RJSpaulding

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Hi,

First off, I already have my EMT cert. I obtained it over a year ago and almost immediately afterwards got a job as a part-timer with AMR. I left after only about 8 FT shifts as the hours I got stuck with were confilicting with my school hours. I don't think I want want to return back out to the field, as I felt like it was just not for me (even though I did not give it a try for that long), so I am considering the ED tech route. I would love to hear from current/former ED techs (especially pre meds) about what I could expect to be doing, as obviously an ED tech's roles differs from those of an EMT out in the field. For those who are/were pre meds, what kind of hours do you work per week and how flexible are your schedules? I did not hesitate to jump in as an EMT with AMR, but I find myself studying every day of the week (last semester put in 19 credit hours, this semester 16) and so I am a little more hesitant about getting back out there. I am not ruling anything out, and I'm also exploring my volunteer options as well, but I just wanted to hear from those who know what it's like and what they took away from the whole experience.

Thanks in advance,

Ryan S.
 

Febrifuge

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No offense meant, but it's a little difficult to tell what you're asking, exactly. You earned EMT-B cert over a year ago, you worked 8 shifts, and then quit because scheduling didn't work out. Okay, cool. But why did you earn EMT in the first place? And why is it that you're considering the ED Tech route now? It seems like there are some puzzle pieces missing, and that makes it tougher to respond in a way that'll be of help to you. So I'll give you the generals.

Job duties will vary a lot by location, or even by which hospital you're at in a particular city. In my city, and within about 15 miles of each other, there's the county Level One center, where I work; there's a smaller, private hospital where my gf volunteers; and there's a big corporate center in the suburbs. My job is one that doesn't require EMT, and most of the other techs are NAs, though there are several EMTs and a couple Paramedics. In the private hospital, they employ EMTs for a scope of duties similar to mine, only they use EMT's exclusively. In the corporate place, the duties are exactly the same as mine, but they require EMT plus additional training in phlebotomy and EKG (and a certificate from a local community college program) before they'll hire you.

You should assume, especially for purposes of your search, that there will be the traditional "nursing assistant" duties included in the job (think changing adult diapers), as well as EMT stuff like wound dressings/ splinting/ vital signs/ assessment. You should definitely speak with people in your local ED's and see what they can tell you.

As for me, I'm a non-trad, so I didn't want to commit to years of school until I had a chance to see first-hand what the environment was like. I was a volunteer, and that hooked me enough to get certified, and that's when I was hired. The past 15 months have hooked me to the point that I'm going for a Post-Bac, and then med school. What I'm getting out of it is a solid sense of my goal, plus some awesome contacts and experience that may help me.

I have a FT job (which is a little like carrying 14 to 16 credits) plus I work about 2 or 3 shifts a week, evenings and weekends. I now know for a fact that I love working in healthcare, particularly the ED. I know can do a 16-hour day, but too many in a row and I get surly.

I hope that helps a little.
 
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RJSpaulding

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Thanks for the information.

To help clarify your questions regarding my goals. I became a volunteer firefighter near the end of my senior year in high school. After I graduated I took an EMT course (pre req for the fire academy) at my local c.c. I became more interested with the medical aspect of working in a pre-hospital setting and now was considering persuing the medic route. I worked hard to get the job with AMR but the hours just were not working for me, which is why I left. While all of this was happening, I was enrolled in AnP 101 at my college and really enjoyed it. So I altered my goals once again, now persuing the pre med route. All this within the past year. I was very close to getting a job as an ED tech right after I left AMR, as my FTO suggested, but I instead decided to finish up my school semester strong and figure out the whole process of going the medical school. But I appreciate the insight....thanks!
 

Febrifuge

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No worries. And thanks for clarifying.

I think being a tech will be awesome preparation for clinicals in med school, and for residency (and beyond). I have a good grasp on how different members of the team are important to the management of a case, and I have extra respect for techs and nurses, because I've been there. That respect is, no kidding, much more important to successfully navigating the clinical environment than anything else, even medical knowledge.

So any experience you can get, even as a volunteer, will definitely pay off later. Good luck!
 

Freakingzooming

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hey hey:

to add to what febrifuge has already said... working as an ED tech is really what you make of it.

I work in a level-1 trauma center, the only one between North Chicago and Wisconsin, so we rarely go on bypass (aka we get hammered). Because of this and the nursing shortage, help is always needed. If I ask nicely and well get the supervision, I watch, learn, do, and then eventually teach a procedure. Examples- suturing- i'm still on the watch-do stage. But I've actually been asked by attendings to watch and then finish some.

You get in good with some helpful residents and they'll let you do some of the hands-on nitty gritty- like LP taps, reductions, even sometimes popping in the shoulder. Of course- intubation, chest tube trays- all this is off-limits.

A lot of being an ED tech is learning that nothing is beneath you. I guess that is why I am in the business. I feel if I have learned anything from this year off, it's that I'll think more before acting if I become a doctor. What it means to stick in an ng tube, what it means to order CT scan after CT scan for drunks and psychs. Working from the bottom up has helped me appreciate a nurse's, tech's, CNA's, phlebotomist's.... even the housekeeper's role in a hospital.

I wouldn't suggesting working as an ED tech if you plan on going to school. I took a year off and am now working fulltime. I couldn't even imagine working parttime while carrying classes.

Some of my co-workers are attending nursing school and doing this but I think with nursing school- the goal is more to pass.