Continuing education between an EMT and Paramedic.

taiilor

Forum Ride Along
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Hello everyone. I'm new here, I've been reading and reading this forum over the past few weeks and have decided to make a post. I will probably annoy you guys some more in the future as to I'm limited to who I know in the real world with the same passion or experience in this field.

Anyway, about me - I'm 27 and I have been doing home remodeling for 8 years. I currently average about 80K a year. However, I have always wanted to become a paramedic and have finally started taking these steps. I am taking EMT classes with a private ambulance company. They basically guarantee almost every student employment. I am going to school at night and take the national in September. Of course there is a chance I will fail, but I have been taking this very serious and I'm determined to pass. After, I plan to go to Paramedic school (my personal goal is flight medic, and then see what happens from there) However, the specific paramedic school I want to go to doesn't start until January.

I understand I am taking a huge pay cut. I am not transitioning to this career for the money, clearly, but I understand that hard work does pay off. From what I've learned this company will offer employment after successfully passing the state or national exam, starts fresh EMTs off at about 13/hr however some get offered 15 and some get offered 17.

I'm wondering what courses or training or even volunteering I can take to kinda bring more to the table when it comes time to talk pay. I'm trying to do more than just the minimum. I'm signed up for PALS and ACLS over the next 2 weeks. Is there anything else I can get certifications in, maybe online? I don't mind paying for extra education. From talking to the EMTs/medics within the company it seems to be a lot of moving sick patients to and from nursing homes, hospice. So I was wondering if maybe I should do something at a nursing home with volunteering? Again, I'm inexperienced and only know hands on in class and text book reading at this point. I haven't decided if I'm going to work with them or look for employment elsewhere. I'm in the Chicago city limits and love the idea of working at a fire house but still unsure and it isn't just a walk in and apply type of position. Very sorry for the long rant just wanted to give some background info on my situation and where I'm looking to go


Thank you
 

joshrunkle35

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EMT’s can’t take PALS or ACLS because you can’t start IVs or give meds through IV, IM or ET routes. EMT’s also can’t intubate. You’ll need to wait until you’re a paramedic (or AEMT) to take those classes.

If you are definitely going for Paramedic, I would focus on taking classes in Anatomy, Physiology, Pathophysiology, Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Sociology, Life Span Development, Nutrition, Pharmacology and Physics. You can take a lot of those pretty cheaply at a community college, and they will all help you pass medic school.
 

taiilor

Forum Ride Along
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I
EMT’s can’t take PALS or ACLS because you can’t start IVs or give meds through IV, IM or ET routes. EMT’s also can’t intubate. You’ll need to wait until you’re a paramedic (or AEMT) to take those classes.

If you are definitely going for Paramedic, I would focus on taking classes in Anatomy, Physiology, Pathophysiology, Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Sociology, Life Span Development, Nutrition, Pharmacology and Physics. You can take a lot of those pretty cheaply at a community college, and they will all help you pass medic school.
found the PALS and ACLS online and assumed I could take them. I understand where you’re coming from but from different sites like Naxos, acls.com, American heart association, etc. they don’t list any requirements. Are they BS? They all state they are nationally accredited and you get a certification of completion.. idk?
 

Gurby

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ACLS and PALS aren't BS, they're just kind of a waste of your time, effort and money at this point (IMO).

If you want to do something productive right now, Khan Academy is amazing and free. Working through their Chem and Bio courses would give you a great foundation for starting medic school. If that's too boring, you could try jumping straight to the "Health and Medicine" section which is also fantastic and more directly clinically relevant: https://www.khanacademy.org/science
 

mgr22

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EMT’s can’t take PALS or ACLS because you can’t start IVs or give meds through IV, IM or ET routes. EMT’s also can’t intubate. You’ll need to wait until you’re a paramedic (or AEMT) to take those classes.
Not true. There are two parts to this: One is taking ACLS or PALS and the other is being licensed to use what you learn. Just because you can't practice at an ALS level doesn't mean you can't take those courses. I've refreshed my ACLS and PALS certifications many times with students who were neither paramedics nor AEMTs.
 

mgr22

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Taiilor (two I's?), my start in EMS was similar to yours. Volunteering in EMS -- if that's an option where you live -- is a good way to gain experience.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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Addressing several of your statements one at a time:
Anyway, about me - I'm 27 and I have been doing home remodeling for 8 years. I currently average about 80K a year. However, I have always wanted to become a paramedic and have finally started taking these steps. I am taking EMT classes with a private ambulance company. They basically guarantee almost every student employment. I am going to school at night and take the national in September. Of course there is a chance I will fail, but I have been taking this very serious and I'm determined to pass. After, I plan to go to Paramedic school (my personal goal is flight medic, and then see what happens from there) However, the specific paramedic school I want to go to doesn't start until January.

