1st Ride along

Airamis

Forum Ride Along
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Hey all, I've got my 1st Ride along coming up this weekend and I'm extremely nervous and excited all at the same time. We're at about mid-term in class so I still don't exactly have any confidence in any skills I've learned so far. But I know the only way to ever get any confidence with them is to get out there and do it. Just wondering if anyone had any tips on what to do or not do so that I don't make myself look like a complete fool my 1st day at the firehouse.


:sad:
 

i_drive_code3

Forum Crew Member
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how to make the most of your ride-alongs

hi there..i can remember being in your shoes! at least as a student you should get cut some slack:rolleyes:

here are some tips:
+do a rig checkout with the emt on duty --they are more willing to "let you play" if you know where stuff is and can be of help

+get your hands on their equipment --not all agencies use the same equipment you are being trained on in class

+ask questions --there are no dumb questions!

+bring your textbook --there may be down time when you're not helping out around the station (yes offer to help with station duties!) or running calls --use that time to study and pick the brain of the emt/medic you are working with

+bring your own food & water --best bet is a small insulated lunch bag in case they don't have a fridge or you get busy you can toss it in the rig. don't just bring cash cuz you may not have time to stop & eat

+don't forget hippa & keep in mind that what you say may be heard by anyone including the patient & their family

+ask the emt/medic/fire crew to practice skills with you --there are skills some of us don't use very often and are more than happy to practice with someone and there are skills we use every day and we're still more than happy to practice them!

+this is your opportunity to see how you react to different sights, sounds & smells so use it to your advantage...

when i did my ride-alongs & clinical time, i did everything and anything that was asked of me (yes i did lots of "icky" stuff at the hospital) but it really helped me to find out what i could tolerate & what was gross to me. i made the mistake of not checking out the equipment on my first ride-along and consequently i was unsure of how to use their bp equipt. and yeahhhhhh it was embarrassing. i also just brought cash on one ride-along but we got too busy to eat and i really wished i had brought my own food too.

remember the curse of the ride-along: when we have one, we have NO calls (until they leave of course!)LOL...

good luck to you (take a deeeep breath) and commence to learning!

~kb
 

Gents82

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wow...you get to do ride alongs? I wish my class let us do that. The best we got was 10 hours in the ER. Since youre still a student and arent licensed yet I wouldnt think you would be required to do anything, cause if you do and you make a mistake, somehow they find out you werent licensed and they let you practice, theyre in some trouble. But I could be wrong. I'd give you advice, but I'm the guy who passed out by listening to some guy talk about how he got hepatitis C...lol.
 

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
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Gents82 said:
wow...you get to do ride alongs? I wish my class let us do that. The best we got was 10 hours in the ER. Since youre still a student and arent licensed yet I wouldnt think you would be required to do anything, cause if you do and you make a mistake, somehow they find out you werent licensed and they let you practice, theyre in some trouble. But I could be wrong. I'd give you advice, but I'm the guy who passed out by listening to some guy talk about how he got hepatitis C...lol.

I did a lot during my clinicals while I was in EMT class. How do you think you learn? Doctors and nurses also work in the hospital as they take their courses. It's part of the system.

I did lots of vitals, finger pokes, helped work a code, put patients on O2, cleaned out wounds, and did a whole bunch of cool stuff. I even did skills that I didn't officially learn.

Know your limits, don't compromise patient care, and you'll have a great time!
 

MariaCatEMT

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Hey! Good luck in your class. I loved mine, and we were able to do both ambulance ride-alongs and emergency room time, both of which I learned a great deal from. Regarding your ride-along, I was real nervous too on mine, but the crew went to great lengths to make me comfortable, and never expected me to do what I wasn't comfortable with. Ask a lot of questions (sometimes the question will have to wait until after patient care if it's critical, etc). Ask the crew or lead medic ahead of time what they expect and what they would like you to do. You know how to do basic skills and take vitals, don't be afraid to jump in and try. On my first ride-along, after the medic took vitals I asked if I could to practice, and he let me. Bringing snacks as well as money, is a good idea, to ensure ya get to eat something on your shift. Keep the weather in mind and be properly dressed...so you don't freeze if you're outside a lot. Having the crew show you where everything is will help. Bring your own steth, the one you intend to use after class is over. You'll do fine. Listen, watch, learn, ask questions, and dive in! Good luck, and have fun!
 

