers are employed you may get to perform basic skills and assist EMT-I or EMT-P with their level of care. Usually have more than two people respond to an incident, so you may not have to drive. Usually pay is better, but part-time or full-time departments are harder to get jobs with. Volunteers usually take anyone who volunteers and you technically don't get paid.

Working on an ambulance is not all glory and flashing red lights. You may get limited sleep and never see your home base for an entire shift, but you may spend an entire shift stuck in an lazy-boy in front of the tv. You WILL get puked on, bled on, and many other bodily fluids will make an appearance. It takes a strong motivation to learn the ropes of EMS and get good at it. If you do it just for filling a slot on the AMCAS you partners and co-workers will recognize it and make your life miserable. If you enjoy it and spend time getting good at EMS you partners and co-workers will still make your life miserable, but it will be all in fun, and you can do it back to them. Sorry if this has been long, but just want to give people a good idea of what they may be getting into.
 

Delicate Genius

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You can always do both (work on an ambulance and in the ER). However, there are pros and cons to each.

ER- You get more patient care working in an ER, but (at least in NYC) most hospitals want you to have phlebotomy and ekg which are unfortunately not part of the emt-b class. Someone also mentioned that docs and nurses are sometimes looking over your shoulder too often (which kind of sucks), but it at least gives you the opportunity to ask questions and learn.

Ambulance- Transporting, transporting, and more transporting makes working for a private ambulance company stink. My advice would be to voly for a volunteer ambulance squad. Many of the volunteers there are usually our age (18-24) and the camaraderie that you gain is one you can not get in the ER. However, it is a lot of waiting around, especially if you’re not in a busy (bad) area.

P.S. I'm currently in a course now and I will hopefully be doing both when I graduate.
 

BigRedPremed

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For those of you who have worked as an EMT, how easy was it for you to find a job (even a volunteer one) as an EMT-B initially with no previous experience?
 

Delicate Genius

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BigRedPremed said:
For those of you who have worked as an EMT, how easy was it for you to find a job (even a volunteer one) as an EMT-B initially with no previous experience?
If you can find a volunteer ambulance corps near you, then you are practically guarenteed a position as long as you go through training (learning their protocols, how to fill out their PCRs, etc...). As far as working for privates, I'm not sure. Their are tons of emt's out their and the job market can be saturated depending on where you live, so it may come down to who you know.
 

credfield

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I work on an ambulance that runs system status, which means 12 hrs shifts with no base. You just sit in the truck the whole time. I never wanted to work in the er down here because all you do is push beds around the whole time. With what I do know I can for the most part get some studying done and we have a lot of pt contact.
 

*sunny*

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yes- volunteer as an EMT

i'm at the squad right now... serving the community one drunk at a time
 

Pose

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I would like to work a few shifts as an EMT, although I'm damn near clueless on the EMT-stuff at this point. The closest thing I do to EMT stuff is hold c-spine, roll people off of boards, and take vital signs.

Overall, though, I wouldn't dare give up my position in the ED. I work directly with the physicians and nurses, and while I never sit down, only 30 minutes - an hour of my day is spent on quality controls, cleaning, or "pushing beds."

And when I'm sick...I don't wait for a room -- I just "have" one.
 

breck

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greytmedic said:
I chose to work on an ambulance basically because I never wanted to wipe an a$$. I don't care if I worked someplace for years and only had to wipe someone's code-brown once, that is one time too many, but that is just me.
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
I'm not a big fan of ass wiping myself. My major problem isn't with the people who have legitimate medical problems. Instead, it's dealing with all the nasty drunk homeless people that use the ER like a revolving door and piss all over the place. It's hard to get excited about stripping homeless drunks, cleaning up their piss, and inserting catheters. I don't really like cleaning beer mixed with stomach acid either. To make matters worse, the piss, the code browns, and the puke usually smell like a pleasant fragrance compared to the homeless and their clothes. However, there do seem to be some good opportunities where the work is actually fun in the ER. Inserting IV's, taking blood, and witnessing a variety of different cases and then seeing treatment take place.

