Respect for the Techs!

Discussion in 'Pre-Hospital [ EMS ]' started by Febrifuge, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. Febrifuge

    Febrifuge Grizzled Old Newcomer
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Wonderful to see the EMS section. Not that I won't pipe up elsewhere, but y'all are my peeps, and I yours.

    I wanted to hear from, and hear about, EMTs and Medics who choose, for whatever reason, to work in ED's rather than out on the streets.

    I started out as a volunteer in an ED, so for me, earning EMT-B certification was a way to get hired and get paid in that same setting. Plus, as a career-changer, working in the ED is a better option for part-time work alongside my 'day job.' What other reasons do people have for choosing life as a worker bee in the hive itself?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. lytesnsyrens

    lytesnsyrens The Phoenix...
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2002
    Messages:
    3,578
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Non-Student
    well, i got my EMT cert about 4 years ago and at the time i was also a full time student. I applied for a job with MAST and AMR, got interviews at both, and was going for my physical with MAST when i found out that they wanted to hire me FT nights. well, with day classes, that wasn't going to work. so i went to the ED and have been there working nights/midshifts for about 2 years, only part time. i still ride along when i can though. and of course, now i take night classes, go figure. i've often thought about going back to MAST, but i'm really loving my job and besides, when i get the itching to go out on the streets again, i can, just on ride alongs. and besides, my NREMT ran out last year. i just gotta recert before my state does.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. 12R34Y

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2000
    Messages:
    1,678
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I thought missouri used the national registry as there state cert?

    kansas on the other hand has the old MICT thingy.

    later
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. EMT036

    EMT036 MS-III/AEMT/Rescue Diver
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Well I am an AEMT-I that worked as a volunteer for a local ambulance. I also worked full-time (paid) as a patient care tech for a year and a half before proceeding to med school. Some of the reasons I chose working in the ED:

    1) Health benefits... my job paid 100% of my health insurance costs. Most of the EMS jobs in my area were part-time, so that EMTs/Medics had to have multiple jobs , each with no health benefits.

    2) Environment... As I lived in Upstate NY, all I can say is EMS in the winter sucks... way too cold and way too much snow.. especially when patients aren't courteous enough to clear their driveway/walkway before calling 911. Also, people think ambulances are somehow super vehicles that can get through any amount of snow... so we can take them to their routine appointment.

    3) Not having to extricate a 665.5 lb gentleman out of his house at least monthly, by going to Home Depot, buying plywood to contruct ramps to get him from his bedroom on the second floor to the ambulance... Whole lot less back straining lifting in the ED.

    4) Higher hourly rate.


    Don't get me wrong, I love EMS... and I volunteer as much as possible, but from purely an economic/practical standpoint working in the ED made more sense for me.
     
  5. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2001
    Messages:
    4,638
    Likes Received:
    46
    I respect u man.:)
     
  6. EMT036

    EMT036 MS-III/AEMT/Rescue Diver
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Not looking for respect.... looking more for relief of the chronic back pain that came with these jobs... :(
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Febrifuge

    Febrifuge Grizzled Old Newcomer
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Last night I wheeled an expectant mom up to the Midwife unit. This was the first time I brought someone there, as opposed to L&D (they're across the hall from one another).

    After I got mom and her five or six female relatives settled in, I gave her a gown to change into, wished them all luck, and wheeled my empty chair back past the nurses' station.

    One of them asked me, "so... what's your assessment?"

    And I was shocked to realize, nobody had ever asked me that before.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. 12R34Y

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2000
    Messages:
    1,678
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    i guess i'm a little perplexed about your post febrifuge?

    did they think you were a doc or med student?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. OP
    OP
    Febrifuge

    Febrifuge Grizzled Old Newcomer
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Naw, I just meant that a lot of the ED Techs at my hospital are MA's or NA's by training, and some of us are EMT's and Medics. In other words, some of us have been educated in a more medical model, and we do know how to make a medical assessment of a patient (and we try to do so), even if nobody ever asks us for one.

    I mean, nurses I've worked for/worked with at the stations ask all the time about "how does so-and-so look?" or "so, is she orthostatic?" or "did you get that urine?" ...but my function is to be an extension of another caregiver. We're a teaching hospital, so there are residents and med students all over the place, and I know that while they are there to get an education, I'm the help. I'm okay with that, because it's worth it to me.

    But at the same time, it's rare that somebody looks at the color of my scrubs and gives me credit for having an independent medical opinion or assessment. It was nice. Maybe this person working in Midwife read the "EMT" on my name tag.

    Anyway, I was able to rattle off a bunch of info about the patient's condition. And I walked out of there feeling a little less invisible.

    (Also I was in a hurry when I posted, so I could have been more clear before about what I was talking about. Sorry, eh.)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  10. 12R34Y

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2000
    Messages:
    1,678
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    good for you!

    i can understand your suprise? i used to work as a ED tech before paramedic and medical school. they do tend to treat you like crap occasionaly.

    later
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. EMT036

    EMT036 MS-III/AEMT/Rescue Diver
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    occsionally? Personally if I go to a hospital where I don't know the RN your assessment as an EMT is generally worthless.
     
  12. jstuben

    jstuben Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have worked for two years a ED Tech in a Northern California Level 3 Hospital. I make over $17 an hour (day shift), get 100% of my medical/dental for me and my wife covered. My company paid for phlebotomy and splinting class.

