EMS - Knowing what you know, would you still recommend it as a career?

ErinCooley

Forum Lieutenant
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Absolutely... LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my job. Sometimes its really easy to hate 24 hour shifts on the busiest truck in our operation, but overall I've got it made.

PS, I work full time on a 911 ACLS ambulance for a company that runs 10K calls a year w/ 4 trucks.
 
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makphisto

makphisto

Forum Crew Member
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Definitely do ride-alongs and try the scene before making a full commitment to the career. Volunteer is very different than large systems with system status mismanagement, etc. :rolleyes: Also, look at the statistics for EMS personnel and consider whether you're willing to become part of them.

Personally, I'm OK with running at my current level as a supplement, but my real goal in the medical field is to be part of more definitive care.
I did ride time for my Intermediate clinicals, so I have a taste (albeit not much of one) for the job. Honestly, I can see how some people would be discouraged by being a Paramedic. I spent 75 hours ride along, and I went on maybe a dozen calls. And those calls were all nursing home transfers, rides to dialysis, etc. I ran one or two "emergencies" and those were just people wanting to go to the hospital for lunch.
 

el Murpharino

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but these days unless I only apply to big cities, i HAVE to get medic cert to even reach a fire departments requirements. Most big cities still let you be just EMT certified but a lot of smaller cities, and especially rural areas require their firefighters to be medic certified.

If i get medic certified and still have a few years before i can apply to become a firefighter, i see no reason why i shouldnt apply to be a full time paramedic if i have the same training as any other working medic. It seems to me that education is whats important, not so much how "passionate" someone is about medicine. medics arent exactly fighting cancer, they do what they were taught to do.
Ambrose, looking at this and other posts you have in this thread, it's apparent you have no aspirations of being a paramedic for the long haul, or being a good paramedic. I see so many mediocre-at-best medics who can perform the skills and regurgitate some information they learned in class...but what they fail to recognize is that classes teach the minimum standard of certification. There are many medics out there who want to be on par with RN's, but unfortunately as long as there are unpassionate medics who want a patch in 5 months out there, that will never happen. But then again, you think all medics are the same because we have all taken the same class. Here's a simple example of what I mean: I was doing a class for some medic students who have almost completed their paramedic class, and as part of a test I gave them, I asked them what the acronym 'AEIOU-TIPS' means and what it's used for - something I thought was commonplace...I was wrong. As long as medics are out there that use EMS as a stepping stone, don't care about the patients and their best interest, this career will never advance.
 

Ridryder911

EMS Guru
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Ambrose, looking at this and other posts you have in this thread, it's apparent you have no aspirations of being a paramedic for the long haul, or being a good paramedic. I see so many mediocre-at-best medics who can perform the skills and regurgitate some information they learned in class...but what they fail to recognize is that classes teach the minimum standard of certification. There are many medics out there who want to be on par with RN's, but unfortunately as long as there are unpassionate medics who want a patch in 5 months out there, that will never happen. But then again, you think all medics are the same because we have all taken the same class. Here's a simple example of what I mean: I was doing a class for some medic students who have almost completed their paramedic class, and as part of a test I gave them, I asked them what the acronym 'AEIOU-TIPS' means and what it's used for - something I thought was commonplace...I was wrong. As long as medics are out there that use EMS as a stepping stone, don't care about the patients and their best interest, this career will never advance.
I understand & you make great points; but one of the example I hate is using acronyms and memorizing them. If a student fully understands the process then no acronyms will be needed. I have a seen a decrease in asssessment skills in both the Registry testing and in clinical application since the DCAP-BTLS wording has been implemented. Sure; everyone states it but to perform it; that is a different matter.

R/r 911
 

Ambrose

Forum Probie
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Ambrose, looking at this and other posts you have in this thread, it's apparent you have no aspirations of being a paramedic for the long haul, or being a good paramedic. I see so many mediocre-at-best medics who can perform the skills and regurgitate some information they learned in class...but what they fail to recognize is that classes teach the minimum standard of certification. There are many medics out there who want to be on par with RN's, but unfortunately as long as there are unpassionate medics who want a patch in 5 months out there, that will never happen. But then again, you think all medics are the same because we have all taken the same class. Here's a simple example of what I mean: I was doing a class for some medic students who have almost completed their paramedic class, and as part of a test I gave them, I asked them what the acronym 'AEIOU-TIPS' means and what it's used for - something I thought was commonplace...I was wrong. As long as medics are out there that use EMS as a stepping stone, don't care about the patients and their best interest, this career will never advance.
hey im not the one who made medic cert a stepping stone, blame that on the fire departments. I honestly think firefighters should be hired without any cert and then have the department send them to school, or integrate medic training into their academy. But I've wanted to be a firefighter ever since I was a kid and I'm going to do whatever I have to do to achieve that goal. Sorry if your career field isn't moving in the direction youd like it to, but I couldn't care less about the future of independent EMS, as far as the public knows, the fire department does a great job on its own.

