DaffyDoc

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Why would one become an ED Tech if he/she wants to become a doctor? The patient contact is good, but doctors do not do what Techs do. Docs take the Hx, perform physical exam, write orders for therapeutic intervention, make the DDx, and sometimes write a prescription. Docs don't change bed linens, spend time on ECG's, mess with foleys, etc. If one wants to be a doc, shouldn't he/she shadow instead? If you are an ED tech, you're not realling doing what an EM doc does, right? I guess the good thing about being an ED Tech is the patient contact, as mentioned above, and hands-on experience. But, this is not the type of hands-on experience that an EM doc does. Discussion is welcome.
 

Captain Fantastic

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I've had adcom members tell me straight out, "You're not applying to nurse-tech school, you're applying to medical school. The more experience you have in seeing what a physician does with his/her time the better."

Of course, each medical school places weight on what they think is important. Some adcoms like medically related work more than shadowing. To maximize your chances at the widest range of schools you do both.

But I also think you're underestimating some of the "menial" technical skills docs often do. Today my 4 year old son had a VCUG to determine if he has vesicoureteral reflux. The nurse tried to place the catheter and failed. Another nurse tried and also failed. The radiologist then tried and guess what? Failed. They called a urologist down and he finally got the catheter placed. (Of course my little guy was fed up with having tubes crammed up his urethra by that point!)
 

DrBowtie

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ed2brute said:
I've had adcom members tell me straight out, "You're not applying to nurse-tech school, you're applying to medical school. The more experience you have in seeing what a physician does with his/her time the better."

Of course, each medical school places weight on what they think is important. Some adcoms like medically related work more than shadowing. To maximize your chances at the widest range of schools you do both.

But I also think you're underestimating some of the "menial" technical skills docs often do. Today my 4 year old son had a VCUG to determine if he has vesicoureteral reflux. The nurse tried to place the catheter and failed. Another nurse tried and also failed. The radiologist then tried and guess what? Failed. They called a urologist down and he finally got the catheter placed. (Of course my little guy was fed up with having tubes crammed up his urethra by that point!)
I think it's good to learn the system. My biggest plus I think that I got from volunteering is A) Learning to approach and communicate to pts, and B) Learn what the heck everyone's responsibility is within the unit.
 
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breck

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DaffyDoc said:
Why would one become an ED Tech if he/she wants to become a doctor? The patient contact is good, but doctors do not do what Techs do. Docs take the Hx, perform physical exam, write orders for therapeutic intervention, make the DDx, and sometimes write a prescription. Docs don't change bed linens, spend time on ECG's, mess with foleys, etc. If one wants to be a doc, shouldn't he/she shadow instead? If you are an ED tech, you're not realling doing what an EM doc does, right? I guess the good thing about being an ED Tech is the patient contact, as mentioned above, and hands-on experience. But, this is not the type of hands-on experience that an EM doc does. Discussion is welcome.
I feel like this is kind of a bold statement, but I'm short on time. Basically if you want to do what a doc does you will have to become a doc. It's that simple. Unfortunately you need to get into med school to become a doc. So...how do you get into med school?? You please adcoms. How do you please adcoms?? I really wish I knew the answer. ed2brute has been told that you shadow. This may help depending on who is looking at your application and it may not. Many adcom members think volunteering and/or working with patients is more impressive. So do both. Now that the shadowing has been taken care of how will you get your patient contact where you actually get to physically participate in patient care? There are many ways. Personally I think being an ER tech is a pretty solid way to physically get to work with patients (barring becoming a nurse, PA, or paramedic). You will do way more than most, if not all, volunteer jobs would let you do. You will get a ton of exposure, shadowing experience, and even a paycheck. Sounds like a good job to me. You simply aren't going to find any patient contact experiences that allow you to do what a doc does. So I don't see why this wouldn't be a great experience. Watch out though, those ER tech jobs are kind of hard to get in some places. Most hospitals want people to have an EMT-B certification and most require that you have an EMT-P.
 

DavisStudent

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DaffyDoc said:
Why would one become an ED Tech if he/she wants to become a doctor? The patient contact is good, but doctors do not do what Techs do. Docs take the Hx, perform physical exam, write orders for therapeutic intervention, make the DDx, and sometimes write a prescription. Docs don't change bed linens, spend time on ECG's, mess with foleys, etc. If one wants to be a doc, shouldn't he/she shadow instead? If you are an ED tech, you're not realling doing what an EM doc does, right? I guess the good thing about being an ED Tech is the patient contact, as mentioned above, and hands-on experience. But, this is not the type of hands-on experience that an EM doc does. Discussion is welcome.

I'm an ED Tech and I can tell you that it has been a very good experience both in terms of patient contact, and physician contact. I'm sure it varies from hospital to hospital, but at the one I work at, we work very closely with the EM doc. We also are constantly dealing with other physicians including internists, radiologists, surgeons, etc. It has been a great learning experience in many different sides of medicine such as medical school/residency, different issues facing docs, patient contact, and just how the field runs overall. You also develop personal relationships with many of the physicians, and all the ones I work with are extremely willing to answer any questions. So in that regard, it is much like shadowing... but you are paid pretty well for it. Perhaps that is the benefit of working at a smaller hospital though. As with anything, any situation is what you make of it. And like it was said earlier, no one will do what a doctor does except a doctor. But as a tech (and it does vary from hospital to hospital), you will learn a lot about all aspects of the field. It's a great job for college.
 

defrunner

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ed2brute said:
Today my 4 year old son had a VCUG to determine if he has vesicoureteral reflux. The nurse tried to place the catheter and failed. Another nurse tried and also failed. The radiologist then tried and guess what? Failed. They called a urologist down and he finally got the catheter placed. (Of course my little guy was fed up with having tubes crammed up his urethra by that point!)
I have an irrational fear of catheters and want nothing to do with them. They horrify me. Just the thought sickens me and I hope to hell that I never have to need them. The only thing worse would be that fish that swims right up the urethra (forgot the name of it but it's in the Amazon -- needless to say, I have no desire to bathe in the Amazon ever ever ever. EVER.).

Just thinking about it makes me wince. Go away.

Male urologists are evil creatures. But God forbid I should ever meet a female urologist who just broke up with her boyfriend.
 

Johnny_one_eye

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I'm currently finishing up a Nursing Assistant program (Wednesday is my last day of clinicals) and I can only say this is going to be one of the best possible things I could have done. You can shadow a doc and sort of see what it's going to be like (although you're never going to fully understand it until you're there, and you've been through the whole process), but being a healthcare tech gives you a whole new outlook on caring for a patient. If you want patient contact, this is the way to get it. They simply DO so much for patients. And not only that, but you get such a valuable experience from it. You learn the definition of compassion when you've got to give someone a bath, feed them, brush their teeth for them and clean them up after they've been incontinent. These aren't glamorous tasks, I know, nor are they the jobs of a doctor, but they teach you how to treat other people with dignity, respect, and care that you'd be hardpressed to understand shadowing a doctor.

On the other hand, I think an ER/ED tech would be even more "helpful" as you're terming it. At the hospital I'm applying to, ER tech's work directly under a physician's supervision to do things like remove sutures. I mean how cool is that for someone who just took a class over a summer? It's a different kind of reward than you'll get from working in a nursing home or being responsible for someone's daily care, but definitely good for you and your future.
 
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