greytmedic said:
Working as an EMT-B on an ambulance you will get to see and do a lot. Depending on what type of service and rig you work on will determine exactly how much you will see (and get paid).
Unfortunately, I am from Chicago and it doesn't seem like I will get to see a lot as an EMT-B. It's transport, transport, and more transport. I've been told that there are very few opportunities to get on an ambulance with an EMT-P b/c most ambulances have 2 EMT-P's or 2 EMT-B's. Apparently the few places that have one of each only hire EMT-B's with a lot of experience or the ones who are presently enrolled in a paramedic course. I'm not sure how or why transporting people to dialysis or chemotherapy appointments make one more qualified to work with a paramedic but that's the way it goes. I have also heard that I can expect to be paid about $8.00-$9.50/hour. I love the 3 day weeks but at the pay rate I'll have to use my other 4 days to get another job.
 
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Doctor~Detroit

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breck said:
Unfortunately, I am from Chicago and it doesn't seem like I will get to see a lot as an EMT-B. It's transport, transport, and more transport. I've been told that there are very few opportunities to get on an ambulance with an EMT-P b/c most ambulances have 2 EMT-P's or 2 EMT-B's. Apparently the few places that have one of each only hire EMT-B's with a lot of experience or the ones who are presently enrolled in a paramedic course. I'm not sure how or why transporting people to dialysis or chemotherapy appointments make one more qualified to work with a paramedic but that's the way it goes. I have also heard that I can expect to be paid about $8.00-$9.50/hour. I love the 3 day weeks but at the pay rate I'll have to use my other 4 days to get another job.
i think the biggest limiting factor to whether one-one pairing is done at an ambulance company is whether an ems system they're in allows it. as far as i know, the only ems system in the chicago area that allows it is loyola. so ask around and look for companies that operate in the loyola system. you will probably need to get some emt-b experience first (not completely useless, as stuff like knowing where the many hospitals/nursing homes all over the city are, using a stretcher, lifting pts, setting up and using a stairchair require some time to develop comfort). in my experience, working one-one is a good step up for an emt-b. while it's still a majority transfers (but including als critical care transfers--some of those are vent calls or traumas the cfd dropped off at a non-trauma-center that we take to a level 1 trauma), there's a good deal of emergency calls (mostly out of nursing homes/doctor's offices but some are folks who like the company and/or don't want to go to the closest available hospital (where cfd takes them) and call us directly rather than 911). all medics teach me what they know; all but one let me help out in the back w/ monitor, glucometer, o2, bag spiking, etc. before i drive; and many let me practice i.v.s. so while not the same as all 911, it's a step up from the normal emt-b transport grind.

if you can trek it down to the south suburbs, bud's ambulance doesn't do one-one pairing, but they have 911 contracts for a few (not-too-nice) suburbs. i've heard they don't pay the best, and i've seen them do transfers as well, but that will probably give you the most accessible, good ambulance experience in the chicago area (if you can't wait 10 years to get on cfd). some suburban fire department also hire emts (e.g., stickney and blue island).

the private emt-b pay rate in the chicago area is roughly $10 per hour, after you consider that many companies offer call bonuses.

i would search the ems forums for more on the ed vs. ambulance debate. there are some good threads on this.
 

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BigRedPremed said:
For those of you who have worked as an EMT, how easy was it for you to find a job (even a volunteer one) as an EMT-B initially with no previous experience?
soooo easy. but I live in a tiny town and they are always looking for volunteers. basically, fill out 2387432 gazillion forms (driving records, criminal records etc), fire votes on you, then you're in. But you def wanna work w/ a volunteer crew... don't expect to get a job w/ no experience as a basic if you're looking for 911. finding a private company to work for is easy as pie, but do you really wanna do transport?
 

laurenem

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sentrosi said:
The whole EMT-driver thing. If you get hired exclusively as a driver (to say...drive for paramedics), you're only going to get experience when on scene really.