Jon

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Welcome to EMTlife - we put the Fun in Dysfunction....

I'll second the comment about the rig check - most crews have to do one at the start of shift, so that is an easy way to learn where most of the important stuff is.

Bring your books with you.

Talk with your preceptor about what he/she/it wants you to do, and let them know what you can do

Don't expect to "run the show"

Jon
 
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Airamis

Forum Ride Along
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Thank you all for the replies! Those tips will definatly help me out. One last question. It's cold out and my uniform for class is a short sleeve shirt. I was planning on buying a long sleeve to wear under it, but the only coat I own is a leather one and not one I'd like to get blood/vomit all over. Do the crew's provide you with a coat to match theirs or should I go buy something that I don't mind disposing of if the worst happens.
 

Wingnut

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I'd buy something just to be safe. The only other tip I'd like to add is when you show up in the morning or whenever, sit down with your preceptor and talk to them. I did this every time, I told them how I felt asked what he'd be comfortable with and what he expected of me. It really opened up our lines of communication. They both felt comfortable with me after I addressed the "issues" of me being a student. I basically told them I'm here to learn, I'm green and I don't want to get in the way but I'm eager to jump in when I can. In fact the guy I rode with twice (we had to do 72hrs..I did 3 overnight shifts) made me take a call by myself. He knew I wasn't confident but pushed me anyway and it was the best experience I ever had. Then I told him I was going to strangle him for doing that to me but that's another story.

Gents, part of our tuition was for insurance and we had to sign liability waivers when we started the program, that way we could practice in the capacity of students and be safe from most reprecussions.
 

coloradoemt

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It is kinda fun having new hires or students. From the FI side bring your preceptor breakfast!!! Yeah thats the ticket!!! B) I like to get all of my third riders as involved as possible. The last day of my last set we had a student rider. As we cannot let them run the call, on the way back to quarters I will ask them to tell me what they observed, so pay attention. Also after hearing a couple of phone reports and ED handoffs I let them try themselves. Be yourself and do not try to make yourself more experienced than you are. Ask questions. I do not mind questions but usually after the pt is in the ED. I have had students who want to be involved right out of the gate, and those that wanted to watch a couple of calls be run first. Make that decision and let you crew know about it. And remember when you get excited and forget what to do, just say so. I have had students who were so amped up they could not get a c-collar on. This is ok as long as you say something.

Good luck and remember, you are new, you are not expected to know it all... YET!! :)
 

futuretoledoemt

Forum Crew Member
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Airamis said:
Thank you all for the replies! Those tips will definatly help me out. One last question. It's cold out and my uniform for class is a short sleeve shirt. I was planning on buying a long sleeve to wear under it, but the only coat I own is a leather one and not one I'd like to get blood/vomit all over. Do the crew's provide you with a coat to match theirs or should I go buy something that I don't mind disposing of if the worst happens.

My crew provided me with nothing but experience :) I did my practicals in December 05, mostly in snowstorms :)

Bring your own stethoscope, as others have mentioned, Don't be afraid to ask questions, as others have mentioned... Don't be afraid to take vitals... Bring your textbook, as others have mentioned... Jesus, I don't have much to offer, do I? My crew was most impressed by the fact that if I had a question I asked. (I was with a private service vs. Fire, not that it would matter)... It was scary at first, but a hell of a learning experience.

Good luck :)

April
 

futuretoledoemt

Forum Crew Member
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coloradoemt said:
It is kinda fun having new hires or students. From the FI side bring your preceptor breakfast!!! Yeah thats the ticket!!! B) I like to get all of my third riders as involved as possible. The last day of my last set we had a student rider. As we cannot let them run the call, on the way back to quarters I will ask them to tell me what they observed, so pay attention. Also after hearing a couple of phone reports and ED handoffs I let them try themselves. Be yourself and do not try to make yourself more experienced than you are. Ask questions. I do not mind questions but usually after the pt is in the ED. I have had students who want to be involved right out of the gate, and those that wanted to watch a couple of calls be run first. Make that decision and let you crew know about it. And remember when you get excited and forget what to do, just say so. I have had students who were so amped up they could not get a c-collar on. This is ok as long as you say something.

