emtweeter

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How long did it take you guys to find a paid job after receiving an EMT license? If you volunteered, how long did you volunteer for? What were the durations of your shifts when you started out and how many days a week did you work? Do they perform random drug tests throughout the job or only for the initial screening?

Thanks
 

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I started working a paid clinical job (i.e. in an urgent care center) about six months after I got my EMT-B. I'd been volunteering on an FD for three months before I got my EMT. I volunteered for another year and a half with an ambulance company and got my paramedic before I had a paid job on an ambulance. That being said, I probably could have easily gotten a paid job on an ambulance right out the door, if I'd been willing to work a BLS transfer car, which is something I managed to avoid completely! Most major cities have ambulance companies that do transfers from nursing homes and between hospitals. These companies are almost ALWAYS looking for EMTs since there is a lot of turn-over. Transfers arn't very glamorous, but they offer a GREAT chance to practice assessments, see some more rare pathologies and read patient charts to learn more about things not taught in class. Hope that helps ya!

Nate.
 

Emedpa

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How long did it take you guys to find a paid job after receiving an EMT license? If you volunteered, how long did you volunteer for? What were the durations of your shifts when you started out and how many days a week did you work? Do they perform random drug tests throughout the job or only for the initial screening?

Thanks

dude- if you are worried about random drug tests then medicine is probably not the best field for you.....
 
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emtweeter

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"dude- if you are worried about random drug tests then medicine is probably not the best field for you"


I never asked for your opinion about what i should do with my career path did I? I legally smoke pot for medicinal purposes and I would rather just quit smoking for a few weeks rather than explain to my employer a legitament reason why i can't take a drug test. Could you simply just answer the question?
 

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Being that EMS is a high stress work enviorment I am not sure that the DOT who which regulates EMS in the US would allow someone to have this in your system, that being said. I have worked for a few different types of ems systems. 1 No governement agency is going to hire you. 2 Hospitals they usually only drug test during the interview process, but there is always the random but they usually need to have some reason to test you IE you were talking about it and someone turned you in. 3 Private services drug test in the begining but only again if there is any kind of acident. I think you have to declare that type of substance use. But I will tell you from my experience that I know more than one person who works in a Hospital or EMS service that smokes pot, you just have to be careful!
 

psychbender

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Going back to the original question, I got my first job with a transport company a few months after I received my EMT-B, and a job working as a tech on a med-surg floor a month or so after that. I landed an EMS and interfacility transport job while I was in class for my EMT-Intermediate, about a year later. I volunteered the entire time through this as well, and still do now that I'm in med school, and currently my only paying job (aside from my Army stipend) is as a medic for cardiac rehab. As for hours, the fact that I was still in undergrad skews my numbers a bit. Shifts were anywhere from 8-24 hours for EMS/IFT and 8-12 for the hospital job. I usually worked 2 or 3 shifts a week while in school (16-24 hrs, mostly nights), and 4 or 5 shifts a week when not (32-48 hrs, primarily days). Only been drug tested for class, and when starting a new job.
 

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In my opinion, you should not have to worry about marijuana usage, as it is nature's relaxant and stree reliever. I know for one that in my clinic, during our downtimes we are often lounging in the recreational room, idly passing a joint between the staff members and other doctors. I do agree completely with the points brought up by other members, EMT is a stressful job, and while initially it is likely that you'll either be

a)Too tired and unable to concentrate/focus on the EMT work
b)You might be tempted to use the sirens to get to drive-through food places

I believe with responsible use, it is possible to smoke while on the job.. besides, doesn't that make the day just go by faster?
 

f_w

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Your state might allow you to smoke pot but are you sure they will still allow you to transport passengers for hire (e.g. by driving an ambulance) ?
 

MedicFL

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Your state may or may not allow Pot use for medical uses. But it is the DOT and NHTSA that regulates what you can and cannot do if you are driving in professional mannor. You may want to look into the DOT regs on the matter. And to your comment FW yes it is the state that issues your DL but there are Federal regs that the states must comply with. States may pass laws more strict than federal but they cannot be less strict than what the feds say. And furhter more FW I wasnt saying that if he gets in a wreck, you can lose your certification if you test positive at anytime. EMS is high risk job that has special laws that must be followed. And just about every state I know has laws againist health care workers using. But that aside I think you could fly under the radar but just be careful..
 

f_w

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You state cannot allow is disallow POT use on the Job for EMS it is the DOT that has the ultimate atthority over EMS...

