Educational Arc - What to Plan For?

Medpacks

Forum Ride Along
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I'll be upfront. I originally got my EMT-B to save my wife's life. She was a cardiac patient who'd been ill for a long time and I was her caregiver. And, I know this sounds really silly, but she was incredibly proud of me for completing a one-semester course that I breezed through. She recently passed away. I want to go Paramedic not just because I want the patch, but she'd be really proud of me, and I'd almost deserve it.

So, my finances are almost under control. I don't work as an EMT although I'm hiring onto a CC transport service soon just to keep my skills up before it's time to recirt, as my two years are almost up. The local Paramedic Program will take me. 3.96 GPA overall, 4.0 in STEM. I have no trouble with math (Stats, Calc for B and SS), though, yes, I sometimes count on my fingers. But, I have questions:

Should I expend resources to recirt EMT-B or just go into a Paramedic Program? Why?

What's the education arc from Paramedic to Critical Care certified? Community Paramed?

I hate hospitals (seriously). Is CC an option for transport only? Is Community Paramed primarily clinic or hospital based?

Docs tend to rub me the wrong way. Do I have to be around those *******s if I'm CC? I'll probably get over this during PP. It's just the incompetent ones that really... yeah.

What are some of the traps you might have fallen into on the way through a program? How can I avoid them?

What should I be reading right now to prepare for a PP and CC cert? Community para cert?

What should I do to prepare for conducting and publishing my own research?

What helped you the most with on the job/education stress?

Any help is appreciated. I'm still in the prepatory phase, making a plan with backups for backups. I'll get my EMT-P. How to get there, that's the question(s)

Thanks
 

Medpacks

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Did my clinical for emt. Graduated the program. Volunteered and taking a part time job as an EMT.

Next question
 

GMCmedic

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Wow, and y'all wonder why no one comes here.
Sorry for the hijack, as for my comment on college based training, well it's true. Most community colleges pretty much have to let you in.

So as far as your first question, I would get more experience as an EMT first, it will only help you.

As far as critical care ground transport, I'm not familiar as we dont have any in my area (we have a few that call themselves critical care, but that's another topic). I can't imagine many places will hire a brand new medic for CC but I could be wrong. It would really depend on if its actual CC or Critical in name only if that makes sense.

I can't remember all your questions but on a final note, if you dont want to deal with doctors, you're going to have to find a different profession or figure it out.
 

CCCSD

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That would explain the low quality Medics out there...and the questions asked sometimes.

Used to be, there were basic standards. Allowing people with O patient care time to be Advanced Care providers, making decisions based on ....oh. I get it. They don’t teach decisions any more, it’s just do A, do B, do C. No real experience required. Just google the next treatment.

Jesus.
 

Medpacks

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You know, either you help, answer questions you can, or throw me the **** out.

I never NEVER said I would START my working life as CC certified.

This place is fkkn toxic.

And by the way, I'm not entitled to a damn thing. I'm 43 years old, I earned my education the hard way, I earned my patch the hard way while taking care of not just a disabled wife but a disables son as well, and I keep earning it every day.

Get it?

Now. ANY OTHER ********? Or are you going to grow the **** up and at least point me in the right direction?
 

mgr22

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You know, either you help, answer questions you can, or throw me the **** out.

I never NEVER said I would START my working life as CC certified.

This place is fkkn toxic.

And by the way, I'm not entitled to a damn thing. I'm 43 years old, I earned my education the hard way, I earned my patch the hard way while taking care of not just a disabled wife but a disables son as well, and I keep earning it every day.

Get it?

Now. ANY OTHER ********? Or are you going to grow the **** up and at least point me in the right direction?
I was about to answer your initial questions. Then I read your latest post.

It sounds like you're still looking for advice, so here goes: I understand you're unhappy with the replies you've gotten so far, but do you think your comments encourage anyone to offer help? I mean, is this the way you normally speak to people? If so, you probably wouldn't hold a job very long in EMS, no matter what certifications you had.

If you're just having a bad day and care to say so, fine. We could start again.
 

Gurby

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I went zero to hero (EMT B->P without experience) and turned out fine. Working as a basic for 2 years during medic school should set you up fine. As you can see though, people have strong and varied opinions about this topic.

Medpacks what is your education background?

What kind of research do you want to do?

What is your end game here? Are you starting a new career as a medic at 43, planning to work full time on a truck and try to save up to retire at 65 or what?

