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Different Types of Jobs For EMT-B's

Discussion in 'Education and Training' started by EDAC, May 17, 2009.

  1. EDAC

    EDAC New Member

    EMS Training:
    I have been thinking about my future employment after finishing EMT-B training. In my research I have a found a number of possibilities, they include the obvious the local ambulance company, IFT's which there are a number hiring right now, ER Tech in two different hospitals, and two local casinos who hire EMT's. I plan to jump right into Medic school as soon as possible after my basic certification. I was wondering how or if, the different types of jobs would affect my required experience for Medic school. For example would working at an IFT facility be looked at as the necesary experience for medic school as would 911 ambulance service? Or is just experience enough to get into the schools? I have researched and have found no really definitive answers, the local Medic school just says experience working as an EMT either paid or volunteer. My preference would be either with a 911 ambulance service or an ER tech for my Basic experience.

    The EMT course I am taking currently is CAAHEP accredited, and I was told the Medic program will only be accepting students that have been trained through a program with that accreditation. I understand the program I am in is only the local training that has that accreditation.

    Any input? I have looked on the CA EMS website, and at the local college's addmission requirements, and the only thing I have found on experience is just that, must be currently employed as an EMT-B, and the state of CA says you must hold a current EMT-B cert. So given that information, I have to assume that work experience as long as it is EMT related is what is required. Is one type of experience better than another? Or is it just important to get some experience and move on to Medic school?

    I am currently enrolled in A&P, and Medical Terminology. I have also signed up for the EKG training and Phlebotomy for health care providers course. I Plan to take Biology and Psychology as well after I finish my EMT course. I am hoping these will give me an edge for Medic school acceptance as wel as finding a job.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2009
  2. vquintessence

    vquintessence New Member

    Good job of getting your ducks in a row. Not often does a student have good foresight.

    You seem to personally want 911 experience over the other alternatives; I cannot speak for Cali, but 911 will be hard to come by with you being a new EMT. However do not fret, for it's not a big deal.

    ER technician and IFT are in my opinion the best exposure you can get.

    ER tech because you'll be working side by side with RN's, EMD's, PA's, RT's, etc etc. You'll get to see how they work, you'll absorb their higher education and habits, and you get to see the long term care and treatment for EVERY PT that EMS can bring in.

    IFT's shouldn't be dismissed entirely either, and personally I would recommend IFT experience over 911 if you plan on becoming a medic. Reasons being:

    IFT's you shall see some of the sickest pts. You'll get a good respect for how gentle they need to be handled (as opposed to 911 where you'll be throwing them onto a stairchair and [unforunately] be speeding over every pothole) as well as how to interact with them (particularily the elderly). You will also get to read their priviledged info regarding their medical hx, treatment, interventions, etc. There is good info to be had in those files!

    Also, pay close attention as well to the different types of medications that are commonly prescribed. You NEED to know MUCH more medicine than just the crap we carry in our drug boxes.

    Many people will probably disagree with me recommending IFT over 911, but again, you intend to go straight to Paramedic... so get as much exposure to the medical long term care as you can now for the short time you'll be an EMT.

    You seem like you're methodical and organized... make sure you carry that into EMS! Do it right and good luck. This small niche in the medical field (EMS) needs more medical care providers and less street providers.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2009
  3. VentMedic

    VentMedic New Member

    I definitely agree with you and the reason many of us tell people to spend only the time it takes you to finish Paramedic to work on an IFT truck is because too few EMTs are given the advice you just gave. They are just phyisically present on that truck without the benefit of knowing what additional stuff they could learn because it wasn't covered in EMT-B. Thus, they just do the required vital signs. However, if one is continuing their education while working as an EMT, many things will start to make sense as the information in EMT-B is too little to really understand a lot of what is being read that causes some to just look for the information needed to fill out their paperwork.

    Too few also fail to take advantage of the health care providers at the facilities they transport patients to and from to learn more things. Few know why they are even transporting patients to HBO, Rehab, PFT or some other therapy/diagnostic lab. Few realize that many of these patients were once a "real cool" EMS call.

    Other things to check out while transporting patients are the various accessories attached to the patient like venous access ports, dialysis shunts/grafts, different types of feeding tubes and the 300 different airway devices one might find on a patient. Not all are a "trach" as pictured in the EMT(P) text books. I sometimes surprise a Paramedic with a question about how they were going to adapt their bag to a 4 mm Montgomery tube that can not be removed in an emergency when they transport these patients to us. Unfortunately, they assumed it is a trach and all "trachs" are alike. Too few do a good assessment and get complacent with "routines". Then, when they do have something emergent they don't know if they can or how to us a venous port or a particular airway. They didn't pay attention. It is just like the recent question about taking a BP on the arm of a woman (or man) who has had a mastectomy. Many Paramedics aren't familiar with alternative BP sites or know why they are used. Some are even useless when it comes to taking a manual BP because they have gotten accustomed to using electronic gadgets.

    If a college Paramedic program is your option, go for it. Otherwise, you could end up being better educated than your Paramedic instuctor if you choose a medic mill.

    As an EMT-B, an ED and/or a good IFT company will be of benefit if you use the patient contact time wisely. The stuff you learn there will make patient assessments very easy if you get a good system that is thorough. Many fail at this level as a Paramedic, especially with medical calls, because they get short-sighted, hop around in their assessments and miss important details.
  4. EDAC

    EDAC New Member

    EMS Training:
    Thank you both for your informative replies. Yes my preference would be a 911 service or an ER Tech, but after reading the information you provided I will reconsider my options. Given your responses I feel I should give IFT serious consideration. What you said makes a lot of sense to me, and I can see how it could beneficial in the long run. After all my goal is to become a Paramedic, so the position that would give me the best experience would be where I would want to concentrate my efforts.

    I did not get into this field to just drive an emergency vehicle, I got that experience while I was an MP in the Army I came into this field because medicine has always intrigued me, especially emergency medicine. I really love to be challenged, and like to work under pressure, I feel I do my best work these types of situations. Becoming a physician is not something I have ever wanted to do, but paramedicine, and nursing are both careers I have considered at one time or another, with being a paramedic as my first choice. My goal is to get into critical care, so any pointers as to what types of course work, or education I should look into would be very much appreciated.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2009
  5. Level1pedstech

    Level1pedstech New Member

    Im not sure what you require in the way of benefits but one good way to get in some experience and a decent income during your on going education period is to work on call or supplemental. These positions have no strings for either party and allow freedom to pursue other interests. You could work as a tech (my first recommendation) or on a car doing IFT's or both.

    If you go the tech route you should get on the job training in both EKG's and phlebotomy. It will be up to you to learn how to read the EKG results but you will average 10 per shift or more and thats great experience. As far as dealing with patients in the IFT setting and learning from said experience, where do you think many of these patients end up? Thats right the ER. I would bet 33% of our patient load is generated from transfers either from nursing homes or LTC's. You will have plenty of close contact and learning time with these folks in the ER. Just a few thoughts.

  6. EDAC

    EDAC New Member

    EMS Training:
    I've been doing a lot of research over the last few days and have come to the realization that most of the available jobs are in the hospitals. The lists are pages long and many of the positions are urgent in nature. The benefits are teriffic, and the potential for ongoing education is unlimited. Having a Phlebotomy Certification is a must in most positions. At least 2 of the hospitals will pay for your advanced education, if that is what you desire. Luckily they also encourage students and new graduates of medical training to apply for positions, EMT's included. That will probably be the route I go, unless something changes my mind, but I can't imagine what that would be.

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