Last thing I know it is the state that customarily issues drivers licenses (and hires the state troopers that will take you for a blood test if you T-bone some poor sap in an intersection).
 

jonb12997

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I got thinking about this conversation, and i'm kinda ready to call BS to the OP (this it the first real post this person has), but part of me says, maybe not, so what i'll say is that if you're really worried about it, why don't you work with your doctor at looking at a different drug? depending on what you're "taking" it for, there might be other options... that would solve this problem.
 

emtweeter

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This ain't no BS dingus. I'm very allergic to popular medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Medical usage of marijuana for me isn't NECESSARY, but it helps me quite a bit when I really do need it. If getting a job in the medical field requires me to quit pot then by all means I will. Although I may NEED to quit, i definately don't WANT to, but I understand my priorities. Oh yea, theres no way in hell i'd ever use pot while on the job - i'd get way too paranoid.
 
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f_w

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This ain't no BS dingus.

You might want to develop a slightly thicker skin if you want to survive in the medical field.

I'm very allergic to popular medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin.

You are telling me that you are using MJ as a replacement for aspirin or ibuprofen ??? (it is funny how the political proponents of 'medical' pot have this army of dying cancer patients and end-stage cachectic AIDS patients to make their point but once it is approved the indications expand to pretty much every ill that can befall mankind including upset stomach and that itch on the back of your ear).

If getting a job in the medical field requires me to quit pot then by all means I will. Although I may NEED to quit, i definately don't WANT to, but I understand my priorities.
Maybe, before you invest much more energy and money into getting into the medical field, you should just stay off the pot for a month or two to make a fair assessment as to how necessary the drug is for your daily routine. (at some point in my career I worked with heroin addicts, some of them with a strong trait to deny their addiction. one thread they all had in common was the 'oh I could stop any day if I had to' line.)

Oh yea, theres no way in hell i'd ever use pot while on the job - i'd get way too paranoid.

Pot makes you paranoid ?
 

emtweeter

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You might want to develop a slightly thicker skin if you want to survive in the medical field.

You don't know what i've been through, but it's alright.

Maybe, before you invest much more energy and money into getting into the medical field, you should just stay off the pot for a month or two to make a fair assessment as to how necessary the drug is for your daily routine. (at some point in my career I worked with heroin addicts, some of them with a strong trait to deny their addiction. one thread they all had in common was the 'oh I could stop any day if I had to' line.)

I use to fear that i had an addiction to pot (i also use to think it brought my grades lower). To test this theory i smoked pot for one semester of school and quit for the whole next semester. No significant increase in GPA, i was kind of bummed out. My friends said i was a bit hyperactive during this break period:laugh:.

Pot makes you paranoid ?

It depends on the environment. In highschool i use to light up before class. I always feared that i ranked like weed and that i would get caught by the teacher/administrators. Putting your mind in this mental state does in fact cause paranoia. I couldn't imagine the paranoia i would experience if the fate of someone's life were in my hands. I'd be way too afraid of making some critical error.
 

f_w

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I just hope you find some other calling, how about accounting ?
 

emtweeter

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I just hope you find some other calling, how about accounting ?

You know other jobs drug test just as much as jobs in medicine? Heck, even Stanley Steemer drug tests. Sorry, but i already found my calling. Pot isn't going to stop me. If anything, i'm going to stop the pot.
 

f_w

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Pot isn't going to stop me. If anything, i'm going to stop the pot.

If you intend to have any type of career in the medical field, I would advise you to give up on that habit.
 

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Look, you are going to do random drug screens at most places, because you can't trust peoples lives to people who are using medications that can cause impairment.

Do you seriously think a company wants some EMT running red lights who may have used a medication that impaired their judgement?

Additionally, I would question if being around medications with high abuse potential is a good place for you.

Obviously marijuana is not that big a deal, but, the concerning thing is that somehow you have convinced a physician to prescribe it for you due to allergies to "asprin" and "tylenol."

One of the biggest signs (for me) of abuse/drug seeking is when a patient has a long list of medical "allergies" that includes all the NSAIDS leaving the physician the only option for treatment being opiods. The NSAIDS are not terribly immunogenic and certainly there are so many options I find it suspicious "marijuana" is the only option.

Being an EMT is great and a noble calling, but I think it sounds like you are at a stage in your life where you have too many of your own issues and may be unable to help other people with theirs.
 

emtweeter

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Look, you are going to do random drug screens at most places, because you can't trust peoples lives to people who are using medications that can cause impairment.

Do you seriously think a company wants some EMT running red lights who may have used a medication that impaired their judgement?

Obviously marijuana is not that big a deal, but, the concerning thing is that somehow you have convinced a physician to prescribe it for you due to allergies to "asprin" and "tylenol."

