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I just worked my last shift ever as a paramedic...

Discussion in 'Pre-Hospital [ EMS ]' started by oudoc08, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. oudoc08

    oudoc08 Please pass the gas...
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    and I'm a little bummed. I work for a service that requires PALS certification in addition to the regular EMT-P (state and national), ACLS and CPR.

    My PALS cert. expired 3/31/04 and I get a 30day grace period, but the next recert class that my service would pay for isn't until July. Since I'm moving next month to start med school in the fall, I've just decided to call it quits and retire my paramedic license x 7 yrs. I'm excited about med school, but I really liked being a paramedic, as it was very autonomous, offered the chance to "play doctor", and essentially gave me the experience I needed to make the decision to become a physician. So much so, that my personal statement and essays revolved highly around it.

    Anyway, just thought I'd see if anyone else was giving up the field prior to school.

    P.S. Please don't tell me I should keep up my license through school. I don't want to spend the precious few hours out of school sitting in an ambulance, I would much rather spend it with my wife and kids. Besides, the refresher class, and CE's are too much of a pain IMO to keep up with, considering I wouldn't be working. In addition, after graduation from medical school, it would seem that there is a conflict of interest in holding both licenses. (I.E. - If I wanted to go work a street shift after graduation, I would be an MD, NREMT-P). So would I be working as a doctor or a paramedic? Technically, since you are a doctor all the time, and a paramedic only part of the time, you would have to function in the capacity of a physcian and not under protocol/medical direction of medical control. However, since your job description would be "paramedic", and you would need a paramedic license to perform the job, you would be held and expected to perform at the standard of care of that licensure. Thus, some calls such as a traumatic death w/ pregnancy would call for a crash c-section, a skill not in the scope of practice of paramedics, however the physcian would be negligent for not performing one, as a medical license is never non-applicable.
    The headaches wouldn't be worth it.

    Anway, just venting. About to go down and resign in about an hour, so I just thought I'd bitch and moan here.
    Later
     
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  3. FoughtFyr

    FoughtFyr SDN Lifetime Donor
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    O.k, I won't tell you to, but I did. You might have a few misconceptions (but rules vary place to place). First off, if you wanted to "ride a street car again" after medical school, it would be as a field surgeon. There are protocols for that, and many fire departments employ physicians who spent part of their time in that role. Second, check with your state EMS office. Mine (IL) was willing to waive all CE in light of medical school attendance. They felt, as did I, that the knowledged gained in medical school surpassed the requirements needed for EMT-P licensure.

    So why did I keep it? Two reasons, first, I worked through the first two years of medical school. Dumb move and I've got the step I score to prove the stupidity (although it was nice to go somewhere i felt competant on the weekends, you'll find that is a rare feeling early in med school). Second, I want to be involved in EMS education and the cert. hold credibility. I would feel funny listing "former EMT-P" in my credentials, but I have no problem with MD, EMT-P

    Just my thoughts (for what they are worth),

    - H
     
  4. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc
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    I kept my emt-p through pa school( and worked 20 hrs/week). my state at the time (pennsylvania) started lifetime emt-p certs while I was there so I am technically still an emt-p although I haven't worked the street in years (although I now function as medical control for medics at one of my jobs and keep acls/atls/pals current). my name tag still reads pa-c, ms, emt-p
    I also occassionally teach at a local paramedic program.
     
  5. oudoc08

    oudoc08 Please pass the gas...
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    I'll check with my state licenses. Does anyone know if the national registry might take med school for CE?

    My only other bitch is about the refresher. In past years, I have usually attended a full day class once per week for 6 weeks. It is almost always on a weekday. I don't see how this would be possible with 5 week test blocks in MS1/MS2, or how it would be possible to complete at all in 3rd and 4th year. Any suggestions?
     
  6. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    I also kept my NREMT-P and state certifications through med school. I'm starting residency this summer and my cert is up for renewal. I will be renewing of course. I plan to keep my certification throughout my career.
     
  7. FoughtFyr

    FoughtFyr SDN Lifetime Donor
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    that I can't answer. My state does not require a refresher...or at least they haven't of me (things might have changed since I've been "active").

