Other EC's besides EMT

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MaybeMD, Nov 13, 2002.

  1. MaybeMD

    MaybeMD Senior Member

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    Hey guys, I am taking EMT classes in the spring. So hopefully by summer I will be working as an EMT. I am a freshman now, so by the time I start applying to schools I will have been an EMT for three years. What I am asking is what other EC's do you suggest that I take. I am already volunteering at a children's hospital (which I REALLY like), and I'll probably try to stay there as long as I can. So I'll be there for three years as well. I mean should I just forget volunteering anywhere else since I will be an EMT? Also, do ADCOMS look favorably upon those applicants who are EMT's? Comments from pre-med EMT's will be appreciated!
     
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  3. AegisZero

    AegisZero Senior Member

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    It will definitely give you something to talk about at interviews, but it probably will be looked upon as favorably as most other ECs
     
  4. UCLA2000

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    As an EMT you can do alot of things. For example 1. Work in an ambulance 2. Work in a hospital 3. Volunteer in a free clinic

    Don't look at it as being an EMT for 3 years...look at it as a new door which has opened which will allow you to have endless experiences (if you play your cards right)
     
  5. jtheater

    jtheater Senior Member

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    Remember, a lot of schools will want to know what you do in your free time that is NOT medically related. My interviews have focused on this aspect of my application. Having interests and activities outside of research, EMT, hospital volunteer will show that you are a well-rounded person, as well as someone dedicated to medicine. Enjoy your undergrad and remember that adcoms will also be looking to see if you display signs of burn out. Take it slowly. Hang with friends, go to the gym, read, whatever. Just be able to demonstrate how you relax--that question has come up in all of my interviews so far.
     
  6. Serving a term in Student govt can't hurt.
     
  7. streetdoc

    streetdoc Senior Member

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    hey maybeMD,
    i'm an EMT-paramedic and have been through some interviews so hopefully i can shed light on this for you. i haven't heard about acceptances (yet), so take this as you wish.

    Working in EMS really shows you a lot about medicine and life. these lessons make for good essays and interviews, but it can't be everything. My essay was about how being a paramedic let me observe medicine from the inside...the good and the BAD (which there is a lot). i suggest you work for a service that has 24 hr shifts (rural areas) and you'll learn real fast if you are cut out for it (disturbed for a BS call at 4 AM with a driving rain and 35 degrees outside or even better a tornado!!). a rural service is more likely to let you work during the summer months, too. If you live near a city with with air-med services, they usually let you ride along in the helicopter which is fun.

    But take advantage of your position. as a basic you won't get much respect (EMT= Extra Man on Truck), but listen and observe the ER docs. Tell them your med school plans, you'll be surprised how they can help you out.

    A big thing is developing people skills, working under pressure, responsibility (very little as a basic), maturity, ect ect.

    Honestly, in my interviews, they ask me about it and usually follow that with "cool" or "neat" (may or may not be a good sign)...you have to emphasize that you didn't just do it to get into med school, but also be careful to not make it look like that you are happy with it as a career...this is difficult to do! But all have said that i must know what i'm getting myself into (especially since i'm used to working 24 hrs.)

    so, as to weather they look favorable on you for having it...hard to say. a lot of premeds are picking up the basic class these days. I think having clinical experience does favor you over some other applicants...at my interviews, no other applicants have had experiences except for shadow, volunteer, ect....which i think is crap compared to REALLY experienceing medicine and ad coms know that too.

    Like i said, i haven't heard about acceptances, but feel my experiences have helped me write a better essay and interview better. my MCATs are well below 30 but high GPA and good ECs...i'm just hoping that my paramedic experiences throw the weight in my favor.
    good luck,
    streetdoc
     
  8. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    i agree with most of what streetdoc said, but i have to qualify it some...

    EMS systems vary from county to county. in my county, only emt-basics ride on ambulances and we have IRV (independent response vehicle) paramedics. the great thing about this is that emt-basics get to do much more than they would if they were riding with a paramedic on the truck, and it cuts down on the number of BS calls we run. the paramedics ride in the back of the ambulance ONLY if the patient needs ALS transport...otherwise the emt-basics do all the care and we're not just the "extra man on truck" that basics are in many areas.

    other than that, ditto everything streetdoc said. ;) :)
     
  9. chypes

    chypes Caffine Addict

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    Interesting....

    As an EMT, what are you allowed to do? What would the responsabilities be? Who hires EMT-Bs....I think the ambulances in our town mostly have paramedics (which is 2 years right?)....
    Oh, and do Volunteer fire Dept. usualy want EMT volunteers for the summers?

    Thanks,
     
  10. exigente chica

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    I have many EC's (too many) that are non-medically related, because I like to do everything. I think it's cool, but at the same time which ones did you all choose to put on your AMCAS? THere's not that much space, and I don't know which ones to put over other ones? Advice?
     
