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Should I be an EMT or emergency room technician?

Discussion in 'EMS Talk' started by quebebran, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. quebebran

    quebebran New Member

    I'm trying to decide if I want to be an emergency room technician or work on an ambulance as an EMT. Either way you need an EMT-B certification which I am about to have (hopefully). What are pros and cons of each? Anyone ever tried both? What did you prefer? I am so confused! I like the hospital setting, but I also like the drama and excitement working in the field...the field is more physically demanding though...
  2. Thindian

    Thindian New Member

    Location:
    I'm around.
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Paramedic
    Field - Code 3
    ER - Code Brown, Code Yellow
  3. Summit

    Summit Critical Crap

    Location:
    Rocks and Snow
    fixed :rolleyes:
  4. thegreypilgrim

    thegreypilgrim Member

    Location:
    SoCal
    Depends. What do you want be when you grow up?
  5. atropine

    atropine Member

    Location:
    Southern Cali
    EMS Training:
    Student
    niether don't work for peanuts, get your fire academy and get picked by an FD
  6. EchoMikeTango

    EchoMikeTango New Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    don't know about that. all those pts end up in an ER, so..

    I loved working in an ER. you really get to see a lot of action.
    Its worth it.

    but they are right, depends on what route you take.
  7. thedawg6

    thedawg6 New Member

    The ER techs in my hospital tend to be pt transport. They don't really do anything other than take pts being admitted to their room.
  8. Neither get your associates degree and be a paramedic.
  9. firecoins

    firecoins IFT Puppet

    Location:
    Nyack, NY
    operating room tech instead
  10. Sasha

    Sasha New Member

    It's a different kind of demanding. You're not carrying people up many stairs or through impossibly high grass ( And yes, I encountered that last week at my IFT job..) but in the ER it seems they have many many many patients to take care of and their moving of patients seems very repitive and they seem to be buzzing all day while I'm napping in the truck :)
  11. Level1pedstech

    Level1pedstech New Member

    Location:
    Victorville,CA
    You need to be careful about putting out information that broad brushes a particular profession and what is required in said profession. Not all ER Techs are CNA's or have job descriptions that require them to clean up after patients. In five years I have had way less contact with the above in the ER than I have had in the field. If your running with a 911 service your seeing and dealing with alot more of the above on a more frequent basis. If your IFT I know what you have to deal with because almost every patient we get from the outside care facilities comes preloaded with a BM or at least the residue of the last BM.

    You see as tech its my job to make sure the RN's tow the line and have their patients as tolerable as possible before I preform my duties. This comes with experience and time on the job, does it always work, no and when needed I jump in and get the job done. If poop and pee and all the other fine things that come with this profession are objectionable to a prospective provider then I strongly urge them to find another way to make a living.
  12. bunkie

    bunkie New Member

    I think it depends on where you want to go with your career. I loved the idea of working at the hospital I did my rotation at, but it wont get me anywhere towards my paramedic. And as that is my goal, its my priority in working places that will get me there.


    I shadowed an ER tech during my ed rotation. We never sat down in ten hours. She was in on everything and doing everything. Aside from stocking up rooms and transporting pts, she assisted on just about everything. Did 12 leads and anything else you can think of. :wacko:
  13. Level1pedstech

    Level1pedstech New Member

    Location:
    Victorville,CA
    It might help to know where you are and what you plan on doing in the future. The ER tech position is different in every hospital and may require you to have more than just your basic. There are also some that only require you to have BLS and health care provider CPR. Most ER managers are going to want to see some background in patient care preferably in the EMS setting but that's not always the case. There are way more applicants than there are positions but the turnover is high due to people moving on to bigger and better things.

    You will find the ER offers the benefit of constant education and if you show interest there is always someone willing to teach you something new. You will be involved in the treatment of more patients in one twelve hour shift in the ER than you will in a month in the field. Of course call volume differs from agency to agency but you get the point. In the ER you will have the chance to assist with and preform procedures that are well above what you might do in the field at the basic level and at times the medic level.

