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Opportunities for an EMT-B?

Discussion in 'Pre-Hospital [ EMS ]' started by Caduceus22, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. Caduceus22

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    Hello all, thanks for reading.

    I'm a current EMT-B student. The class is almost finished, with clinical hours complete and practicals/NREMT testing a few weeks away.

    I just joined but the few threads I've picked up so far seem to look down on EMTs. Mostly coming from medical students calling us Empty Minded Twits or what not. Is that the general view of EMTs by this community or is that just a generalization by those few people? I'm just curious about the environment I'm going to be asking for advice in, because I don't want to waste mine or anyone elses time you know. ;)

    But that aside, just a quick couple questions for those who want to answer.

    My long term goal is to become a Paramedic Firefighter in the area I live in, but thats a ways down the road. My immediate goal obviously is to find someplace I can utilize my training hands on as soon as possible and start building up my experience while still earning an income. Aside from an ER-Tech or ambulance company position, where else can I go that might require an EMT-B? I ask because, unfortunately, I am afraid it will not be easy to get a job in this field, what with the current market conditions. I have heard wildlife disaster control companies like to employ EMT-Bs to aid their Paramedics, but other than that I don't really know anything about it.

    So in short, what are some ways or examples in which I can use my certification to get experience while still earning a paycheck?

    If anyone has faced this same problem before or knows anything that could help me, your advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance :)
     
    #1 Caduceus22, Dec 7, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
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  3. dogpython

    dogpython New Member
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    first off, i think that most people have a great deal of respect for all the pre-hospital workers and the work they do...as an EMT, and current medical student, i have never had a problem with someone being disrespectful to me simply for what i do or did...as far as what you can do, you seem to have the basics down; the most obvious choice would be to work for an amblance company or hospital...if you want to become a FF/Paramedic why don't you just apply at your local fire department...often (at least where i am from) they will hire you as an EMT-B and put you through fire school and paramedic school as long as you meet the fitness requirements, etc...if that is what you want to do, im not sure why you wouldnt just start on that path now...other places to get employed are first aid or first responder organizations, doctor's offices, etc...
     
  4. howelljolly

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    Oh relax, I was just joking:p

    You will find all kinds of people, who think all kinds of different things about EMTs. People in the medical field, outside the medical field, and your patients. I got that Empty Minded Twit line from an ER nurse... so that just shows you. Besides, a vast majority of medical folks have no idea of what EMTs do. But you can also find the most respectful ER staff ever. Laypeople and patients might think that you are a firefighter, or an "amalance man" or a hero. When I was a medic, I was on a call, and the patients granddaughter asked me "I just dropped out of high school, and I want to be an ambulance driver like you. Do I need to go to school for that?"
    You can NOT let people that are just plain ignorant change your own view of what you do. That includes doctors, nurses, patients, and everyone else.

    So, what can youdo with your certification....
    Besides ride on ambulance doing 911 or transport, or ER Tech...
    industrial EMS, work in an amusement park first aid center, summer camp , inside a jail, find out how to become a dispatcher of some kind, sports stadium, work for an atheletic trainer, work for one of those crazy shows like Fear Factor....Thats what I can think of for now.

    Welcome to the job of your life.
     
  5. leviathan

    leviathan Drinking from the hydrant
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    EMTs are Empty Minded Twits, insofar as they have little education and don't know much. That doesn't mean they don't make a huge difference with patients. You don't need to know a lot to learn how to do the ABCs and stabilize wounds and stop bleeds, and all of those things are very important and valuable skills that EMTs have. They also drive to the hospital really fast and do a better job at saving lives than paramedics who spend too long on scene playing with their fancy medical equipment. :thumbup:
     
  6. Caduceus22

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    Thanks for the responses all

    The reason I have not jumped onto the fire department yet dogpython is simple really. Trust me that would be awesome. But while I am physically fit enough, there is no jumping onto the fire department. Where I live in the inner city, it is extremely competitive to get onto the fire service, and add to that the fact that most departments in the area have somewhat of a hiring freeze due to the economic conditions- the chances of getting on anytime soon are pretty slim, which is why Im exploring as many options as I can. Ideally I would in fact like to get into the ER as a tech in a level 1 or 2 trauma center, or a solid ambulance company, but like I said Im just making backup plans.