    - H
     
  8. EMT036

    EMT036 MS-III/AEMT/Rescue Diver
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    Came to pretty much the same conclusion as you. As I go to med school away from my home area, it was impossible to keep up with the CME's required to stay "on-line" as an ALS provider... so I went off-line and now just ride as an EMT-Basic with my volly. (Though I am on a perpetual ALS internship... as long as there is another ALS provider there I can do skills...) When I graduate med school I still plan to do street shifts occasionally... this EMS bug bit me hard!
     
  9. niko327

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    The national registry will accept med school as cme, a couple of guys in my pa program did this and were able to recertify. You have just got to document it though, call them, I believe you need some kind of form that lists hours, etc. Does your state offer a challenge refresher format, that's what I did to recertify. Good luck.
     
  10. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    When I wrote NREMT, they told me a big fat "NO" on using medical school classes toward recert requirements.

    You can try. Maybe they changed their mind.
     
  11. 12R34Y

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    I miss working in the streets also.. I worked for the first year of medical school as a medic, but the agency i worked for had too many quizzes, off-duty inservices, mandatory this and that......i didn't want to make time for it anymore.

    It was hard quitting and I miss it. However, now that i'm nearing step 1 i'm glad i don't have the added stress of trying to work my hours every month.

    Having said that...........i renewed my state certification for another 2 years. Couldn't give it up. I probably never will.

    later
     
  12. Apollyon

    Apollyon Screw the GST
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    I kept my EMT-P current also, and worked on the bus for some extra $$ during school. I'm up for recert next year.
     
  13. priapismatic

    priapismatic Senior Member
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    I too let it slide. Not being as type-A as the others, family obligation and the demands of medical school are my sole priorities.

    If I need the fix, I can accompany the flight medics when there's space.

    Good luck
     
  14. Krazed_Medic

    Krazed_Medic Registered Banned User
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    I actually look forward to the day that I can finally let mine go. It's not so much that I hate the job, just tired of the BS that makes up an EMS agency. Many many places, there are just way to many of those in so called higher positions that have way to much time on their hands. Also tired of working in storms, snow, heat, blah blah blah. Although, I must say, if I ever had to get a "real job" I don't know what would happen. Scary, that's for sure! :eek:
     
  15. Notzfall

    Notzfall NREMT-P, MS-IV
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    Being a paramedic is what got me into medicine. Being a paramedic will cause me to change the profession once I get my MD. I dont want to loose it. NR is nuts if they won't accept it. All you have to do is be employed as an ALS provider (for any amount of hours) and meet the ACLS/BCLS recert as well as the 48hour section and the 24hour section refreshers. I'm sure getting checked off on the skills section won't be a problem either.

    Keep the faith and fight the good fight. FYI - Dr. Salamone (Chief of General Surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, GA proudly lists NREMT-Paramedic on his credentials. He also wrote the last version of the PHTLS text.)
     
  16. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    Jeff only wrote part of the PHTLS text. He didn't write it all. Norman McSwain is the editor.

    Good luck in medical school.
     
  17. 12R34Y

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    Norm McSwain used to be the medical director of my ALS service years ago!

    he's a stud
     
  18. oudoc08

    oudoc08 Please pass the gas...
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    Actually, you don't even have to be employed anywhere if you can get recerted under "inactive" status (NR)
     
  19. paramed2premed

    paramed2premed Senior Member
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    I decided it was time to let go. Partly because of the effort required to maintain a cert., and alos to signify the change in my focus and life. I have to get used to a different perspective, and this is a symbolic way of reminding myself.

    That being said, I will always refer to myself as a paramedic (not a former paramedic). Just because I finished college over 12 years ago doesn't mean the B.A. expires!

    I will not, however, write my name as Dr. Paramed2premed, BA, NREMT-P, M.D.. I'll leave that alphabet soup to others!
     
  20. FoughtFyr

    FoughtFyr SDN Lifetime Donor
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    I agree with you, except when I'm giving a talk to medics, then I will write FoughtFyr, MD, MPH, EMT-P. It is a matter, IMHO, of letting an audience know that you have walked in their shoes. Come on, how many docs have you heard espouse theories that "sound" good on paper but can not be placed into practical service?