I understand I am taking a huge pay cut. I am not transitioning to this career for the money, clearly, but I understand that hard work does pay off. From what I've learned this company will offer employment after successfully passing the state or national exam, starts fresh EMTs off at about 13/hr however some get offered 15 and some get offered 17.
Realistically, going from 80k a year to 26-30k a year if a huge difference. I agree that you money doesn't make people happy, however when your life is built around 80k a year (rent/mortgage, school, credit card bills, travel/vacation, etc), that's a pretty significant cut. Have you budgeted if you will be able to a 60% paycut?

I'm wondering what courses or training or even volunteering I can take to kinda bring more to the table when it comes time to talk pay.
probably not. EMTs are a dime a dozen, especially entry level ones. think of everyone in your class. then think of how many EMS classes are in the Chicago metro area. So those are your immediate competition for a job. If you turn down an offer because it's too low, there will be 10 people who will take it. And that isn't even including those with experience who are looking for a new job. On your first job, you will pretty much have to accept what they offer, or look elsewhere.
I'm trying to do more than just the minimum. I'm signed up for PALS and ACLS over the next 2 weeks.
ACLS and PALS are ok classes, but they don't really help you out because you don't do any advances stuff.
Is there anything else I can get certifications in, maybe online?
While I generally think online classes are generally a waste of time, I would look at ICS 100, 200, NIMS 700 and 800, and WMD/Terrorism Awareness for Emergency Responders (this one isn't a waste of time for new people). Esp if you have time to kill are are looking to pad your resume.

So I was wondering if maybe I should do something at a nursing home with volunteering?
You can, but I wouldn't.
Again, I'm inexperienced and only know hands on in class and text book reading at this point. I haven't decided if I'm going to work with them or look for employment elsewhere. I'm in the Chicago city limits and love the idea of working at a fire house but still unsure and it isn't just a walk in and apply type of position.
Find a part time job working on an ambulance. Call Chicago FD HQ and ask if they hire EMTs, and what the process involves. I heard there are privates all over Chicago, so it would help you get some experience, and provide you with some work experience when you are in medic school.

If you want to do flight, you will need several years of paramedic experience, preferably in a busy system.
 

taiilor

Forum Ride Along
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Thank you all for the replies! Especially DrParasite. of course my wife and I have been planning for the pay cut and we understand what it would take to get even close to the income I am currently making. (luckily I'm self employed and we save or invest almost everything and live within a 50k a year budget) I only put that personal information because I notice a lot of post have people responding about the lack of oay and such. I also understand that you don't come fresh out of paramedic school and walk into a flight medic position. Like anything you pay your dues and most importantly, experience. I also forgot to mention that I have most of those credits from a community college as well. I am taking biology starting end of August as the paramedic program I am chasing doesn't start until January.

If anyone has any other classes or courses (not community college credited classes) I'd love to hear about them. The WMD/Terrorism Awareness for Emergency Responders was an awesome suggestion. Anything else like this, let me know! Sorry to be so annoying. I know this isn't my place to be so demanding lol
 

rescue1

Forum Asst. Chief
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The biggest thing services will want you to have are the ICS and NIMS courses (100, 200, 700, 800), either PHTLS or ITLS (trauma life support), potentially some basic hazmat course (hazmat awareness or something), and depending on your state, your EVOC. You will also need a current BLS CPR but your EMT class should include that. Almost anything else you can get is purely for your own education and will have no effect on you getting hired.

For Chicago Fire Paramedics, you can see what they want for yourself: https://chicago.taleo.net/careersection/100/jobdetail.ftl?job=8750-CFD-2019&lang=en&src=JB-11&jvs=kununu,jsr,u,u

Chicago does not hire single role EMT-Bs, BLS ambulances are staffed by firefighters detailed to the ambulance. You may want to look at some of the surrounding areas to see who does 911 EMS and if they hire EMTs.
 

joshrunkle35

Forum Asst. Chief
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Most flight medic jobs hire the 1% of the 1%. You’re gonna need to be extremely over qualified, to the degree that you could make 5-10x as much money in another field with the same credentials.
 

MackTheKnife

BSN, RN-BC, NREMT, EMT-P, TCRN
491
117
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EMT’s can’t take PALS or ACLS because you can’t start IVs or give meds through IV, IM or ET routes. EMT’s also can’t intubate. You’ll need to wait until you’re a paramedic (or AEMT) to take those classes.

If you are definitely going for Paramedic, I would focus on taking classes in Anatomy, Physiology, Pathophysiology, Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Sociology, Life Span Development, Nutrition, Pharmacology and Physics. You can take a lot of those pretty cheaply at a community college, and they will all help you pass medic school.
Not true. Provide proof of CPR, pay your fee, you're in. I've recertified several times with newbies in the class that "just wanted to take it". And it's open-book now!
 

MackTheKnife

BSN, RN-BC, NREMT, EMT-P, TCRN
491
117
43
Hello everyone. I'm new here, I've been reading and reading this forum over the past few weeks and have decided to make a post. I will probably annoy you guys some more in the future as to I'm limited to who I know in the real world with the same passion or experience in this field.

