Considering EMS and have some questions

kimberelli

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HI my name is Kimberly and I am considering doingt he EMT-B course, I have a few questions I am hoping someone can answer.

1) With the EMT-B cert what kind of jobs can you get? I would like to do a lot of hands on patient care, I don't want to be the driver of the ambulance, what are the options?

2) How do I find local volunteer stations that may offer the training? I have heard that if you agree to do volunteer work for them after your training they will train for cheap or for free, has anyone doesn this?

3) How emotionally draining is this job? I have heard some pretty bad stories of things that are seen, I am sure it is true, but how common is it to see somthing very disturbing?

4) Is it hard to get a job with EMT-B cert?

Thanks for any info you may have.

Kimberly
 

TKO

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hey, my advice to you would be to do some ride alongs with your local ambulance company to get a feel of what we do. As for the kinds of jobs you can get ....well in Canada we can work of course ambulance, fire(with a fire cert) , special care homes and mines etc.
As far as volunteering, talk to St.John Ambulance(or a equivalant group in your area that does special event types of stuff). You will need your First Aid and CPR cert in order to volunteer.
I won't sugar coat this but this job is high stress. We deal with every type of situation possible. I think this story sums it up quite well.

I Wish You Could

I wish you could comprehend a wife's horror at 3 A.M. as I check her husband of forty years for a

pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway, hoping against hope to bring him back, knowing intuitively

it is too late. But wanting his wife and family to know everything possible was done.

I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a call, `What is wrong with the patient? Is it minor or

life threatening? Is the caller really in distress or is he waiting for us with a 2x4 or a gun?'

I wish you could be in the emergency room as the doctor pronounces dead the beautiful little

five-year old girl that I have been trying to save during the past twenty-five minutes, who will never

go on her first date or say the words, "I love you Mommy!" again.

I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab of the engine, the driver with his foot pressing

down hard on the pedal, my arm tugging again and again at the air horn chain, as you fail to yield

right-of-way at an intersection or in traffic. When you need us, however, your first comment upon our

arrival will be, "It took you forever to get here!"

I wish you could read my thoughts as I help extricate a girl of teenage years from the mangled

remains of her automobile, `What if this were my sister, my girlfriend, or a friend? What was her

parents' reactions going to be as they open the door to find a police officer, HAT IN HAND?'

I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet my parents and family, not

having the heart to tell them that you nearly did not come home from this last call.

I wish you could feel my hurt as people verbally, and sometimes physically, abuse us or belittle what

I do, or as they express their attitudes of, "It will never happen to me."

I wish you could realize the physical, emotional, and mental drain of missed meals, lost sleep and

forgone social activities, in addition to all the tragedy my eyes have viewed.

I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life or preserving

someone's property, of being there in times of crisis, or creating order from total CHAOS.

I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy tugging on your arm and asking, "Is

my mommy O.K.?" Not even being able to look in his eyes without tears falling from your own and

not knowing what to say. Or to have hold back a long-time friend who watches his buddy having

rescue breathing done on him as they take him away in the ambulance. You knowing all along he did

not have his seat belt on--sensations that I have become too familiar.

Unless you have lived this kind of life, you will never truly understand or appreciate who I am, what

we are, or what our job really means to us.

"I WISH YOU COULD"!



I dont want to scare you away with this story but we deal with these calls on a daily basis and i think it takes a special type of person deal with the physical and emotional stress we endure.

If your looking to make millions in your life EMS may not be the career you would like to have. As for jobs I can only speak for Saskatchewan,Canada but yes it is very hard here to find a job expecially something other than casual or p/t.

Keep on your research of EMS and talk to your local EMT's/Paramedics for advice. Good luck.
 

ffemt8978

Forum Vice-Principal
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Welcome to the forum, Kimberly.

First of all, why do you want to get into EMS? If you are just looking for a job, there are many other fields that are easier and less emotionally stressful than EMS. However, if you are looking to help people, you can't beat EMS.

As far as the types of jobs, and volunteer fire departments, it depends upon where you live. If you live in a moderate to large sized city, odds are there are no volunteer departments close by (since most have a requirement that you live or work in their response area to join), and most jobs you will find as an EMT-B are as ambulance drivers. You may get to assume patient care on non-critical runs, or assist in the mega-codes or trauma patients but you will most likely be regulated to assisting the paramedic.

To find out if you local fire department is volunteer, go down and ask them or give them a call. Even if they are not a volunteer service, they may know which ones in your area are. Remember, if they agree to pay for your training, they will want a commitment in return (usually one or two years).

As far as finding a job as an EMT-B, again, that depends upon where you live. It is often easier to get hired by a private ambulance company than the fire department, but they pay less. Don't forget to check out other companies as well. I know that in the state of Iowa, there is required to be one EMT-B on board any riverboat casino any time that gamblers are on board. Often times this is accomplished by hiring security officers to act as EMT's to meet this requirement.

