Alberta EMR Job Experiences?

MikEMS

Forum Ride Along
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Hey I am curious to hear about what a typical day in the Industrial/Oilfield as an EMR was like for you or someone you know. Recently I completed my EMR course and am considering going to work here in Alberta as an onsite EMR in an MTC.

Would you be able to share:

-Hours per day, shift schedules, salary and payrates
-Amount of calls on average per day/week or however often
-Partnered or alone
-Anything that a someone new to the field would need to know
-Stories
-types of injuries that occured and were treated by you or other EMRs

Thanks!
 
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RyanMidd

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I'm currently about 45 minutes from Red Earth Creek working for a company called IPS. There are a few dozen of these private EMS companies, and they do projects ranging from sporting events (rodeos, hockey tournaments) to university beer garden standby. Mostly, though, it's oil-field related stanby, like where I am right now.

The work is on a contractual basis, so usually once you're oriented with the company they'll offer you a job and give you the details (length, location, etc).

For the most part, companies will pay for a single MTC (the truck with the module on the back), a single EMR or EMT, and they can pick and choose certain equipment. I prefer not to accept contracts that do not include an AED. They're rare, but still some companies would rather save that $25 per day.

Many contracts will see you in quite remote locations, as that is where most industrial sites are. So far, I have done several jobs where I would stay in a hotel (paid for by EMS company) and drive to and from the worksite each day. I often take the company's shorter contracts, since I have lots of stuff on the go at home like Search & Rescue and sports. But contracts can range from 1 day all the way up to a couple months at a time. Let them know what your schedule is, and how long you're willing to work for. Be flexible, and you'll get more offers.

There aren't any "calls" per se; you are simply there keeping busy (studying, reading, watching movies, playing DS, etc). If anything does happen, you are responsible for its treatment/management, and someone else is usually picked beforehand to help drive, maybe somebody else to help you in the back of the unit. You are also there to advocate for safety and health issues. Some clients prefer you just keep to yourself, others will actively ask about safety issues you've seen, etc.

I don't want to make it out to be a slack job or paint anybody with the wrong brush, but sometimes it is a lot of sitting and occupying yourself. Earning experience can be hard if nothing happens on your contracts. However, injuries can be as varied as they are in urban settings. I have treated (or managed as best I could) anything from gout, to sprained ankles, cuts and scrapes, and even an impaled nail from a nail gun. Always keep in mind that based on where you are/what the work is, things could blow up, leak, start on fire, or somebody could simply have a heart attack.

Pay varies with experience and certification. I'm an EMT, with H2S (minimum standard for any company), PST, ITLS, WHMIS, TDG, several First Aid/CPRs, Wilderness first aid, NAPD, and a few other urban certificates. The pay is often quite reasonable, with additions such as meal subs (often $25-50 per day untaxed which is given when you're buying your own groceries), travel allowances for getting around, and paid driving time (usually something like $8-12 per hour) while you drive from base to the assignment a zillion miles away.

I prefer not to share pay scales that much, but I believe the pay is fair, and I have student loans to pay off, so for now, industrial contracts are a good thing.

I hope this has shed some light on the job, any other questions, lemme know.
 

hklili

Forum Ride Along
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Hi Ryan, I'm a recent EMR registered. Very interested in taking on the oilfield work, or if you even call it work. I know that I wouldn't get much experience out there so I'm just in it for the cash. But I've also heard that some companies are a bit shady where they don't pay you right away, etc.

Aside from IPS, do you know other companies out there that will pay decent for registered EMR's. Say, $250 and up? Plus Sub.
 

fortsmithman

Forum Deputy Chief
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I've heard from an EMT in my service that some oil patch services will pay you without taking any deductions which means at tax time one would have a large tax bill.
 

canuck_downunder05

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I'm currently working for a company out of Newfoundland in Northern Alberta. I'm a subcontractor getting paid without tax deduction. Which seems sweet when you get the pay cheque, but it's gonna be some hassle next April with taxes when I have to pay into government taxes.

Not to mention I don't have a whole lot of writeoffs considering my flights, room and board are paid for, trucks are provided, PPE ect.

Also, buddy who is looking to get into EMR work for the cash. I think it's important to realize that while the cash is awesome, and probably the number 1 reason why people get into the industrial work, please keep in mind that when you step out into the field, you are the person people will turn to when crap hits the fan. When someone gets injured, whether it is a sprained ankle, vehical rollover or pipeline accident, you have to respond and help regardless of your scope of practice. Which is why I sometimes don't believe oilfields should have EMR's on site. The course does not prepare you with the skills, tools or the expierence to handle difficult situations in the field. Are you aware many of these jobs are hours away from a hospital or ground ambulance support? Have you asked yourself how you are prepared to handle a multiple casuality incident on your own?

I had a buddy involved in a pipeline accident last month. Crushed chest, 4 broken ribs, crushed trachea. and other multiple injuries... As an EMR do you feel comfortable handling this situation? Have you thought how you would go about maintainting this patient for an hour and half out of the bush in the back of an MTC?