With regards to the “becoming a paramedic” part, you get out what you put in. If you breezed through calculus you’ll likely breeze through whatever paramedic program you join.
 

VentMonkey

Ajaw
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OP, sorry to hear about your wife, I know for me personally, I would be lost without mine.

As far as your initial questions. It really does vary greatly on the person themselves. We’ve all seen, trained, or perhaps even been the “zero-to-hero” paramedic (to) succeed.

Myself? I took a 5 (ish)-year plan approach. What I mean by this is after 5 years as an EMT, I did medic, a little more than 5 more and got into critical care, etc, etc. It’s what worked for me though.

I would say recert your EMT at least once as perhaps a fallback plan of sorts, or if things, or life in general happens; it always seems to. Paramedic school will always be there.

I’m certainly no math wiz, so you should do ok with the background you’ve listed. You will have to find a way to work with, and around all sorts of people from all skill levels.

Also, having read through others comments on here, I don’t believe any of it was geared towards you specifically— least that’s not how it reads to me. It’s just people being people...full of opinions and their own experiences.

Had a forum like this been around when I started in this field, it would have helped me tremendously. Ease up a touch and you’d be surprised what you can learn about this industry you won’t learn about in school. GL.
 

Remi

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That would explain the low quality Medics out there...and the questions asked sometimes.

Used to be, there were basic standards. Allowing people with O patient care time to be Advanced Care providers, making decisions based on ....oh. I get it. They don’t teach decisions any more, it’s just do A, do B, do C. No real experience required. Just google the next treatment.

Jesus.
Thanks for the reminder. I often forget how much more advanced prehospital medicine was in the 1980's, and how much more important it was then to really think critically. The length and rigor of your training programs at that time makes todays paramedic education appear anemic by comparison. Even your mantras - "Load and go", "coma cocktail", "diesel bolus", "look at the patient, not the monitor", are descriptive of how brilliantly cutting edge you guys were compared to today's standards. And just look at the precision diagnostic tools you carried that allowed you to institute such delicate and effective procedures as strapping everyone to a backboard, routinely giving toxic doses of epinephrine, compression-optional CPR, and pushing massive volumes of IV fluids into patients with active bleeding. Just astoundingly impressive!

The only way such high-level life saving skills could have been done in the field - and done so well, mind you - is because you guys were so highly experienced before even beginning paramedic school, and thus had such a firm grasp on all of medical science and a critical thinking ability that is absolutely unmatched in todays super dumbed-down version of paramedicine. How did we slip so far?
 

Remi

Forum Deputy Chief
Premium Member
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You know, either you help, answer questions you can, or throw me the **** out.

I never NEVER said I would START my working life as CC certified.

This place is fkkn toxic.

And by the way, I'm not entitled to a damn thing. I'm 43 years old, I earned my education the hard way, I earned my patch the hard way while taking care of not just a disabled wife but a disables son as well, and I keep earning it every day.

Get it?

Now. ANY OTHER ********? Or are you going to grow the **** up and at least point me in the right direction?
That you take such personal offense to not having your precise questions answered (questions that have been discussed on this very forum 100 times, BTW) immediately and then are so quick to lash out at the very people that you are expecting to help you honestly makes me wonder about your suitability for a clinical career. In paramedicine (in any area of healthcare) you deal with people. You very often deal with people who are having a really bad day and are not all that cooperative. Sometimes they are openly hostile, but really do need your help.

Hopefully this exchange is not indicative how how you interact with people in person. You need to be honest with yourself because if it is, then paramedicine is probably not for you. If it is not - if you are normally more civil and patient than you have been here - then you need to work on your integrity, because you shouldn't be taking advantage of perceived anonymity to get away with treating people a way that you wouldn't treat them if they knew your real name.

For a silly internet forum there is actually a very impressive and diverse amount of experience and knowledge on here. If you haven't stormed away for good you might think about trying again. Whatever you do, good luck. I sincerely hope things get better for you.
 

mgr22

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If it is not - if you are normally more civil and patient than you have been here - then you need to work on your integrity, because you shouldn't be taking advantage of perceived anonymity to get away with treating people a way that you wouldn't treat them if they knew your real name.
I'm glad you mentioned that. I have the same concerns about anonymity. I understand that its purpose is to protect us, but I think it also encourages some participants to communicate in ways they wouldn't dare face-to-face.