Being an EMT is great and a noble calling, but I think it sounds like you are at a stage in your life where you have too many of your own issues and may be unable to help other people with theirs.

Do you truly believe a marijuana user is intellectually inferior? I agree that a stoned individual has impaired judgement, but not so much when he/she is sober (Dr HanyAssad may beg to differ since he seems to smoke with his coworkers on the job). Marijuana isn't a big deal, but getting a prescription for weed was so to say "trendy" during high school so i went ahead and got mine. Plus, doesn't it just save you a bunch of trouble when confronted by a cop? "These aren't drugs, its my medicine!" - i once said :laugh:. My friends have gotten cannabis cards saying they've got chronic back problems or insomnia without any written proof. Hard to believe these doctors are actually MD's huh?
 

f_w

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Do you truly believe a marijuana user is intellectually inferior?

Having gone to school with plenty of potheads, I am pretty sure about this. (being a bit slow might be a pre-existing condition though).

I agree that a stoned individual has impaired judgement, but not so much when he/she is sober

You have to have some degree of impaired judgement in order to get stoned in the first place (*this state of impaired judgement is typically called puberty).
 

emtweeter

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Having gone to school with plenty of potheads, I am pretty sure about this. (being a bit slow might be a pre-existing condition though).

You have to have some degree of impaired judgement in order to get stoned in the first place (*this state of impaired judgement is typically called puberty).

I'm very sorry that you are so stereotypical. Taking a hit is less harmful than taking a shot in my book. I say this because there is no such thing as a "weed hangover" and your judgement isn't as impaired. I'm capable of doing my math homework or a reading assignment when i'm stoned. You obviously aren't very well educated in the narcotics field. I am not, by all means, encouraging you to smoke pot, but you should read up on some material before you go out criticizing people on a subject you know rather nothing about. You need to view all sides of an argument and from there formulate your personal opinion rather than accepting all the garbage you've been fed.
 
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f_w

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I'm very sorry that you are so stereotypical. Taking a hit is less harmful than taking a shot in my book.

I wouldn't want you drive an ambulance drunk either.

I'm capable of doing my math homework or a reading assignment when i'm stoned.

Thankfully, the quality of your homework won't determine whether someone lives or dies.

but you should read up on some material before you go out criticizing people on a subject you know rather nothing about.

You are right, it is almost 12 years since I worked with addicts the last time, I guess I don't know anything about it.

You need to view all sides of an argument and from there formulate your personal opinion rather than accepting all the garbage you've been fed.

I went to school with pot-heads (and had the opportunity to see how they returned to being useful friends and members of society once they kicked the habit), I have worked with drug-addicts in a group home and I have made it through medschool and residency training dealing with various aspects of drug addiction. I think I have a reasonably well informed opinion on it.
 

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I'm very sorry that you are so stereotypical. Taking a hit is less harmful than taking a shot in my book. I say this because there is no such thing as a "weed hangover" and your judgement isn't as impaired. I'm capable of doing my math homework or a reading assignment when i'm stoned. You obviously aren't very well educated in the narcotics field. I am not, by all means, encouraging you to smoke pot, but you should read up on some material before you go out criticizing people on a subject you know rather nothing about. You need to view all sides of an argument and from there formulate your personal opinion rather than accepting all the garbage you've been fed.

Neither are you, Mr. Smoky McPot. Marijuana is not a narcotic, unless you've watched one too many epidodes of "Miami Vice," probably while high.
 

emtweeter

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I wouldn't want you drive an ambulance drunk either.
No one ever said they were driving drunk. Are you saying you are incapable of driving an ambulance after having a few drinks the night before?
Thankfully, the quality of your homework won't determine whether someone lives or dies.
Once again, no one ever said they were getting stoned on the job.

You are right, it is almost 12 years since I worked with addicts the last time, I guess I don't know anything about it.
I went to school with pot-heads (and had the opportunity to see how they returned to being useful friends and members of society once they kicked the habit), I have worked with drug-addicts in a group home and I have made it through medschool and residency training dealing with various aspects of drug addiction. I think I have a reasonably well informed opinion on it.
So maybe you do have some experience under your belt but it seems you've been zoning in on the individuals with serious drug problems. You've been exposed to the ugly side of the drug world and i understand why you are so against it since your job was to help people kick their addictions.

Medic, although marijuana isn't a narcotic, it is categorized as a narcotic through California law. I've never seen miami vice.
 