I think we all know that private EMS is going to disappear because the city wants their firefighters to do more because its first response and if they aren't running medical calls, their usually hanging around the firehouse. But whats wrong with that? If you dedicated medics think firefighters shouldnt be out there handling EMS calls, then maybe YOU should join your local fire department and offer to ride the ambulance because im sure most of them would be happy to let you.

I'm going to be a firefighter. I'll do whatever i need to to reach that goal. I apologize if thats damaging to your delicate sensibilities.
 

el Murpharino

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I understand & you make great points; but one of the example I hate is using acronyms and memorizing them. If a student fully understands the process then no acronyms will be needed. I have a seen a decrease in asssessment skills in both the Registry testing and in clinical application since the DCAP-BTLS wording has been implemented. Sure; everyone states it but to perform it; that is a different matter.

R/r 911
I agree with acronyms being a crutch to proper learning. One should be able to rule out causes and assess without having to know an acronym or two. Unfortunately, though, it is what is taught in many classes. I s'pose the point I was trying to make is that even though we all have the same patch/card, we have varying degrees of understanding and knowledge.
 

el Murpharino

Forum Captain
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hey im not the one who made medic cert a stepping stone, blame that on the fire departments. I honestly think firefighters should be hired without any cert and then have the department send them to school, or integrate medic training into their academy. But I've wanted to be a firefighter ever since I was a kid and I'm going to do whatever I have to do to achieve that goal. Sorry if your career field isn't moving in the direction youd like it to, but I couldn't care less about the future of independent EMS, as far as the public knows, the fire department does a great job on its own.

I think we all know that private EMS is going to disappear because the city wants their firefighters to do more because its first response and if they aren't running medical calls, their usually hanging around the firehouse. But whats wrong with that? If you dedicated medics think firefighters shouldnt be out there handling EMS calls, then maybe YOU should join your local fire department and offer to ride the ambulance because im sure most of them would be happy to let you.

I'm going to be a firefighter. I'll do whatever i need to to reach that goal. I apologize if thats damaging to your delicate sensibilities.
You're not damaging anything of mine...I just don't want you damaging a patient by performing an incorrect intervention because you missed that day of class or let that skill lapse because your arrogance precluded you from continually educating yourself.
 

Linuss

Forum Chief
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Ambrose, if you feel the way you do, especially about EMS, why in the heck are you on an EMS forum?
 

Ambrose

Forum Probie
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You're not damaging anything of mine...I just don't want you damaging a patient by performing an incorrect intervention because you missed that day of class or let that skill lapse because your arrogance precluded you from continually educating yourself.
Right, because I forgot about how the fire department is notorious for letting their patients die and then laughing about it. my problem with this forum(which I haven't found in the actual EMS community) is that so many of you look down on firefighters for no reason. they make more money and work less hours but they arent running around killing people. Its ridiculous to think a medic in the private sector is so much better at saving lives than a medic in the fire department.
 

JPINFV

Gadfly
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Coming from Southern California, where EMS based fire suppression reigns supreme, it's kinda of hard for me to understand how fire suppression's involvement in EMS has been a good thing.
 

VentMedic

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Right, because I forgot about how the fire department is notorious for letting their patients die and then laughing about it. my problem with this forum(which I haven't found in the actual EMS community) is that so many of you look down on firefighters for no reason. they make more money and work less hours but they arent running around killing people. Its ridiculous to think a medic in the private sector is so much better at saving lives than a medic in the fire department.
I got into EMS as a career FF/medic back in a time when a degree was encouraged to be a Paramedic and it was a very selective process to work the ambulances or Rescue with the FD. However, since many FDs have now made it a requirement to be a Paramedic to get hired with a FD regardless of your desire to do anything medical, that has brought a huge decline in quality. Medic mills have responded and turn out hundreds of Paramedics trained to pass a cert exam and little else just so they can apply at a FD. This has led to some very serious situations which embarrass the whole EMS profession, including Fire, when some of their deadly blunders make headlines. Or, when FFs must cheat on their exams that should be a red flag something is wrong with the idea that everyone is medically inclined to function at the level of Paramedic. EMT-B for FFs is great as that first-aid training may be enough to take care of an injured FF at a fire scene until they can be cared for by a Paramedic.

