matt p

Forum Ride Along
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I'm a medic in New Mexico and just received my license in California. I am trying to move out there early 2018. I do not have a specific place picked out. I was just hoping to get some info about the jobs/emt environment out there. I was hoping to get an Emergency Department job but open for suggestions on rigs/fire/lifeguard. Any and all information would help me greatly! I appreciate it!
Matt
 

DesertMedic66

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Northern CA, Central CA, and SoCal are very different when it comes to EMS. No one is going to be able to provide you with a good answer with nothing to narrow it down to.

However generally the pay for medics and EMTs is low and cost of living is pretty high. Protocol generally suck and are very restrictive.
 

VentMonkey

Family Guy
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Hi Matt-

To expand on my bud @DesertMedic66's post, if you are serious about moving to California and/ or have obligations tying you to such a commitment you're going to have to narrow down your location search, and tell us what exactly you're looking for.

If you're not 100% committed to having to move here, and enjoy practicing prehospital paramedicine stay away; New Mexico is by far superior to our prehospital style of practice.

Also, as far as working as an actual functioning paramedic in an ED in California- I'm sure you could find a hospital if you searched, but most ED's in all areas I have ever been around hardly use the paramedic to its full potential.

And as always, if you can avoid it, by all means stay the hell away from Los Angeles County for sole paramedic purposes.
 

terrible one

Always wandering
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Very few hospital EDs use paramedics. CA paramedics are pretty much limited to private ems or fire
 

Akulahawk

EMT-P/ED RN
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I wouldn't go so far as to say California hospital ED's don't use paramedics. They do. However they're not typically used in a typical Paramedic role. They're used as "Techs" and the scope of practice for an ED Tech is the same whether you're an EMT or a Paramedic working in that Tech role. You won't normally be starting IV lines, pushing code meds, administering breathing treatments, etc. You'll be answering phones, doing clerical work, doing splints, doing 12-lead EKGs, assisting ED nurses (like me) in doing patient care tasks. The only places you'll be able to be a Paramedic in an ED here is if the hospital the ED is attached to also runs an 911 ambulance service. Even then the Paramedics there aren't really used to their full potential while working in the ED.

Also as stated above, there's quite a difference in how Paramedics are viewed regionally. Southern California is more "mother may I" and pretty much everywhere else is more protocol driven, almost entirely off-line unless the protocol requires base contact for something. Urban Paramedics don't get to do much in terms of using a wide-variety of skills but what they do use, they do a lot of it. Rural Paramedics don't do their skills often but out of necessity, their scope of practice is often fairly wide in comparison to the rest of the State. Compared to the rest of the US, California's Paramedics are very limited.

Again, once we know where in the State you're looking to move to, we'll be able to better advise you as to what you should do or perhaps where you might want to look for work.
 

CALEMT

The Other Guy/ Paramaybe?
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The more important question is why CA?
 

E tank

Caution: Paralyzing Agent
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The California Nurses Association would have something to say about that...
 

RocketMedic

Californian, Lost in Texas
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Why not Texas? The culture in metropolitan areas is similar to a lot of CA, COL is lower and the opportunities for paramedics are far superior in terms of what we can do with our careers, medicine and profession.
 

DesertMedic66

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Why not Texas? The culture in metropolitan areas is similar to a lot of CA, COL is lower and the opportunities for paramedics are far superior in terms of what we can do with our careers, medicine and profession.
Because CA isnt flooded right now...
 

CALEMT

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OP
OP
M

matt p

Forum Ride Along
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Well, I decided CA for a couple reasons. The main reason is that all my family lives there, and it would be nice to be closer to them (particularly my brother with a TBI, so i can help out and see him more). My girlfriend (ED RN) and I are looking into san diego, san luis obispo, monterrey, and santa cruz. She just needs to get her CA license in the mail so we can start applying and searching for optimal areas of work/living. So we haven't narrowed much down and are still open for more suggestions. Texas would be awesome! Its just not in the cards at the moment.
Thanks everyone
 
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gonefishing

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Thanks for the replies everyone. Well, I decided CA for a couple reasons. The main reason is that all my family lives there, and it would be nice to be closer to them (particularly my brother with a TBI, so i can help out and see him more). My girlfriend (ED RN) and I are looking into san diego, san luis obispo, monterrey, and santa cruz. She just needs to get her CA license in the mail so we can start applying and searching for optimal areas of work/living. So we haven't narrowed much down and are still open for more suggestions. Texas would be awesome! Its just not in the cards at the moment.
Thanks everyone
San Luis Obispo is awesome! Great little paradise. San Diego has it's issue cost of living and the fact of parking fees galore. Good luck in your search!

Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
 

ragen1

Forum Ride Along
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Well, I decided CA for a couple reasons. The main reason is that all my family lives there, and it would be nice to be closer to them (particularly my brother with a TBI, so i can help out and see him more). My girlfriend (ED RN) and I are looking into san diego, san luis obispo, monterrey, and santa cruz. She just needs to get her CA license in the mail so we can start applying and searching for optimal areas of work/living. So we haven't narrowed much down and are still open for more suggestions. Texas would be awesome! Its just not in the cards at the moment.
Thanks everyone
If you move to San Diego check out Gold Cross in Imperial County. Quite a few of the medics from San Diego carpool and work 48's. In Imperial Gold Cross is first in and you work one on one.
 

Aprz

Non flying critical care flight attendant
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I think AMR Santa Cruz paramedics make pretty good money. I looked a bit into them two years ago. I think they had only 24 hour shifts that are dual medic, but sometimes 12 hour shifts during the summer since it gets pretty busy due to tourist. I cannot remember the exactly hourly pay for their 24 hour shift, but I think it ended up being around $60k annually before tax. They were one of the first few counties near the SF Bay Area to utilize SMR, a vacuum splint backboard thingy (I totally cannot remember its name), and sedating for violent patients/excited delirium. I am sure things are changing dramatically because they just started making emt/paramedic trucks instead of dual medic. Some other issues I hear with Santa Cruz is everyone and their mom on scene is a paramedic; Too many cooks in the kitchen, so there is a lot of skill dilution as well as having people second guess you all the time, and I hear the culture is rough since they are a small workforce. They are union too (AFSCME United EMS Worker Local 4911, a popular EMS union in the SF Bay Area); You could probably Google AMR Santa Cruz CBA or something to get an idea of what their pay, benefits, and system is like).
 

wirk242

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I live and worked in San Diego county. Now I work in Riverside county for the state.

I love living in San Diego, but you do pay for the weather. The cost of living is pretty high compared to some other parts of the state, but comparable to the places you listed off.

As far as EMS is concerned in San Diego, you can get a job as a tech, you will function at an EMT scope of practice. There are two privates in San Diego county, AMR and Mercy.

I know AMR is hurting for people. Mercy is a little more selective and it's kind of a buddy system to get in. AMR does 12s in the city on a 4 and 3s schedule. Mercy does a a 48-96 in the rural regions of the country and in some places you will be the only medic.

There are tons of medic here in San Diego so unless you are working for municipal organization you won't be making a ton of money. Me and my wife made it work till I moved on.

Look at rents, do the math on the wages and see if it will be doable.
 
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