    Thanks for the great ideas howell; I know that a lot of places like that will hire you as a security guard with the hopes that you know some kind of medical training. If I could find a position anywhere like that where I was just an on staff EMT it would be great because I have no desire to play rent-a-cop lol. I have a very solid work history but I confess I've always been **** at the actual 'finding the right job' part, so thanks for the ideas.

    Well leviathan, I'm not exactly sure what all EMTs are required to learn in other states aside from whatever they need to pass the NREMT, but we've learned quite a bit more than monitoring vitals, ABC's and managing bleeding or fractures. Call me self-appreciated, but I think I am a lot more useful to the chain of care than people let on. But that's just my opinion.

    Thanks for the input guys, I'll keep checking up on this incase anyone else wants to add!
     
  7. dogpython

    dogpython New Member
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    seems like you have a good idea of what you want...best of luck with everything...i know you live in the inner city, but another idea, if plausible ,is often outside the city you can get on with a volunteer fire department who do on call fire and rescue work; where im from you can even get a light and siren for your personal vehicle to first respond to calls in the county; also you may be able to volunteer on a 911 county ambulance as they often have less stringent (BLS ambulances) requirements, at least here in texas; of course no money, but good experience in your spare time...just a thought...
     
  8. leviathan

    leviathan Drinking from the hydrant
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    I never said you weren't useful, in fact, I said the exact opposite.
     
  9. howelljolly

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    Here we go again...
     
  10. Caduceus22

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    Thanks again dogpython, definitely something I'll need to consider. Especially with spending as strict as it is right now I'm sure rural areas will be looking for more and more volunteers that they don't have to pay.
     
  11. howelljolly

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    Depends how far you live from a volunteer squad.... I volunteered at a squad a few towns over for a while. I was scheduled for one overnight per week, and one day per month.. and I didnt have to drive like a maniac for scramble crew.
     
  12. slick27

    slick27 controversial
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    I would still try to get onto a fire department. Apply to all the departments in your area and if you have to try the burbs. Most will hire for paid on call or volunteer basis and most likely pay for your education to get your fire certs and further emt certs. (man one long run on sentence). From what I have heard big inner city fire departments like to hire applicants with experience, so at least in my area most of them work for little fire departments in the burbs on a volunteer basis until they can get hired. I've also heard ER tech jobs are kind of hard to get. They usually hire more than EMT-Basic.
     
  13. howelljolly

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    Sometimes. I got an ER-tech job with just my EMT-B cert.

    But, where i worked as a medic, the ER-techs all had EMT-B + CNA + EKGtech + phlebotomy + one other thing that escapes me right now.
     
  14. Caduceus22

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    What would be the point of getting a CNA on top of your EMT-B? EMT-B's have more medical and trauma training. CNA's may have better bedside manor skills or patient care skills, but that is very easy to learn. EKG's can be learned in a day, phlebotomy can be learned in a couple days. I seriously doubt you need all that just to become an ER tech. Ofcourse every state is different with their standards, but a hospital is not going to turn your EMT-B down just because you dont have phlebs, cna, and telem. experience- unless the position is paying a higher than average wage.

    On the other hand, having all those would make you more desireable- but for someone to think they are mandatory is dumb. (I know you didn't say they were mandatory howell, you are right they are nice to have)

    Most of the ER techs I have spoken to either don't have a BLS period, or their's is expired. When I was doing my clinicals last month I knew more about life support than any of the techs I met in the ER. Most of them didn't even know what CCR is.

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

    On a side note, I took my final exam last night. %94, giving me a %93 in the class overall. Woot! NREMT is next, but I have a feeling it won't be that difficult. Not much longer... :thumbup:
     
  15. howelljolly

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    Hey, Im just sayin' !

    I was an ER tech, and I never had CNA and all that jazz, and I was just fine with drawing blood and running 12-leads. And I dont even think its nescessary. Some people spend weeks in phleb school. I got the job first, and then spent a few minutes in the ER drunk-tank drawing BACs. After that I was as good as the next guy. And we learn to lift patients in EMT school... it doesnt take much to catch on to the way nurses do it.

    Like I said, one place I worked at did require 5 different certs to land a gig as an ER-tech there. Different places have different requirements.