This was your earlier post:
but these days unless I only apply to big cities, i HAVE to get medic cert to even reach a fire departments requirements. Most big cities still let you be just EMT certified but a lot of smaller cities, and especially rural areas require their firefighters to be medic certified.

If i get medic certified and still have a few years before i can apply to become a firefighter, i see no reason why i shouldnt apply to be a full time paramedic if i have the same training as any other working medic. It seems to me that education is whats important, not so much how "passionate" someone is about medicine. medics arent exactly fighting cancer, they do what they were taught to do.
Do you not see a problem with a Paramedic who cares nothing about patient care? Medicine is a little more than a bunch of skills. It involves a little critical thinking. You have just given the definition of a recipe medic who can't think past what page to turn to in the recipe book. That is a very, very dangerous person to have providing any level of care.
 
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46Young

Level 25 EMS Wizard
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True. All of it. The DC debacle was particularly embarassing.
 

VentMedic

Forum Chief
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True. All of it. The DC debacle was particularly embarassing.
DC, Collier County, Cleveland, Albuquerque, L.A. and the list goes on.

It tarnishes the uniform regardless if you call yourself a FF, Paramedic or Firemedic.
 
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Ridryder911

EMS Guru
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hey im not the one who made medic cert a stepping stone, blame that on the fire departments. I honestly think firefighters should be hired without any cert and then have the department send them to school, or integrate medic training into their academy. But I've wanted to be a firefighter ever since I was a kid and I'm going to do whatever I have to do to achieve that goal. Sorry if your career field isn't moving in the direction youd like it to, but I couldn't care less about the future of independent EMS, as far as the public knows, the fire department does a great job on its own.

I think we all know that private EMS is going to disappear because the city wants their firefighters to do more because its first response and if they aren't running medical calls, their usually hanging around the firehouse. But whats wrong with that? If you dedicated medics think firefighters shouldnt be out there handling EMS calls, then maybe YOU should join your local fire department and offer to ride the ambulance because im sure most of them would be happy to let you.

I'm going to be a firefighter. I'll do whatever i need to to reach that goal. I apologize if thats damaging to your delicate sensibilities.
Would you be willing to obtain an associate or even a BS in Fire Science before applying to a Fire Department? Why should it be the Fire Service responsibility to "train" you? If you really wanted to obtain a thorough understanding of the chosen profession then you would want to have a good understanding before the first day, right? Why should cities be responsible to train?

Why should a FD take a "Joe" off the street and be responsible for making them an employee? Appears to me a little laziness and no drive. If one really wanted to enter a profession they would at least demonstrate some initiative.

We may not cure cancer, but I do treat those with it. As well, you demonstrate a poor understanding of what patient care is or what EMS is or consists of. Unfortunately, your posts demonstrate any drive or professional aptitude and one that wants the "easy way out". We all know those that have that type of attitude and unfortunately many FD's are plagued with them. Something they have been attempting to fight for years.

Many always acclaim something is "not available or not able" but in reality; that is not really true. Again, no matter what the job title is: how well do you want to be at your profession?
R/r 911
 
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46Young

Level 25 EMS Wizard
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Ambrose, please stop. You are perpetuating the firemedic stereotype my co-workers and I try to change on a daily basis. I hope you don't live anywhere near Virginia. I wouldn't want to chance you showing up at my house to help my wife or daughter when I'm at work. Or anyone, for that matter.
 

EMTinNEPA

Guess who's back...
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And people wonder why I'm such a militant Emergency Medicine - Fire Suppression Separatist... is it starting to make sense now?
 

Ridryder911

EMS Guru
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I like those similar to our neighbors in the North that encourages limited scope of having enough knowledge for Fire Service to provide care for rescue but recognizes that EMS itself is a separate identity and should be.

It's a shame that Fire Services feel that they have to provide all the care; usually for job security reasons. As the International Fire Chiefs Association remarked in one of the conferences that they want to be responsible for all emergencies. Again, one may well knowledge and diverse but let's get serious.... all?

I have seen several Fire Services that attempt to provide EMS. It is NOT the personal as much as the internal works that usually cause the demise. Again, competing against other areas that Fire Service is responsible for usually makes the EMS division weak. Demand of truly educated providers is not always their main objectives as those in comparison of other type of EMS providers. Many reasons as budget are just one of them.
 

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