Good luck and remember, you are new, you are not expected to know it all... YET!! :)

This was me to a "T" btw... We had a pt. who was Tuberculosis + and we all had masks on... my preceptor/medic said my eyes were the size of half dollars. It may be a mid-sized city, but we didn't have crap for calls... So this was the big one. :)

Once again, good luck... Remember, life is a learning experience :)

April
 

Jon

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Talk with your instructor about "uniforms" - he may have a specfic color turtleneck he wants you to wear.

We had a rule for uniforms - we were not allowed to wear ANYTHING over our issued polo shirts (so I have a large collection of white, gold (same as polo) and navy long-sleeve t-shirts and turtlenecks). At my squad, the "uniform" is a white shirt and navy pants... The squad supplies turnout gear (bunker coat, helmet) for MVA's and cold weather.
 

EMTI&RESCUE

Forum Crew Member
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We are very near medix school. So we get 3rd riders atleast 3 times a week. I ditto the remarks. Get in the truck and see where and what the service has. Ask lots of questions. I'm sure you'll do great.
 
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Airamis

Forum Ride Along
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Well I just got back from a 14 hour shift and had the time of my life! There is no doubt that this is the job for me. I had a taste of everything today, MVA, Psych eval, dislocated knee, ect.. ect.. probably about 9-10 calls total. So thank you for all your tips, things could not have worked out better. I ended up buying a fleece pullover and that was fine, they didnt care that my Uniform was covered up. I cant wait to get my next shift scheduled!

Thanks again!
 

Wingnut

EMS Junkie
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Wow! You got lucky, I think that's the toal number of calls I went on in all 3 days I worked. Usually when we show up, the calls stop.

I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it so much...Now you're officially one of us!
 

emtd29

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Just remember, The only stupid question is the one that is not asked!
 

Flight-LP

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Gents82 said:
wow...you get to do ride alongs? I wish my class let us do that. The best we got was 10 hours in the ER. Since youre still a student and arent licensed yet I wouldnt think you would be required to do anything, cause if you do and you make a mistake, somehow they find out you werent licensed and they let you practice, theyre in some trouble. But I could be wrong. I'd give you advice, but I'm the guy who passed out by listening to some guy talk about how he got hepatitis C...lol.


How is it that any EMT training program, much less a state licensing department is allowing students to become EMT's without ever riding on an Ambulance for clinical rotations? I have now heard 3 different people tell me that they did minimal time in an ER, but ZERO hours on an ambulance. This is beyond substandard, its down right negligent!
 

JJR512

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I don't have to do any time in an ER. I have to get five pt. assessments by riding the ambulance. I'm not sure what the practical benefit of ER time would be to a pre-hospital provider. I'm sure it would be interesting and informational, but if there's a practical benefit, please explain what it would be. Maybe I could volunteer to "hang out" in the ER, if it would be worth it.
 

ffemt8978

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JJR512 said:
I don't have to do any time in an ER. I have to get five pt. assessments by riding the ambulance. I'm not sure what the practical benefit of ER time would be to a pre-hospital provider. I'm sure it would be interesting and informational, but if there's a practical benefit, please explain what it would be. Maybe I could volunteer to "hang out" in the ER, if it would be worth it.

If done correctly, it teaches you the basics of patient assessment without the distractions that are present on scene (bad lighting, screaming family members, etc....). After all, a patient assessment is a patient assessment regardless of where you do it. Also, my previous medical director wanted us to do ER rotations so that he or one of his other ER docs could observe us prior to him letting us operate under his license.
 

mofiremedic

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er time teaches you alot about stuff you dont get time to see in the field. as a medic and as an emt i loved my er time. you'll learn alot about pt care if you pay attention.
on another note every student i have had so far has seen more bad calls than the rest of their calss. two days ago i had a medic student that ran an mvc with trauma activate (triage red), an overdose, a combative psych,a transfer, an abdominal aortic aneurism that ruptured, and a pretty decent GI bleed (that one sucked). lots of fun for the student, but lots of paperwork for me.
ask lots of questions and try to take criticism well. last but not least (if the crew is as bad with names as me) dont get upset if they call you probie, rookie, FNG, or and other variety of names, as long as theyre not crude.

good luck with ur ride time!!! B)
 
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