    My background is Fire/EMS in the first in 911 setting and at the present time I prefer my tech job to working in the field. I just don't find the same thrill I once did running calls in the field. This leads to one of the con's of working on the inside. You will find if you work in the field that the expectations you place on your fellow providers will usually not be realized. After working with RN's,PA's and MD's in the ER you will look at the outside differently,not to shed a negative light on outside providers but you should be aware of this. i do know plenty of people including myself that have done both and have learned to keep things in perspective,realizing the differences in the two settings.

    As far as drama and excitement well lets go back to my question to you,where are you looking to get a tech job. A level three ER in a rural community is going to offer a different experience than a level one in a large urban setting. The urban setting will often come with a diverse patient base offering plenty of drama and excitement. At my level one facility when I work on the adult side I prefer the 1900-0730 shift on the weekends,if you want drama and excitement that's the place to be. On the other hand you will find the smaller rural hospital might offer more in the way of unstabilized trauma being your the closest ER to an accident scene. Most of our real messy traumas go direct to the OR where in a level two or below setting you will get these patients then offer treatment to stabilize them enough to be transferred to a level one facility.

    The tech position offers so much in the way of advanced training and education. If you combine it with a good courses in school you will have a strong foundation for your future in emergency medicine.
  14. Sasha

    Sasha New Member

    Keep in mind, Code Brown and Code Yellow doesn't run the likely hood of killing you in a fiery crash like going Code 3 does.
  15. Level1pedstech

    Level1pedstech New Member

    Location:
    Victorville,CA
    Why would you think working as tech would not help you in reaching your goal of paramedic. Half the techs I have worked with went on to being medics and considered their tech experience as a benefit while they were in medic school. Just knowing how to function in the hospital setting will be helpful when it comes time for your clinical rotations. I would encourage any perspective medic to tech if they could possibly fit it into their schedule,even an on call position would help you greatly just in the education you pick up from working with higher level providers. Many ER people have worked as medics and having access to such knowledge presents an outstanding educational experience that would go well with any medic program.
  16. bunkie

    bunkie New Member

    I wasn't saying that it would hinder me. I loved the hospital setting. But I have to have a year of field time as an EMT and sponsorship just to get into medic school. I can't get that at a hospital. (from my understanding)
  17. Level1pedstech

    Level1pedstech New Member

    Location:
    Victorville,CA
    I just wanted others to know there are great benefits to be had working as a tech while your advancing your education even if its only one shift a month. Unless your with a hospital based agency where you have a dual role as a tech that also works on a rig you would not be able to use the ER time as credit for your year. As a fellow WA state provider I feel your pain and having been a certified provider at some level for ten years I have more than my fair share of complaints about how WA DOH runs their programs both for EMS and hospital providers. Have you had any luck finding an agency to work with? I may have a few options if your having trouble.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2009
  18. firecoins

    firecoins IFT Puppet

    Location:
    Nyack, NY
    Loved the time I spent in the ER. All the ER techs disappeared when medic stidents showed up. We did their jobs.
  19. Level1pedstech

    Level1pedstech New Member

    Location:
    Victorville,CA
    I really enjoy having students of all levels shadow me, most of the time I get EMT or CNA students. I'm sure the charge RN would love to know their techs are dumping their work onto students. It does show initiative when students are willing to jump in and help out and believe me it doesn't go unnoticed. As a medic student most tech duties are just review of your basic skills. Most of the time our medic students work with an RN and end up doing all their work but they are in for the hands on so its all good. A student who spends their whole shift acting like a tool sitting at the nurses station telling us about how they are going to save the world offers no educational benefit what so ever. On the other hand I would caution any student in for clinical time not to be a know it all because that will also be noticed and could end up hurting you in the long run.
  20. bunkie

    bunkie New Member

    Sending you a PM. :)

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