  11. streetdoc

    streetdoc Senior Member

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    sweet tea is right,
    every county is very different. in my county we don't have "chase" trucks so the medics are forced to work 48 hours straight, or more, to cover the county since we are so short-handed (i'm on my 44th hour so excuse my tone, i'm bitter at the moment). which is sooo not safe, but anyway...

    having the chase trucks is great for basics. they work under standing orders (without supervision) and provide basic level of care (which in some states, like mine, means they can even intubate). basics (i think this is pretty uniform, but correct me if i'm wrong) don't do IVs and can't use the monitor or push many drugs. An important skill to learn as a basic is when to call for back up. this has been a topic at my interviews...KNOW YOUR LIMITS. it's all about being a team and providing patient care. and that's important in any field of medicine at any "rank."

    so yeah, Basics are irreplacable!!! as is every link in the patient care chain...paramedics go to school for a good long time to be able to do more, but it doesn't matter what they do if no one is there to drive. it would be great for you, maybe MD, to find a county where they operate basic trucks. ask your EMT instuctor, they should know.

    good point, sweet tea. but tell me how basic trucks cut down on the BS calls...i'd love to know how to disconnect 911 from some houses :laugh:
    just kidding... i love all of my patients
    :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
    streetdoc
     
  12. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    hehe-- it cuts down on BS calls for the emt-basics! paramedics still have to go. unfortunately, the medics are often busy so they'll dispatch an ambulance to an obvious BS call...my least favorite one so far has been the woman who called 911 b/c she had unexplained hand pain (nothing broken, nothing bleeding, her hand just hurt). she was literally across the street from the hospital when she called... it took more time for us to get from our station to her that it would have for her to walk across the street. of course, this call went out at 4am. :mad:

    streetdoc-- 48 hour shifts??? you've got to be kidding me...we're only ALLOWED to work 36 hours at a time (i'm really fine with that rule). good luck with your remaining time!!
     
  13. streetdoc

    streetdoc Senior Member

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    as far as i know (and this is from south carolina) basics can do the following:
    after a 4-5 months class that meets 2 days/week for about 4 hrs and after you pass the national registry test for EMT basics--
    CPR (basics make good thumpers) :p
    intubate adults and peds
    Blood glucose checks
    treat fractures (unless compound)
    vital signs
    administer oxygen
    give 5 drugs (but which ones i'm not sure...ipecac and activated charcoal i think)
    treat shock
    drive-usually very well

    Intermediates (i don't know how wide spread the use is of intermediates, but in SC they run a lot of trucks because we have a major shortage of medics)
    the class is about 2 months meeting 2 days/week for about 4 hrs and then you must pass the national registry of intermediate EMTs test--
    they can:
    start IVs
    give fluids
    and there is a push to certify them to give first line cardiac drugs like Epi and Atropine, but i haven't heard about this lately

    Paramedics- the new class is 2 years..but can be compressed into 14 months. lots of clinical time, lots of lectures. but lots of fun!!!
    we're the docs on the street. if you call in and the doc says to do something, you can do it...
    lots of drugs and narcotics but my favorite is cardiac!

    streetdoc

    sweet tea, i hear ya about those 4 AM calls...i bet we could swap some good "war stories." and this is why i want to be a Dr.!!??!!
    :laugh:
    (2 hrs and 15 min remain):sleep:
     
  14. GoodMonkey

    GoodMonkey sproutmobile

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    i'm of the opinion that you should be doing ECs that you enjoy, NOT soley ones that will be looked upon "favorably" by adcoms. it's great that you're working as an EMT and that you're volunteering at a children's hospital... however, you need to look into what your interests are, rather than what you think will get you the best chance into med school. b/c when it comes down to it, the interviewer may just ask you why you did ABC extracurricular, and if your reasoning is "to get into med school" it's not going to fly.

    that being said, you're just a freshman - get involved in campus activities ! join a club ! play some IM sports! hang out with a choir! enjoy your college years, rather than just focusing on what is looked upon favorably by adcoms. you're doing dandy so far, but don't do something only to get into med school, do it because you want to be doing it and becuse you enjoy it.
     
  15. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    excellent post, goodmonkey. i love being an emt, but it's not for everyone. do what you enjoy, not what you think will make you look good. if you end up working as an emt and don't like it (it happens), then by all means quit! it's not fair to you, your ems partner, or your patients if you don't love your work. you'd be better served by doing something you enjoy, not just b/c you think it'll give you an edge.
     
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  17. streetdoc

    streetdoc Senior Member

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    almost every interviewer will ask you what you like to do in your free time...be sure you have something to talk about. you'll burn out if you spend every hour in a hospital. you will spend enough time there when you're in med school.
    streetdoc
     
  18. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
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    I'm going to agree - to a point. Certainly tell them that being an EMT and working is very fulfilling, and that you're happy you took the training. But also say that it has only whetted your appetite for greater challenges, and more knowledge and responsibility!