Then again, there are plenty of social media outlets where posters are just as offensive without being anonymous. Maybe there's less regard for civility in general.
 

Peak

ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
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It sounds to me like you have a lot of distrust with the medical community both in the hospital and based on the responses you've given here. Medicine is a team sport whether you are working in the hospital, clinic, field, or anywhere else. If you want to be successful in EMS you are going to have to work well with others, which involves being cordial even when you disagree.

I wonder if some of this is from the experiences you have had regarding the medical care your wife and child have received. If so you might want to strongly consider counseling so that you can appropriately process you past and move forward in a constructive manner.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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How can one go into a PM program without any patient care experience?
Zero to hero programs are common. some people are successful using them.... others, not so much....

As for the OP's questions:
Should I expend resources to recirt EMT-B or just go into a Paramedic Program? Why?
I would always recommend keeping an existing cert; some programs require you to hold a valid EMT card to be in the paramedic program. Best to check with the program you are looking into to see if they require it. Also, if you are working as an EMT somewhere, they will require a valid card, even if you are in paramedic school.
What's the education arc from Paramedic to Critical Care certified? Community Paramed?
not sure what you mean... but usually people spend a few years in a busy system working full time as a paramedic before going into CC. Ditto Community Paramedicine.
I hate hospitals (seriously). Is CC an option for transport only? Is Community Paramed primarily clinic or hospital based?
Critical care is typically a transport only job.... doing inter facility transfers between hospitals. not sure if that was what you are referring to..... community paramedicine is agency based, whether county/municipal, hospital based, or even private. they are usually extensions of the local EMS system.
Docs tend to rub me the wrong way. Do I have to be around those *******s if I'm CC? I'll probably get over this during PP. It's just the incompetent ones that really... yeah.
you need to work under a doctor's license. if you are doing CC, you will likely have to interact with doctors. And nurses. and EMTs. and patient's families.
What are some of the traps you might have fallen into on the way through a program? How can I avoid them?
study hard, listen to your preceptors, listen to the nurses, listen to the doctors, and listen to your instructors.
What should I be reading right now to prepare for a PP and CC cert? Community para cert?
get your paramedic first, than worry about CC.
What should I do to prepare for conducting and publishing my own research?
find a doctor who has done research, and ask them what they did to succeed. There are plenty of EMS magazines that publish providers articles and research, but it's generally best to have a mentor who has done this before.
What helped you the most with on the job/education stress?
lots and lots of cartoons, a decent amount of alcohol, and getting along well with my classmates.
Any help is appreciated. I'm still in the prepatory phase, making a plan with backups for backups. I'll get my EMT-P. How to get there, that's the question(s)
Complete all the college level prereqs. This is usually A&P 1 and 2 (with lab). basic psych and sociology are sometimes requirements. Keep your EMT valid, as a backup plan.

If you want to be a paramedic, then go for it. If you can do it, great. It's not a career for everyone. While @CCCSD might be more crotchety than you would like, he's not entirely wrong, and there are plenty of people in EMS who are worse than him.

In my experience, providers who have less than 3 years of ambulance experience in a 911 system tend to have a much harder time with paramedic school. Not that it can't be done, but a steeper learning curve. And once you get out of paramedic school, than you need to jump through hoops for the credentialing process at your agency. Again, not impossible, but things like attitude and getting along with other providers (both on the healthcare side doctors/nurses/paramedics/EMTs and the public safety side firefighters/cops/supervisors) is a huge thing that gets evaluated.

If you start looking at CC before you finish PM school, you are looking to run before you can walk, and that can be looked upon as a negative when you are first starting. Especially when you have no experience. When I first told my supervisor I wanted to go to medic school, he told me the agency wouldn't send me, because I was too new, and they didn't know if I would stay. I had been with the agency for maybe 3 months (he apparently forgot that I had 15 years of EMS experience in busy 911 systems), so me wanted to do the paramedic program was looked down upon by him.

If you want to be a paramedic, then go for it. See what prereqs they have, and accomplish them. paramedic school is A LOT harder than EMT school, esp when you are working full time. IDK what your day job is, if you have kids, or what your support system is like, but it's a mentally grueling and time consuming process. If you think you can handle it, then I would speak to the paramedic program director, as they can give you the best advice on how to succeed at their particular program.

But I will caution you: if you fly off the handle at them like you did at the people on this thread, you are unlikely to pass the class and become a paramedic.
 
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