Class not making sense

M3dicalR3dn3ck

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So on the first night of class, our instructor straight up told us that things wouldn't make sense until several weeks in.

That said, it's week 3 and I'm freaking out because nothing is really coming together yet.

Is my dumb redneck brain missing something here or is this normal when going for your Basic license?
 

mgr22

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I'm not sure why your instructor would say that. Maybe that's why you're freaking out.

The stuff presented in a basic EMT class isn't complicated. It can be a little easier or a little harder depending on the teacher, but you should be able to learn what you need to know by reading the material and practicing the exercises.
 

ffemt8978

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I'm not sure why your instructor would say that. Maybe that's why you're freaking out.

The stuff presented in a basic EMT class isn't complicated. It can be a little easier or a little harder depending on the teacher, but you should be able to learn what you need to know by reading the material and practicing the exercises.
Sometimes and for some people things don't really click until they see it all put together on an actual call, even at the basic level. The quality of the instructor can make a huge difference in this, as you alluded to, provided they recognize students having problems and assist them. This is why I'm not a huge fan of computer based learning...you lose the instructor being able to slightly change how something is presented hin order to help someone understand (and I know this class is not being taught by computer).
 

EpiEMS

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So on the first night of class, our instructor straight up told us that things wouldn't make sense until several weeks in.

That said, it's week 3 and I'm freaking out because nothing is really coming together yet.

Is my dumb redneck brain missing something here or is this normal when going for your Basic license?

Have you been reading the textbook and making sure you understand the content prior to class?
 

Aprz

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What's not making sense? Maybe we can help? I would imagine at week 3, you guys probably haven't covered a lot. Like isn't generally the first couple of weeks on safety, history of EMS, and legal stuff? Lol. I imagine you guys haven't talked about much else.
 
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M3dicalR3dn3ck

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Have you been reading the textbook and making sure you understand the content prior to class?
Yes, the concepts make sense individually, but I'm finding that putting all the individual stuff together is difficult until a skill is added in.

What's not making sense? Maybe we can help? I would imagine at week 3, you guys probably haven't covered a lot. Like isn't generally the first couple of weeks on safety, history of EMS, and legal stuff? Lol. I imagine you guys haven't talked about much else.
Yeah, legal stuff and safety were the first week. Then comms, etc. Then we got into the human body stuff and moving patients.
 

EpiEMS

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Yes, the concepts make sense individually, but I'm finding that putting all the individual stuff together is difficult until a skill is added in.
Makes sense - the labs / skills sessions will help integrate knowledge. Once you get deeper into skills, trying them out will likely assist.
I wouldn't worry so much right now, try testing yourself on the materials you have studied so far and see how you do on a practice quiz or exam.
 

mgr22

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Makes sense - the labs / skills sessions will help integrate knowledge. Once you get deeper into skills, trying them out will likely assist.
I wouldn't worry so much right now, try testing yourself on the materials you have studied so far and see how you do on a practice quiz or exam.
Just to build on the above suggestion, try forming a study group with other students who are having similar problems. Each of you can take turns asking and answering questions, then practice skill stations as a group to reinforce what you're learning.
 

NomadicMedic

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The reason the instructor said that things might not make sense for the first few weeks is because basic EMS education is based on fundamentals that don’t really have any true application until you start to apply them to specific instances.

Remember, EMT class is entry-level. We expect students to have little to no medical knowledge or ability. We’re starting from scratch. As an example, vital signs have no real meaning until you start to apply specific vital signs to patient presentation. We usually don’t start to discuss hypo perfusion and specific patient complaints until a few weeks in. That’s the kind of thing where you start to develop connections a few weeks into the program.

i’ve been doing this for a while, and it’s exactly the same with every class. I always tell them, “this will all start to connect once we start to talk about the specific patient presentation. What you need now is mastery of the skill. What it means is something that you will learn as we progress through the class.”

my thoughts on EMS education are a little different than others. Basic EMT education is vocational. I am teaching algorithmic skills. It’s the same as teaching someone to weld or bake a cake. Students are learning to follow a recipe and are expected to use the cookbook for a while. Advanced level courses are more collegiate and are dependent upon the candidates ability to synthesize and use critical thinking. We really need to stop making EMT education more than it is and focus the critical thinking components on the advanced level classes.
 
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M3dicalR3dn3ck

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So we're halfway through the class now. Things are making sense and are coming together as we practice the NREMT psychomotor skills exam, learn new skills, and ideally during ride-alongs (though riding with EMSA I learned how to be a paramedic's servant rather than an EMT Basic).

Here's the catch. I've determined that I have a major personal issue that I need to address most ricky tick.

I find my mind going blank when put on the spot during races at the whiteboard, and when called up to run through the trauma or medical assessments. What can I do to combat what is effectively test anxiety? If I don't fix that now, it will be detrimental when I go to test and disastrous when I get on a truck.
 

mgr22

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So we're halfway through the class now. Things are making sense and are coming together as we practice the NREMT psychomotor skills exam, learn new skills, and ideally during ride-alongs (though riding with EMSA I learned how to be a paramedic's servant rather than an EMT Basic).

Here's the catch. I've determined that I have a major personal issue that I need to address most ricky tick.

I find my mind going blank when put on the spot during races at the whiteboard, and when called up to run through the trauma or medical assessments. What can I do to combat what is effectively test anxiety? If I don't fix that now, it will be detrimental when I go to test and disastrous when I get on a truck.
Races at the whiteboard will not happen on the truck. I promise. Also, the anxiety you feel about having to recite scripts in front of instructors and classmates is normal and probably not linked to how you will perform on written tests. As for practical tests, you'll do better as you continue learning and practicing those scripts.

I think you're putting unnecessary pressure on yourself by assuming there is something wrong with you. I'd guess more than half of your classmates are as nervous as you.
 
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M3dicalR3dn3ck

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Well new update.

Last week I rode with a crew that was excellent for my development as an EMT. I learned how to be a Basic on BLS calls and how to be a Paramedic's aide on ALS calls, rather than the week before where every call was ALS'd and I merely functioned as a medic's aide. They inspired extreme confidence inside me. I got to administer ASA and nitro on a chest pain call, and I took the lead on every call except the cardiac arrest at the end of the day, where I immediately stepped in line to take over compressions from fire.

I also had another crew tell me to sign up for a ride with them, which I did because they get a lot of pediatric runs.

I got the confidence and I got the knowledge, now I just gotta connect the two with each other.
 

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