    Yeah, the transports, diaper changing, and scut get old after a while, but the staff are mostly good. Once they get to know you and trust you, they enjoy showing their knowledge by answering questions. I've gotten to have my hand in some really great learning experiences.

    Plus, in the ED, you get to see a lot more than in the field, and if your career goals are other than Fire/Rescue, this is the way to go.
     
  13. BoonDoc

    BoonDoc Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2000
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello,
    I have been working in the ER as an EMT for 18 months. I also ride part time on an rig. I love working in the ER b/c I see so much more than I ever see on the street. The people I work with know that I have a good foundation of medical training and ask me for my advice on patients from time to time.
    I think the trick is to let them find out for themselves how motivated you are for learning.
    Also, in my state, my scope of practice is greatly increased in the ER. It is up to the ER docs what you get to do.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  14. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    6,014
    Likes Received:
    301
    Status:
    Post Doc
    as above.....
    some er tech jobs let you do anything via on the job training. as an er tech in the 80's in southern ca with only an emt-1 cert I was starting iv's, drawing blood, giving im injections, and pushing acls meds iv. they basically scheduled me as an extra nurse despite the fact that I was only an emt at the time. this experience made medic school and pa school much easier.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  15. EMT036

    EMT036 MS-III/AEMT/Rescue Diver
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Same here... whenever they were short a nurse, I was it because I was the highest trained tech (AEMT-I)... So I was the triage nurse -- taking histories/vitals to determine treatment order of walk-in patients... Other days I was the sub-acute nurse.. managing patients with non-emergent problems (i.e. colds, extremity injuries, etc) providing treatments, discharge instructions, etc All very illegal, but what else are you going to do? But it was a really great learning experience.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Febrifuge

    Febrifuge Grizzled Old Newcomer
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status:
    Non-Student
    I'm resurrecting this old thread to mention that as someone with a sliver of training and some experience working, we techs who are also pre-meds may be able to set up great shadowing experiences. I recently scrubbed in on several surgeries, and spent some time in clinic. Awesome experience.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  17. leviathan

    leviathan Drinking from the hydrant
    Physician Moderator Emeritus Verified Expert 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Messages:
    2,421
    Likes Received:
    57
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Nice, Feb. I'm hoping simply as an ED volunteer that I'll have a shoe-in for some shadowing with the surgeons and other MD specialists I run across. The only problem is all the legalities and paperwork and confidentality barriers which I must fight through to do it. It seems to me like American hospitals are less strict than the ones around here, because the best I could do so far was shadow a pathologist where patient contact was limited to at most only an excised internal organ. :rolleyes: When you're getting the opportunity to do these scrub-ins and what not, is it all legal (by hospital policy, not necessarily federal law), or is someone pulling strings to sneak you in?
     
  18. Jambi

    Jambi Caldari
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    2
    Would you guys say that the most valuable thing you picked up from working with patients is the abilty to interact with the patient (bedside manner), and perhaps just having the abilty to feel comfortable in a hospital/clinical enviroment?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  19. medicality

    medicality Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great thred... I worked as an ED tech (EMT-I and then as a medic) in a small hospital and a trauma center while I was completing my premed classes and my paramedic certification. I worked on the street before teching and went back to it after completing my certs and classes, but I did find a number of advantages to being in the ED. I saw more patients and a greater variety of problems than I see on the rig. Because I worked in a teaching hospital, the staff was great about explaining things whenever they had time and teaching me new skills. A few of the attendings knew that I was premed and took a little extra time to show me things that they thought I would be interested in... unique procedures or rare cases. I took the tech job because it had a good scope of practice (IVs, intubation, splinting, etc.) and it was great for my skills. I have seen some techs with very limited scope and I think that I would have stayed on the rig if the ED job was like that.
    I did find that once I was in the hospital, I had other opportunities to work/observe as well. Most of the physicians from other services that I met in the ED were happy to have me observe with them when I asked. I was always very careful to ask when they were not busy and to introduce myself appropriately first... they are much more responsive that way!
    I think that volunteering in an ED is also a great experience and a good way to see what life in the department is like, but working there (in any capacity) provides better exposure to patients and to the staff. Either one is helpful for med school applications.
    Good luck!
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Febrifuge

    Febrifuge Grizzled Old Newcomer
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status:
    Non-Student
    As far as I, my friend the staff doc, and his boss the department head are aware, it's all 100% A-OK. Keep in mind we're a huge hospital with several big-ass residency training programs, and a bus-load of med students on a given day. And I didn't do anything hands-on, really. The most invasive I got was to be Retractor Boy, but the resident got the hooks seated in the right spot each time, leaving me to hold the wound open. I well-placed bean bag could have done that job. ;)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  21. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Messages:
    16,976
    Likes Received:
    45
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I work the streets because the hospitals aren't hiring. :D
     
  22. OSUdoc08

    OSUdoc08 Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Messages:
    7,698
    Likes Received:
    6
    Status:
    Medical Student
    they never are

    i still think i have 3-year old job applications in to 5 hospitals, and still haven't heard from them
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  23. BaylorHopeful

    BaylorHopeful Junior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Roadie Techs are the only way to go... :)
    Unless, of course, you associate five-floor no-elevator apartments with Satan himself :thumbdown:
     
  24. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    6,014
    Likes Received:
    301
    Status:
    Post Doc
    don't you know the 1st law of ems:
    the pt will be one floor higher (in a building with no elevator) for every 100 lbs of body weight.
    500 lbs? 5th floor. you get the idea.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...

Share This Page