Anyway, about me - I'm 27 and I have been doing home remodeling for 8 years. I currently average about 80K a year. However, I have always wanted to become a paramedic and have finally started taking these steps. I am taking EMT classes with a private ambulance company. They basically guarantee almost every student employment. I am going to school at night and take the national in September. Of course there is a chance I will fail, but I have been taking this very serious and I'm determined to pass. After, I plan to go to Paramedic school (my personal goal is flight medic, and then see what happens from there) However, the specific paramedic school I want to go to doesn't start until January.

I understand I am taking a huge pay cut. I am not transitioning to this career for the money, clearly, but I understand that hard work does pay off. From what I've learned this company will offer employment after successfully passing the state or national exam, starts fresh EMTs off at about 13/hr however some get offered 15 and some get offered 17.

I'm wondering what courses or training or even volunteering I can take to kinda bring more to the table when it comes time to talk pay. I'm trying to do more than just the minimum. I'm signed up for PALS and ACLS over the next 2 weeks. Is there anything else I can get certifications in, maybe online? I don't mind paying for extra education. From talking to the EMTs/medics within the company it seems to be a lot of moving sick patients to and from nursing homes, hospice. So I was wondering if maybe I should do something at a nursing home with volunteering? Again, I'm inexperienced and only know hands on in class and text book reading at this point. I haven't decided if I'm going to work with them or look for employment elsewhere. I'm in the Chicago city limits and love the idea of working at a fire house but still unsure and it isn't just a walk in and apply type of position. Very sorry for the long rant just wanted to give some background info on my situation and where I'm looking to go


Thank you
Take PHTLS.
 

MackTheKnife

BSN, RN-BC, NREMT, EMT-P, TCRN
491
117
43
I

found the PALS and ACLS online and assumed I could take them. I understand where you’re coming from but from different sites like Naxos, acls.com, American heart association, etc. they don’t list any requirements. Are they BS? They all state they are nationally accredited and you get a certification of completion.. idk?
You can take them.
 

MackTheKnife

BSN, RN-BC, NREMT, EMT-P, TCRN
491
117
43
Plan on several years of 911 experience before you'll qualify for a flight position.
And if you want to fly, think about nursing school eventually. You'll probably fly with a medic, fo the same stuff, and get paid a lot better.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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Take PHTLS.
second on PHTLS, and I would also EMS Safety (which I have never taken, but everyone i know that has taken it says it's a great course).

If you are bored and have time and money to spend, add AMLS to that list, and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care.

And once you get a job somewhere, and have gotten comfortable doing EMS, If you want to do stuff besides being on the ambulance, look at taking any class at the Center for Domestic Preparedness. I've taken several down there (Emergency Medical Operations for CBRNE Incidents, and Hazardous Materials Technician were both awesome), and they are more than worth the trip.

Or you can start taking your pre requisite courses (A&P 1 and 2 with lab, psych, sociology, microbiology and pathophysiology are very applicable to medicine) at your local community college....
 

FirstResponder

Forum Probie
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Thank you all for the replies! Especially DrParasite. of course my wife and I have been planning for the pay cut and we understand what it would take to get even close to the income I am currently making. (luckily I'm self employed and we save or invest almost everything and live within a 50k a year budget) I only put that personal information because I notice a lot of post have people responding about the lack of oay and such. I also understand that you don't come fresh out of paramedic school and walk into a flight medic position. Like anything you pay your dues and most importantly, experience. I also forgot to mention that I have most of those credits from a community college as well. I am taking biology starting end of August as the paramedic program I am chasing doesn't start until January.

If anyone has any other classes or courses (not community college credited classes) I'd love to hear about them. The WMD/Terrorism Awareness for Emergency Responders was an awesome suggestion. Anything else like this, let me know! Sorry to be so annoying. I know this isn't my place to be so demanding lol
It's not demanding at all. EMS needs more people willing to take a chance, financially or in general, to make a difference that they believe can be made. Depending on where you live, EMT-A's are being used a lot more and they typically get paid a few extra bucks per hour. It'll give you your IV experience as well as other advanced practical skills. The course is just as long as the Basic one is, and accelerated programs are out there too. It's a very quick way to figure out whether or not you want to pursue with your paramedic before committing to it. You're going to need the experience at the Basic level first anyway...might as well be in class for your "A," learning a variety of different ALS interventions and expanding your knowledge of pre-hospital emergency care. You'll also be much more confident and prepared to work alongside the paramedics in an emergency setting. Do it.
 

Bishop2047

Forum Probie
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Or you can start taking your pre requisite courses (A&P 1 and 2 with lab, psych, sociology, microbiology and pathophysiology are very applicable to medicine) at your local community college....
This would be me priority, make the transition easier and most of these classes won't cost more than most alphabet courses. I am in big favor of taking your time and really absorb education (took me nine years with few breaks from Primary Care paramedic ((Canada)) to finish my bachelor's).

Getting into your local CC for these classes will help latter with scheduling as they were most often the classes that did not "jive" with my EMS course schedule, like the EMS classes did.
 
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