I just think it's important you have a full grasp of what you can be walking into. With safety the way it is these days, you'd like to think accidents are minimal. But they do happen.

And some industrial medics won't consider it work out here, I myself sit on my butt alot as well. But there is stuff to be done. Maintaing the truck, your equipment, sometimes creating a Emergency Response Plan, attending safety meetings, having good communication skills between superiours onsite and within your company and also finding ways to stay fresh and maintain your training.

Lastly, of course there are shady companies out there. I would suggest smaller companies. They maintain their trucks and equipment better and tend to treat their staff better. Also the pay is usually better. The company I work for right now have EMTs and Paramedics working together in a truck which makes more sense and utilizes the skills better. It's a cost to the oil company but it makes far more sense and the patient recieves better treatment because of it.

That's just my $0.02 but before you go out there for the cash, be comfortable and confident in your training, and I do suggest continuing your education to become more trained in BLS.
 
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nomofica

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I'm actually rather glad to see such detailed posts in this thread. It's good to see them answer unasked questions. I, myself, am rather interested in the industrial work, but until I have enough money for other more highly prioritized things I'm stuck in the big city making next to nothing.
 

InsidiousStealth

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I had a buddy involved in a pipeline accident last month. Crushed chest, 4 broken ribs, crushed trachea. and other multiple injuries... As an EMR do you feel comfortable handling this situation? Have you thought how you would go about maintainting this patient for an hour and half out of the bush in the back of an MTC?

Well said with that type of scenario! Definitely made me rethink things if i ended up going up north. Did your friend tell you the patients result of what happened afterward? Who else was with him taking care of the patient? Was it just him and another EMR? I'd just like a bit more variables to that story because that would be pretty intimidating for an EMR level but I would feel more comfortable with it if there was an EMT working with me. Also talking about working out of your scope of practice....I don't know how that would bold if the patient ended up dying or something because its pretty forbidden to be doing things out of your scope of practice is it not?

So in that situation what can an EMR really do in their scope of practice? Use a spine board unless C-spine is ruled out, Give oxygen maintain airway and transport? Maybe bulky dressing for possible flail chest [sounds like it with that type of scenario]
 

canuck_downunder05

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Well said with that type of scenario! Definitely made me rethink things if i ended up going up north. Did your friend tell you the patients result of what happened afterward? Who else was with him taking care of the patient? Was it just him and another EMR? I'd just like a bit more variables to that story because that would be pretty intimidating for an EMR level but I would feel more comfortable with it if there was an EMT working with me. Also talking about working out of your scope of practice....I don't know how that would bold if the patient ended up dying or something because its pretty forbidden to be doing things out of your scope of practice is it not?

So in that situation what can an EMR really do in their scope of practice? Use a spine board unless C-spine is ruled out, Give oxygen maintain airway and transport? Maybe bulky dressing for possible flail chest [sounds like it with that type of scenario]

Hey,

My buddy was the patient unfortunatly. He also used to be an EMT. The Emr working on him was alone, with the exception of other workers. With my experience and from talking with other EMR's, EMR's rarely work with other EMT's paramedics unless they are on bigger projects and it's more or less other medics in the area (within an hour and half of eachother) incase additional assistance is needed.

The results of his accident, had him in a coma on life support for 2 weeks. After that scary few weeks and several surguries later, he did begin to recover. Was unable to eat solid for up to six weeks and had a chest tube in. He just got out of the hosital about 5 weeks ago, 6 weeks after it had happend.

You are right in the treatment you can give him... It's the basics and in an EMR's scope. It is treatment, and preventing further injuries from happening. Even as an EMT we are unable to give pain meds, but atleast we have IV's in our scope, along with combitube and LMA if it could have been used for airway management.

Any treatment is better than no treatment, but I just believe that an EMR's scope is too minimal for those remote areas... There are EMR's out there that are great, and it does come if you find that field experience.

My advice, do check it out if you really want to. But use that "free time" and that extra cash to work on a distance program towards your EMT. Get the hospital practicum and the ambulance practical under your belt and you'll get that experience and confiidence!
 

InsidiousStealth

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Thanks for the response that was a good read. I actually just got my ACP test results back on monday and i passed ACP so now i just need to register and then i'm actually a registered EMR which felt pretty good.

Anyways I am glad your buddy is okay...did he say what the EMR did for him? Or did he just do what i said?

I am probably only going to go up north if i don't get into the EMT at SAIT this fall, I am thinking I will get in though. I was on a waiting list and have handed everything but i brought them my pass letter and they put me up on the waiting list now and said my name should be pulled but they can't guarantee it unfortunately. So i just have to apply for student loans and just wait unfortunately
 

canuck_downunder05

Forum Probie
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The EMR did what he did, again with what supplies he had and in the position he was in. My friend was in obvious pain but nothing was able to be done until he reached a hosptial... I do believe an BLS ambulance did meet him on the way. Oh and he got flesh eating disease during the first few days as well in the hospital.

Congrats on passing your ACP exams. I never was a fan of ACP and their testing, but I'm happy you got over the hump and good luck with SAIT and the EMT program!
 

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