However, I know that a lot of places run P-B trucks. That is Paramedic-Basic. All their trucks are like this, who is in the back and who drives is determined by how bad the patient is. So if it's something the basic can handle, then the medic drives. If it's something that needs a medic, the basic drives. This is good if you're a basic, because you'll get to see stuff that medics get called for. I've heard medics say they are unhappy about it...since they have to go to BS basic calls...that they wouldn't have had to if it ALS and BLS were split. Anyway, that may possibly be what they mean by EMT-driver.
yeah, I work w/ a medic (I'm a basic), but all crews in my town have three volunteers on a truck. usually, the same guy drives b/c he's a fireman and eventhough he's a basic, he is sooo intimidated by medical calls. so I work in the back w/ the medic even on als calls... depends on the town/state I guess also.

ps sorry for the multiple posts...
 

Doctor~Detroit

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how ems is set up varies dramatically from place to place. i agree that in terms of medical experience volunteer is the way to go over the privates. but not all places have one, the other, or both.

edit: actually, if you work for a private company with a 911 contract in a poor, well-populated area, you *might* have a better experience than with a rural volunteer company.

it's really hard to generalize about ems. the best answers to ems questions on these forums are targetted to specific locations.
 

SoupWithAFork

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Doctor~Detroit said:
it's really hard to generalize about ems. the best answers to ems questions on these forums are targetted to specific locations.
Very true; Does anyone know about good EMT-B opportunities in the NYC area?
 

shraf

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SoupWithAFork said:
Very true; Does anyone know about good EMT-B opportunities in the NYC area?
If you have no experience the only thing you can do is volunteer for Central Park Medical Unit or one of the other volunteer squads here.

As for me, I have been volunteering with Columbia Univ. EMS for almost two years now and started volunteering with Central Park this summer. Bottom line is, if you get your EMT cert and dont use it then you just wasted alot of time and arent impressing any med school nor will it give you anything to talk about during interviews or in an essay. (sorry but that's what its coming down to on this premed board, i'm not saying that is how i look at it, i love doing it and would do it even if i wasnt premed). If you are in NYC then it is hard to EMT for fun or for the experience because the 911 system is set up so well and there are tons of ambulances (FDNY, Hospital and Private)...also if you look for a job they will put you through hell and pay you nothing if you are an EMT-B.

As for working in the ER you will do very little that actually requires EMT training...being in an ER is great but if you had to chose and you have your EMT cert, then go for ambulance.....also, someone mentioned more freedom on the ambulance.....absolutely true....just think about it, if something serious actually happens to a patient while you are an EMT on the ambulance you are responsible for trying to stabalize him if something happens in the ER the doctors will push you to the side. The ER is great for observing, but if you want to actually DO something and say you used your EMT cert, then you need to get yourself in an ambulance. Also, the diff between what you learn in class and what you actually do in the field is HUGE....you cant say you now know how to interact with patients because you role played in class...thats absurd.
 

Pose

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Techs, at least here, are part of the trauma team, PCI team, and we're required to respond to every CVA.

Today we had an attempted suicide via bridge into water:

Set up trauma room with nurse --
prepare monitor, ekg machine, suction, o2, bearhugger, call respiratory;
Remove patient from board when ambulance arrives -- cut clothing, hook up to monitor, defib pads and electrodes, vital signs, suction, place EKG electrodes;
Take over chest compressions -- patient PEA;
Relieved from compressions, set up and prep patient for U/S (machine plugged in, lights dimmed, patient's chest gooed);
Take manual BP, report to nurse;
Take a breath, cuz he's dead.

It's a bit more high pace than one would assume...At least in some areas, I suppose.
 
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DavisStudent

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shraf said:
As for working in the ER you will do very little that actually requires EMT training...being in an ER is great but if you had to chose and you have your EMT cert, then go for ambulance.....also, someone mentioned more freedom on the ambulance.....absolutely true....just think about it, if something serious actually happens to a patient while you are an EMT on the ambulance you are responsible for trying to stabalize him if something happens in the ER the doctors will push you to the side. The ER is great for observing, but if you want to actually DO something and say you used your EMT cert, then you need to get yourself in an ambulance. Also, the diff between what you learn in class and what you actually do in the field is HUGE....you cant say you now know how to interact with patients because you role played in class...thats absurd.
As an ED tech, i have to disagree with the comment about the ED being great for just observation. Generally, techs play a role in all medical patients and trauma patients much greater than simply observation. Anywhere from bagging a patient, to compressions, etc, techs will be found doing it. I think the autonomy of an EMT in the field, in comparison to a tech in a hospital are often similar, not to mention often times techs are required to have additional training including phlebotomy, ekg interpretation, etc. In the field, you work under the paramedic. In the hospital, it's under the doctor. In the hospital you have other nurses. In the field you have firefighters who are also helping out, possibly doing the EMTs job because they were on scene first. In other words, I don't think you can lose either way. Workin' in an ED is sweet as I'm sure working 911 would be, though, apart from a ride-a-long, I've never done. They both would also have their downfalls, but I digress...
 