    Since I've worked in EMS for a long time, I've been advised *not* to express disatisfaction with the job, per se, but the limitations of it. They get a whiff of 'burnout' and you're all done.

    Let me put it to you straight. The adcoms would rather see a guy with one or two years BLS experience with a solid GPA and MCAT score with a published paper or two, than a 15 year medic with a lower GPA and/or MCAT.

    Hands down they will pick the former over the latter. You will compare favorably over a person with similar stats and less hands-on, but your competitive edge over anyone with higher stats is negligible.

    The only thing that will clearly help you that you can attribute to your exposure to EMS is your exposure to many, many people, and the ability to communicate with them. That, you have over every person who's only stared at test tubes during college. Make that work for you.

    *I* certainly salute and honor anyone who's logged time on a bone bus, but the adcoms have very little idea what we do besides 'driving them to the hospital'. Trying to explain in detail the difference between BLS and ALS during an interview gets rapt attention, confused looks, or glazed eyes with toothpicks propping the eyelids open. Trying to explain what a non-transport unit usually gets them lost at 'we don't transport people ...'

    I'm not trying to burst anyone's bubble, but diving into the application process, I figured being a long-time medic would carry some weight where medical school was concerned. I found that it carried some, but nowhere nearly as much as I thought it would. Perhaps that's just my folly.

    Good luck, bro!

    - Tae
     
  19. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    gee, i hope this holds true for someone with a couple publications, 3 years of BLS experience, a solid MCAT, but a lower GPA (strong upward trend, though!)!! ;)

    here's hoping...c'mon ECU! Show me some love!! :love:
     
  20. streetdoc

    streetdoc Senior Member

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    i wasn't really asking about my chances because i know i have a good, well-rounded application, but thanks for the info.
    my gpa is over 3.9 and i have ECs a plenty (including president and starting 2 national organizations on my campus), i've done grad research as an undergrad at a medical school, been published, and had good life experiences living in a rural area and wanting to return one day. even spent some time in seminary (always good interview material).
    my point was that not a lot was said in the interviews about my actual work (for maybe MD who was asking), but what i have learned from my experiences. one has to be involved in stuff outside or medicine!
    please don't think i want to go to med school just because i'm a medic and think i can walk in. i've prepared a long time for this process and think i fair well, becomming a medic i did for the knowledge and myself, it just happened that way. luckily i'm in a state where med school is sometimes considered less competitive (SC), and only hope that my experiences and maturity tip the scales to counter a 27 MCAT (9,9,9).
    good luck with the process Tkim, keep me updated.
    streetdoc
     
  21. streetdoc

    streetdoc Senior Member

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    oh, btw, i'm female:D
    which probably explains a lot to you right now...sorry if i came across as harsh.
    streetdoc
     
  22. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
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    Sorry, when you said that you hoped being a medic threw some weight your way, I thought that was a question. My bad.

    I'm in at two DO schools - waiting on a couple more. But I'm definitely going *somewhere* next year!

    - Tae
     
  23. MaybeMD

    MaybeMD Senior Member

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    Wow, thanks for all the feedback. When I got back from class this morning I expected this to be on the fourth page or something. Anyway, I am not doing this just to get into Med School, I have wanted to do this for a while. And I am just finding room in my schedule for it now. I don't think there's anyway for someone, who's not an EMT already, to fully know what being an EMT is like, so if I don't end up liking it I'll quit. But I hope that doesn't happen!
     
  24. PluckyDuk8

    PluckyDuk8 Pluck of all Plucks

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    I love how I got back from work today (EMT-B for private ambulance comp) and there are 2! EMT threads going on...Somebody asked what each level can do, it is very similar but varies by state. A lot have things have been covered so I won't repeat anything. Just wanted to add that overall I like my job, I just am not sure how much I am going to like it when it is snowing, -20 degrees outside, and so icy the cot is skating around! If anyone else has more questions, I'd be happy to answer and will check this thread tomorrow.
     
  25. Harbindoc

    Harbindoc Member

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    I am also an emt and I just entered the 2nd hour of my 48 hour shift:rolleyes:
    I love my job. I feel like I have really experienced alot. I work full time, but have time to study at station a lot. I am in school full time and I am studying for the mcat in april. Maybe in my spare time I will find the cure for cancer or something:rolleyes: Anyway, I think if you get in with the right agency, EMT work can be great, if not it is merely being able to drive fast without much patient contact.


    Good Luck!!
     
  26. logos

    logos 100% Organic

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    How does one go about doing this...what do you look for?
     