MedicFL

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Look insted of asking questions on here why dont you just get on the phone with your state ems office and ask them what there policy is.. In Florida if you test positive the state will suspend and or terminate you certification. Heres one thing you have to think about if you get into an acident its an instant drug test and if you didnt tell you employer I am sure they will terminate you on the spot but your first call is to the State EMS office....
 

emtweeter

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Look insted of asking questions on here why dont you just get on the phone with your state ems office and ask them what there policy is.. In Florida if you test positive the state will suspend and or terminate you certification. Heres one thing you have to think about if you get into an acident its an instant drug test and if you didnt tell you employer I am sure they will terminate you on the spot but your first call is to the State EMS office....

Good idea. Maybe we can switch the subject a tad bit here then. How many of you guys have gotten into an accident that required you to take a drug test? What was the cause of the accident and who was at fault? Has a patients death ever been caused by simple/gross negligence by you or a coworker?
 

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Any accident no matter how minor is an instant drug test...
 

greytmedic

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One of the guys I worked with was driving down a narrow road and clipped another car's sideview mirror. After doing the police report, first stop...drug test. He was a responsible adult so he had no problems with the drug test. Another co-worker was rear-ended at a stop light. Bent up the diamond plating a little, not at fault...you guessed it, drug test immediately. Once again, responsible grown-up, no drugs. But pretty much any service you work for, no matter how insignificant the accident, you will be required to take a drug test immediately. I'm not sure if it stems from any laws, but mostly workmen's comp/insurance/company policies. So, even if you think you are an excellent driver and will never cause an accident, the first time some idiot gets behind you and looks away for a split second you will be getting kicked to the curb.
 

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He was a responsible adult so he had no problems with the drug test.

Responsible adults can't smoke pot? There were a good deal of stoners at medschool from what i can remember. A couple of my co-workers enjoy participating in the herb every once in a while but i still consider them to be responsible adults. My suggestion is to keep it clean for the first couple months until you really get the hang of it. If you decide to start up again, just be aware that you are still at risk for taking a drug test.
 
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Something to keep in mind: Conviction for a drug related offense disqualifies you from federally guaranteed student loans (yes yadayada possession legal in california yadayada, rarely enforced yadayada).
 

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Looked at this thread because of the title, I am not really interested in drug tests, but I am an EMT student hoping that I will get hired (for SOMETHING anyway) right out of school. I intend to take the FDNY EMT open competitive as soon as I get my number, but what is the likelyhood that I can start making money as an EMT right away?
 

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Looked at this thread because of the title, I am not really interested in drug tests, but I am an EMT student hoping that I will get hired (for SOMETHING anyway) right out of school. I intend to take the FDNY EMT open competitive as soon as I get my number, but what is the likelyhood that I can start making money as an EMT right away?

Depends entirely on your locality, number of jobs and other EMTs, and any previous experiences. If your area has few paid ambulance services, lots of EMTs, and you're 18, fresh out of highschool...might take a bit to get hired.

One company I used to work for treated their EMTs like crap because "EMTs are a dime a dozen." They didn't care about prior experience, because you were just there to be meat in seat, and drive the truck. Your medic partner was in charge of all the calls (even if he actually wasn't...you can bill more for an ALS transport, after all--filthy bastards).
 

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Well, I am in Brooklyn, which I know has lots of ambulance services, and I already have a BA, in an unrelated field. Will having previous work experience and a degree help me get work, even if it isn't in EMS?
 

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great, thanks, I will be sure to put that stuff on my resume then.
 

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I was wondering about how much does it cost to get your emt-b liscence and maybe some other hidden fees. I just found out today that I have to pay for drug testing and criminal background and cpr and it keeps adding up ....so I was wondering how much is this going to cost me to be an emt-b?
 

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I was wondering about how much does it cost to get your emt-b liscence and maybe some other hidden fees. I just found out today that I have to pay for drug testing and criminal background and cpr and it keeps adding up ....so I was wondering how much is this going to cost me to be an emt-b?

Totally depends on where you are/where you take the class/who you (will) work for. FYI, if you work for a volunteer service you can often get your course fees reimbursed. I have also heard rumors of the occasional private service (typically looking for anything with a pulse to staff their rigs) holding their own course and then not charging you if you work for them. Typically the least costly courses are taught at local CCs or given through local EMS boards (maybe in the $700ish range). Whereas some of the two-week boot camps will charge over $3000 for the course.

Pick your poison.
 