Doctor~Detroit

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shraf said:
As for working in the ER you will do very little that actually requires EMT training...being in an ER is great but if you had to chose and you have your EMT cert, then go for ambulance.....also, someone mentioned more freedom on the ambulance.....absolutely true....
i agree with the notion of more freedom on the ambulance, but the truth of your first point will vary from hospital to hospital.

there are hospitals that are happy to have emt-b techs do stuff that's beyond their scope of practice, like starting i.v.s and blood draws (not sure if this is legal, but it happens). ed nurses are often busy, and they're happy to have techs help them out with some aspects of patient care.
 
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DavisStudent

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Pose said:
Techs, at least here, are part of the trauma team, PCI team, and we're required to respond to every CVA.

Today we had an attempted suicide via bridge into water:

Set up trauma room with nurse --
prepare monitor, ekg machine, suction, o2, bearhugger, call respiratory;
Remove patient from board when ambulance arrives -- cut clothing, hook up to monitor, defib pads and electrodes, vital signs, suction, place EKG electrodes;
Take over chest compressions -- patient PEA;
Relieved from compressions, set up and prep patient for U/S (machine plugged in, lights dimmed, patient's chest gooed);
Take manual BP, report to nurse;
Take a breath, cuz he's dead.

It's a bit more high pace than one would assume...At least in some areas, I suppose.
Did you guys shock the patient? I was always under the impression you don't shock trauma patient's. Only pulseless v-tach and v-fib in medical patients... curious as to if you, or anyone else, know the rules for defibrillating, thank you!
 

Pose

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We still do, if they're in a shockable rhythm. The main problems being that they may not respond to defibrillation due to a very low body temperature, or as far as the trauma goes, they may have additional pathological (anatomical?) injury making defibrillation a futile attempt in the first place.

Maybe one of our smartasses here can elaborate.
 

DropkickMurphy

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DavisStudent said:
Did you guys shock the patient? I was always under the impression you don't shock trauma patient's. Only pulseless v-tach and v-fib in medical patients... curious as to if you, or anyone else, know the rules for defibrillating, thank you!
The idea is correct the rhythm, because if you let them stay in it, they will just further deteriorate and wind up in asystole (which in a blunt trauma arrest is what is going to happen 99.99% of the time no matter what). The trick in trauma is correcting the underlying physiological derangement (usually hypovolemia, often due to great vessel disruption, but cardiac rupture, massive pneumothoraces, or even an MI (heart attack) due to the decreased coronary perfusion preceding the arrest but after the trauma (assuming the heart attack didn't cause the trauma).

If you insist upon treating blunt trauma arrests- it's optional around here if they have no vitals on scene, we only normally work them if we feel like practicing or have a student or newbies on scene who need the experience- then you treat the rhythm too that way if you do manage to correct the underlying problem, there's something left to pump the remaining blood volume around.

Whether the full spectrum of drugs should get given to a traumatic arrest is a topic of some debate.....personally I lean towards only giving epi or vasopressin, unless I strongly suspect a medical cause for the accident (example: heart attack while driving).
 

JRJ26

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i got my EMT-B certification last semester and ride with the georgetown ems. Definitely a great experience so far. i know a few people that work both as ED techs and EMTs. the ems is completely volunteer though, so no pay, but it's still an awesome experience, especially on a college campus and surrounding area.
 

Pose

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I've been entertaining the thought of moving up to the EMT-I level. Not so sure it's worth my time, though.
 

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