  27. Harbindoc

    Harbindoc Member

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    I think the best way to find the right agency is to ask if you can do a ride along with them.

    The reason I chose the agency I work for was based on several factors. First they have a station where we "hang out" when we don't have calls. This is great, especially for a student like me. Sometimes we go hours without calls and I can sit and study during this time. I also have tv, internet, etc. It's basically like my home away from home considering I am here ~ 55 hours a week. (we work 24 hour shifts and 48 hours every other weekend.) I also chose this agency because we are often first responders to 911 calls, which is unusual for an EMT-B. These are the calls that give you the most experience in diagnosis, and treatment. Those were the two main factors in why I chose this agency. As far as finding the actual job, I was lucky. There is a high turnover rate in the ems field where I am, which is pretty standard across the nation since most people do not go into an emt job as their life long profession. Also, since I am female and there are few of us in this field I think that may have helped in my job search. Good luck!!!


    Michele:love:
     
  28. HamOnWholeWheat

    HamOnWholeWheat Senior Member

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    Not trying to nitpick or anything here, but I can't imagine any service would allow an EMT-B to intubate a patient. The national-standard curriculum doesn't even allow for B's to do blood glucose checks, and only 3 drugs are allowed (O2, Activated Charcoal, and Oral Glucose). And when you say "treat fractures", I'm thinking you actually mean "splint anything that looks weird, in-place".

    EMT-I's intubate, start I.V.'s, and can administer first-line cardiac drugs (epi, atropine, adenocard, naloxone, furosemide, etc...). EMT-P's have access to more drugs, and are required to demonstrate more proficiency with ambulance operations.

    That's really it, in a nutshell. If you're following the national standard curriculum (maintained by those blood-suckers at the National Registry), that's about how it works. I don't mean to sound like a jacka** or anything, I just don't see how you can be expected to intubate a patient as a B, when its not even covered on the National Registry exam. To me, that would be so far out of your scope of practice, you'd just be asking to get sued.

    Ham On, brother.
     
  29. streetdoc

    streetdoc Senior Member

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    indeed, basics do intubate.
    it may be because we have a shortage of medics or becuase i work in a rural area, but the South Carolina state DHEC people allow intubation (i didn't go through basic registry, so i dunno about basic cirriculum). it depends on the county, but most let basics intubate (it is a skill they have to pass for the state).

    however, SC intermediates do not give cardiac drugs. again, i never was an intermediate, and don't know the curriculum, but i think this would be a good idea around here.

    If the registry curiculum for the other EMT "ranks" is anything like it is for medics, then standing orders are going to be very different than what you learn for the test. Amioderone, for instance, is not used by any EMS system in my state, but i learned it anyway. it is way too expensive. i find registry is a good idea in theory, but no state accepts it so it's just a money thing....but i like having it anyway.

    So ham, are you an EMT and if so, where? explain how intermediates can uses adenocard when they can't use the monitor? or are they taught basic dysrhythmias? i'm interested.
    thanks for the post, but in my county at least, basics intubate....even though our trucks are ACLS....odd
    cheers,
    streetdoc
     
  30. streetdoc

    streetdoc Senior Member

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    ps
    ham...is that a quote from the same deadmen that sing bitchin' camero and big lizard in my backyard?? if so, it's been forever since i had heard about them...that's very cool!
    cheers
    streetdoc
     
  31. NE_Cornhusker1

    NE_Cornhusker1 12" Member

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    B's are taught to intubate in Nebraska, whether or not your medical director will let you is another issue. The same is true with blood glucose levels. Peace.
     
  32. HamOnWholeWheat

    HamOnWholeWheat Senior Member

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    Wow, that's really surprising. I'm from Iowa, and in the Midwest (at least Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas) the National Registry is where its at. You really can't get an EMS job without passing the National exam, and you can only take the exam after taking a National Registry approved curriculum. I hear what you're saying about it being a money-making scheme though. I couldn't agree more. But that's the way it is in the midwest, so you don't have much choice here.

    I'm currently an EMT-I, working on my P rating (damn ride time is a killer). To answer you questions, Intermediates can:

    Intubate (B's can't around here)
    I.V.'s
    Tracheostomy
    Cardiac Drugs
    Interpret EKG's
    and do all the B-stuff of course.

    The only thing P's can do that I's can't is administer certain narcotics like morphine to burn victims or cardiac patients. I'm not sure why.

    I'm kind of jealous though. You guys actually got to train with amiodarone? Does any service in the area carry it? I've seen it used in the field once, and it caused a huge sh**storm because it costs like $3000 per dose and the patient didn't necessarily need it. After that, its kind of kept in a locked vault. Most rigs don't even carry it anymore, because they don't want to be tempted to use it. Kind of sad really.

    The Milkmen quote is from Beelzebubba (I think). And yes, they do rock.

    HamOn
     

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