    Matter-of-fact. I dont know if they still exist, but they used to have ER-tech certifications, that you could get at a community college, like CNA.

    Anyway, congrats on passing the EMT class.
     
  16. slick27

    slick27 controversial
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    I have my CNA also. CNA is completly diffenet than EMT. However, CNA training was better in certain areas. For example, how to move people with chronic disabilities, feeding, bedding, changing sheets (lol, yes their is a correct technique), catheter and overall, how to interact with patients better (at least with the elderly). But, yeah I've heard that to be hired as an ER tech they like at least CNA and EMT-B. Prolly just to weed out applicants more than anything. I don't think having the CNA should be a requirement, but it deff. eliminates majority of the applicants. Plus, to get my CNA only took 6 weeks and the schooling was MUCH easier than EMT school. So if you have to get it, just do it.
     
    #15 slick27, Dec 13, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  17. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA
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    The funny thing is one of those paramedics who spends too long on scene may save your life one day with their fancy medical equipment and you're probably so arrogant you'll just write it off as luck by an "ambulance driver".

    I think people out there who want to be EMTs or paramedics should get used to these kinds of comments. While we can't save everyone, we can at least save ourselves from the ignorance and/or idiocy of others by not listening to 'em.
     
  18. pseudoknot

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    1. There is a good deal of data accumulating about the detrimental effects on trauma patients of staying on scene too long, including for ALS procedures.

    2. I believe leviathan is a paramedic and has a great deal more prehospital experience than your 1 year, so who's being arrogant?

    3. Notwithstanding the above, it seems clear that his comments were mostly tongue in cheek. Relax.
     
  19. howelljolly

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    Because in this forum nobody cares if you are an EMT with one week of experience, or a medic with 10 years of expereince, or an MD who was a medic when some of us were in grade school. :mad:
     
  20. COMedic2Doc

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    Okay so I'm just goin to add my 2 cents here. First, Leviathan is right to a point. Paramedics tend to spend more time on scene, because we are very comfortable with our skills and know what we can or cannot save or think we do anyway (yes, I am a Paramedic). Second, good Paramedics are those that say okay let's do some here, not spend much time on scene, and then get going to the ER where they do the majority of their work in the back of the rig. Your bad medics are those with an egotistical mindset that tend to spoil it for the rest of us, who think that they're just fine waste way too much time on scenes, end up showing up routinely with a bad tube and don't realize it until the ER Doc tells them so, etc. Also, there are other things that happen as a result of these egotistical Medics and EMTs which I probably won't mention here.

    Okay, so the real question seems to be where an EMT is used and how to go about gaining that experience. It is actually quite vast, for the ER where I worked I was able to get into the ER through having been an ICU Tech first, and then transferring within the system to the ER. The private companies are great to get experience at, but I would reccomend continuing to try getting on with your local Fire department if that is where you want to end up. Also, some clinics use EMTs, but you will probably not gain the experience you are looking for. So, overall I would say finish your class, get your registry done and then go for trying to get on with either a Volunteer Department or a private service and then work your way into the Fire Departments. Also, you may find that gaining your Paramedic will give you an extra advantage as well as having your Bachelor's completed, which it seems you already have completed. Just a quick question, why are you wanting to become a FireMedic after already having completed your Doctorate (there's a huge cut in pay usually depending on the department)?
     
    #19 COMedic2Doc, Dec 24, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
  21. leviathan

    leviathan Drinking from the hydrant
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    In response pseudoknot's points:

    1. Read his point #1, and look up the OPALS study.
    2. I am a paramedic and think you probably need to learn point #1 early, because it is your own arrogance that will harm patients when you can't recognize your limitations. You're not just an 'ambulance driver' as you put it, but you also aren't a trauma surgeon with an OR and CT scanner in the back of your ambulance.
    3. He's exactly right about this being a joke anyhow. Relax, dude!
     
  22. MedicFL

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    I agree it takes a good medic to relize their limitations and get moving to definitive care. That is the goal o EMS to get a pt to a higher level of care. We don't really treat much in the field our main job is to stabilize them until we can get them to a higher level of care. ESP trauma pt's there really isnt much we can do in the field that is going to make the pt have a better outcome.... Medics for all the toys we have are very very limited in our diagnostic tools we have...
     

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