I've saved the hardest question for last. EMS is VERY emotionally draining, yet very satisfying. The blood and guts is seen often enough, but the things that really get to you are any call involving kids or abuse/neglect. These are the calls that tend to haunt more EMT's than any other. You will find that EMS is a tight knit community, and we tend to share our problems amongst ourselves (primarily because non-EMS people have such a hard time understanding what you see). You will also find that the great majority of us have a severely warped sense of humor, but this is one of our stress defense mechanisms.

Hope this helps.
 

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
Community Leader
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Kimberly,

I'd first like to welcome you to EMTLife.com, it's great seeing new faces! I hope you continue to use us as a resource and forum, our community is a great bunch of people.

HI my name is Kimberly and I am considering doingt he EMT-B course, I have a few questions I am hoping someone can answer.


1) With the EMT-B cert what kind of jobs can you get? I would like to do a lot of hands on patient care, I don't want to be the driver of the ambulance, what are the options?
This site has tons of information like that on the EMT. With an EMT-B certification you can work in EMS. You can work in a clinical setting like a doctor's office or ER. You can work standby at concerts, though many outsource those jobs to private companies.

I'm not going to lie, many see the EMT certification as a stepping stone, or get it for another reason. Some get it on the quest to be an EMT-Paramedic. Others need it for firefighting or a public safety job. Many end up working in the healthcare field as nurses, doctors, or physicans assistants.

May I ask why you don't want to drive? Is it you would rather have the patient experience? Do you have anxieties about driving? A bad sense of direction? The only question I asked during my interview was "Do I have to drive?" I was absolutely terrified of driving an ambulance. I've been driving without problem since the age of 16, but have a horrible sense of direction. I've sense gotten over that issue. If we're going to some place I dont know, I'll offer to "Tech" the call, or do the patient care. My partners never mind, plus I end up with the paperwork, so they love it.

If you let us know why you wouldn't want to drive, I can probably offer some more information.


2) How do I find local volunteer stations that may offer the training? I have heard that if you agree to do volunteer work for them after your training they will train for cheap or for free, has anyone doesn this?
Go to your local firestation, they'll love to tell you everything about it. Most people in this job are crazy about their job, they don't do it for the money. I suggest going to your local firestation and asking.


3) How emotionally draining is this job? I have heard some pretty bad stories of things that are seen, I am sure it is true, but how common is it to see somthing very disturbing?

This job is as emotionally draining as you make it. Depending on where you work, you will have different types of work. I work in the private sector. I've only had one or two truly emotionally draining calls. The best part is, there are always others with you, so you always have someone to talk to.

I don't find the normal traumas to be emotionally draining, but that's just me. What gets me is children and abuse. Much of my drive is taking elderly people to and from their nursing homes. I can't tell you how attached I get to some of them. I can't tell you how many ask me to ask the guy driving to take the long way home. When I see neglect, I document it, but there isn't much else I can do.

4) Is it hard to get a job with EMT-B cert?

Yes and no. It is much more difficult to get a job with a public (city) squad than a private one. There are several companies around here that will hire anyone with a pulse. Everyone knows those companies, and I would suggest not working for one of them. Then again, it may be a way to get your foot in the door. When you go to the local fire department, ask them, they can tell yuu more.

Thanks for any info you may have.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you continue to keep us updated on your progress!
 

ohioems

Forum Ride Along
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Hey,

I am from CT, and just moved to Ohio. I have been involved in many kinds of EMS. For almost a year I drove for a hospital based paramedics unit. In CT as an EMT-B you can do alot more than in some areas. I do not know about where your from, but in Connecticut the busses don't run with ALS on-board. The ALS comes from either a hospital or other paid unit as an interceptor. In Ohio the Fire Departments have paid ALS in house that go in the ambulance. Although luckily for EMT-Bs both CT and OH say that the min. crew is at least 2 EMT's. Now in most areas the FD responds with just BLS and then if ALS is required they call for it. My best advice for you is to call you local FD and see if it is volunteer, in order to become paid in a FD you need to take a civil service exam, which takes a while to process. Also check in to places such as American Ambulance, or AMR. They are usually looking for an EMT with a good driving record. Also if you get a job driving it is not the end of the world. It is a good place to start. Like one of the other post mentioned usually to most people EMT-B is just a stepping stone, in ohio to go from EMT-B to EMT-I is only another 40 hours and includes odotracheal intubation and IV therapy. It is well worth it. Well good luck in what ever you decide. here is a link that I hope you find helpful, American Medical Responce and EMTB.com

ohioems
NREMT-B Student
Ohio EMT-B Student
AHA BLS for HCP
 

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