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Similar question here -

I am a week away from finishing my EMT-B class and was hoping to get hired for a transport service. I am almost 19 and have had two operating violations about 1-2 years ago in high school. All violation points are off my record now and I just recently took the Ambulance Vehicle Operators Course (basically the same as EVOC) which counts as a defensive driving course. I know this must depend on the state, but how many new EMT-B's younger than 21 or 23 have you seen get hired. There are three transport companies in my area (two of which do 911.) www.maineambulance.com (does SOME 911 calls if local FD trucks are overloaded) www.unitedambulance.com (has a transfer truck) most of trucks are ALS 911 then there is AMR in my area as well. I will throw in an application with all three and if this fails I will volunteer somewhere. Any ideas?
 

blackadder

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Similar question here -

I am a week away from finishing my EMT-B class and was hoping to get hired for a transport service. I am almost 19 and have had two operating violations about 1-2 years ago in high school. All violation points are off my record now and I just recently took the Ambulance Vehicle Operators Course (basically the same as EVOC) which counts as a defensive driving course. I know this must depend on the state, but how many new EMT-B's younger than 21 or 23 have you seen get hired. There are three transport companies in my area (two of which do 911.) www.maineambulance.com (does SOME 911 calls if local FD trucks are overloaded) www.unitedambulance.com (has a transfer truck) most of trucks are ALS 911 then there is AMR in my area as well. I will throw in an application with all three and if this fails I will volunteer somewhere. Any ideas?

small world...I was once in your exact shoes. i had a sizable moving violation and was looking to work for one of the companies in Maine you mentioned. the long and short of it is that the company I ended up working for could not even find a note of it in my driving record (i got the ticket outside of maine for what it's worth). apply where you want and just be honest ...most private transport companies are always looking for bodies and the one's in maine are generally no different...they'll try to make things work out if they can.

feel free to pm me for the inside scoop on these three companies.
 

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How long did it take you guys to find a paid job after receiving an EMT license? If you volunteered, how long did you volunteer for? What were the durations of your shifts when you started out and how many days a week did you work? Do they perform random drug tests throughout the job or only for the initial screening?

Thanks

It took me about 5 or 6 months of actively searching and sending out applications to get a job. I got a job at a place that is extremely flexible with my schedule, so I started out with a couple of shifts a week when school was in session. Over winter break, I got all the hours I wanted, and I was working around 70 hours a week. Then I went back to working about 2 shifts a week and taking long distance trips when I was bored. That's basically where I'm at now as well. I've dealt with 3 EMS agencies, and only one of them had me drug tested as a condition of employment. The other two, one a private ambulance and one a municipal did not drug test.
 

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woah, 700$ for an EMT-B course? I took mine at a community college and it cost me 75$, a little less than that for the CPR pre-req.

My first shift doing BLS transfers was literally two weeks after I got my certification in the mail. Two weeks after that I got hired to work full-time 911 in a ~100,000 call/year system. I guess I really lucked into being in a good area to be an EMT-B.

As for the EMT->medschool thing, I think it's a positive. Seeing how your average crackhead spends his afternoons is good life-experience for anybody, regarless of what you end up doing in your career.
 

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Seeing how your average crackhead spends his afternoons is good life-experience for anybody, regarless of what you end up doing in your career.

oh come on... we all know the EMS is ONLY taking care of people that REALLY need us, like major car accient victims and choking children... the ambulance never gets called to take care of the type of stuff you're talking about! ;)
 

Glorified

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Anyways I wouldn't defend pot during your interview. I'm not saying you are likely to. I am just suggesting not to. Honestly, I think you should stop smoking pot, just to make things easier for yourself in the future. Getting a job will be much easier if you don't have to justify marijuana use. I don't think quitting should be a problem for you. Sounds like one of the main reasons you got the prescription in the first place was to spite your teachers.
 

Mjefferson80

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So what's the verdict? Are transports a good learning experience or more often than not mostly useless experience wise?

I've got an interview for a $11/hour AMR transport job that's very close to my house. And an interview for a $9/hr EMT-B job with a private company that has a city contract and does almost all 911 calls but is 40 miles away.

I'd really rather get a job as an ER tech, but I've yet to hear from the two hospitals (w/open positions) to which I applied. The HR departments seem to really want all correspondence to be web-only, but should I call them? Or the ED?
 
1

146233

Transports are patient contacts. Things sometimes go wrong during patient contacts. Even still, you're likely to see some interesting cases, and it will get you exposed to physicians and nurses. Learn all you can. I think either job would be just fine. Sure, ED Tech is great, but either the AMR or 911 job will serve you well.

Good luck!
-z
 

EMT2B

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I finished the course and was able to find a low-paying transport job right away. I figure that will work fine while I am in school and until the city FD calls me.

thanks guys!
 
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