    - H
     
  21. Febrifuge

    Febrifuge Grizzled Old Newcomer
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    Hmmm... that actually raises another 'Alphabet Soup' question for me.

    I don't know if you did it on purpose, but it seems like it would be handy to use 'NREMT-P' to designate oneself as a presently-registered medic, and 'EMT-P' to show that at some point in one's history, one held that level and did that job. I agree with what you imply, about how the knowledge doesn't reabsorb into the brain with time, and the education is discrete from the job class.

    Thoughts, anyone?
     
  22. oudoc08

    oudoc08 Please pass the gas...
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    If you let your license lapse, can you, say in ten years, legally use the EMT-P designation? Some states do not recognize the national registry, so in those states, the actively practicing paramedics are termed EMT-P. Some conflict there?
     
  23. Febrifuge

    Febrifuge Grizzled Old Newcomer
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    Dang. Another perfectly good idea ruined by hard cold reality.
     
  24. FoughtFyr

    FoughtFyr SDN Lifetime Donor
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    Well, I can never say that I am an NREMT-P 'cuz I'm not, nor have I ever been. Illinois is not a "registry state" (yes, I know some programs such as LUMC teach and certify NR but my class did not. Never saw a need to take it.) So, there goes that idea...

    - H
     
  25. Jeff698

    Jeff698 EM/EMS nerd
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    I'm keeping mine for two reasons.

    First, I'm in medical school specifically to be an EMS medical director (and pay of my loans, of course). I always had much more respect for those EMS physicians who'd been where I was. That EMT-P after their name gave them alot of credibility as far as I was concerned. I'd see it and think "look, one of us!".

    Second, after 16 years, being a paramedic is far too much a part of who I am.

    For me, it'll always be Jeff MD, MS, EMT-P or, depending on where I am, Jeff EMT-P, MD, MS. :)

    Take care,
    Jeff
     
  26. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc
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    jeff couldn't agree more. although I haven't worked a medic shift in 8 yrs my nametag still says pa-c, ms, emt-p
    the medics all treat me better knowing I had been there/done that and many of them seek me out to ask about pa school.
    "why pa school"? they ask
    no lifting and 3x the salary for half the hours.....
     
  27. zreagle

    zreagle Member
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    I feel your pain man. I will be resigning my position as a paramedic-firefighter in July to attend medical school. I have working the ambulance since I was 18 years-old. It is the only job I have ever know, and gave me the knowledge, experience and desire to attended medical school. I will keep my Registry EMT-P while in school. I plan on using their, "non-practicing" provision. I don't think it is a good idea to loose that professional creditial until I pick up the second professional creditial, in my case DO.

    By the way it is a felony in some states to identify yourself as a paramedic when you are not currenlty licensed. It would be one thing to have a current NREMT-P card, but if you do not have any current paramedic creditials I would be careful about Identifying yourself as something you WERE, but currently are not.

    When I am a Doc I may keep the title or loose it and call myself, "retired paramedic." No matter how you look at it, there are a growing number of us former (or soon to be former) street monkeys making the rather large leep to the rank of physician. I think that says a lot for the experiences we gain as paramedics.

    just my $0.02! :
    take care all and if you are still on the truck, let's be safe out there people! :cool:
     
  28. EMRaiden

    EMRaiden Senior Member
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    I have been a NREMT-P for several years now- first took the test in 1996. Each time I have been asked to recert I have gotten a letter from my Med School Dean with a list of my classes that support my recert. I did the same as a resident.

    This last time (2004) I got really lazy... as BE EM physician I refuse to take CPR/ACLS/PALS.. so I just sent a polite letter that basically told the NREMT's that I had just completed an EM residency, listed my rotations and number of hours, then sent it in.... My most recent card arrived 5 weeks later.

    It definately gives me some added credibilty with the medics because I can "feel their pain".

    One catch is that I asked for In-Active status.. so that may be the hang up.

    Good luck, PM me with further questions.
     

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