EMS Student

avdrummerboy

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Be ready to learn. If you've never had any sort of medical class before you're going to have a lot of information coming your way in a quick time. Also, ask lots of questions, you won't know if you don't ask. Also, take skills seriously and practice them as much as you can as you don't want to be the one to forget how to do something simple out in the field.
 

STXmedic

Forum Burnout
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Read the chapter prior to covering it in class.
 

Doc Logical

Forum Crew Member
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Accept the fact, that in order to pass you have to miss sleep and study if you want to do well.
 

rugbyguy

Forum Crew Member
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Read read read. If you don't know an answer, ask it in class. Remember that we don't know the answers to everything, but we have a "get it done" attitude. EMS is a puzzle, and you have to find the pieces to put together the puzzle. The pieces are medical hx, what is going on, and vitals, those 3 things tell you alot. Also, people will tell you there is one way to do a certain thing, that is wrong. Sure some procedures there is 1 way, but there are multiple ways to get someone out of a flipped over car, you need to go with the best option for the scenario. Nothing will be textbook in the field, so learn to think abstractly.
 

Chewy20

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Accept the fact, that in order to pass you have to miss sleep and study if you want to do well.

I would kindly have to disagree with this for an EMT basic course. I never stayed up late studying or anything like that for tests. Granted I did not study much at all. Still my lowest grade in the class was like an 85%. Am I saying this is good practice? No but an EMT basic course is just that, basic. I find myself looking over my book a lot more now rather than in class because I want to keep things fresh and to continue to get better with A&P.

You have already been given the best advice. Read the chapter the night before class. So when you get to class it should just be furthering your understanding from what you have previously read. Pay attention and you will be fine. Good luck!
 

tklingbeil

Forum Probie
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I just finished my basic here in NC. It really is not as difficult as people tend to think. Sure there are some challenging topics but it's nothing a quick reference to the book or question to the teacher via email to get it. I think what tripped me up the most was hypoxic drive but took less than 20 minutes looking up why to find out about it and grasp the understanding. Just go to class and listen to the teacher.
 

Emergency Metaphysics

Forum Lieutenant
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I would kindly have to disagree with this for an EMT basic course. I never stayed up late studying or anything like that for tests. Granted I did not study much at all. Still my lowest grade in the class was like an 85%. Am I saying this is good practice? No but an EMT basic course is just that, basic. I find myself looking over my book a lot more now rather than in class because I want to keep things fresh and to continue to get better with A&P.

You have already been given the best advice. Read the chapter the night before class. So when you get to class it should just be furthering your understanding from what you have previously read. Pay attention and you will be fine. Good luck!

I'm glad to hear you say this. I start my EMT-B coursework in two weeks and I was thinking, "Seriously? I'm going to have to study this like I'm in med school!?" Had a mild emotional meltdown. But I'm better now. Sort of.

Onward,
M.
 

STXmedic

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No, the coursework is quite easy. Even the material in paramedic isn't all that difficult.
 

MrJones

Iconoclast
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No, the coursework is quite easy. Even the material in paramedic isn't all that difficult.

In all fairness, difficulty is a relative thing. The person sitting next to you may well struggle with that which you find easy, and visa versa. The key, in my mind, is to quickly come to terms with how one learns and then leverage that knowledge to maximum advantage. It's also important to accept early on that you're learning things for a lifetime, not just for the next test, and to study with that truth in mind.
 

Chewy20

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In all fairness, difficulty is a relative thing. The person sitting next to you may well struggle with that which you find easy, and visa versa. The key, in my mind, is to quickly come to terms with how one learns and then leverage that knowledge to maximum advantage. It's also important to accept early on that you're learning things for a lifetime, not just for the next test, and to study with that truth in mind.

Relative or not, you are expected to give the patient the best care possible. If you are having a hard time in a course that barely requires a high school diploma I would question that pt care on a truck. This is not a jab at everyone that had a hard time. I have seen someone struggle but then turn out to be a good EMT. Would I ever want that said person in medic school? Absolutely not.
 

MrJones

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Relative or not, you are expected to give the patient the best care possible. If you are having a hard time in a course that barely requires a high school diploma I would question that pt care on a truck. This is not a jab at everyone that had a hard time. I have seen someone struggle but then turn out to be a good EMT. Would I ever want that said person in medic school? Absolutely not.
A different issue entirely than the one I was addressing, but valid none-the-less. I completely agree that there are those who are not meant to be an EMT, let alone a medic. And I also agree that not all who struggled through schooling fall in that category just as not all who breeze through school will turn out to be competent on the street. It's a shame that the clinical/internship process isn't designed to identify and eliminate those who are not competent and compassionate caregivers.
 

Emergency Metaphysics

Forum Lieutenant
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In all fairness, difficulty is a relative thing. The person sitting next to you may well struggle with that which you find easy, and visa versa. The key, in my mind, is to quickly come to terms with how one learns and then leverage that knowledge to maximum advantage. It's also important to accept early on that you're learning things for a lifetime, not just for the next test, and to study with that truth in mind.

As a life-long student (it seems) and finally as a college teacher, I can attest to the truth of Mr. Jones' statements. I've even made my students take brief tests (which you can find online) to assess what sorts of learners they are (i.e., visual, audio, tactile, etc) and then use that information to teach them how they need to study.

As I approach my own EMT-B program on the 20th I, too, know what sort of learner I am, and thus I can better prepare myself for how best to tackle the class material. I'm learning that much about EMS is a test of who you are and not just what you know.

Cheers,
M.
 

That1Guy

Forum Probie
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I just finished my program back in June. If I had two solid pieces of advice, it would be read every chapter of the "Orange Book" as it's assigned in FULL, and remember and practice skills until you can do them with a blindfold. Those two things will lead you to victory both in the course and in landing a job. I scored the highest grade in my class doing that and watched all of the other kids who thought they could show up and listen drop like flies. I think we started with 35 students and about 8 passed the class. Take it seriously and you'll be fine though. Good luck!
 

Chewy20

Forum Deputy Chief
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I just finished my program back in June. If I had two solid pieces of advice, it would be read every chapter of the "Orange Book" as it's assigned in FULL, and remember and practice skills until you can do them with a blindfold. Those two things will lead you to victory both in the course and in landing a job. I scored the highest grade in my class doing that and watched all of the other kids who thought they could show up and listen drop like flies. I think we started with 35 students and about 8 passed the class. Take it seriously and you'll be fine though. Good luck!

That is ridiculous only 8 people passed. If your instructor was the one to drop them, then good. EMS needs more instructors dropping what they think will be poor providers.
 

That1Guy

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That is ridiculous only 8 people passed. If your instructor was the one to drop them, then good. EMS needs more instructors dropping what they think will be poor providers.
I'm not sure what the norm is for EMT courses but this one was at a community college and you were required to get at least an 80% overall in the class to get a course completion certificate and sit for the the registry. The only assignments that counted towards that percentage were the tests she gave which were extremely hard. She was an MICN and definitely put a lot of emphasis on recognizing the actual medical illness and its pathology rather than just on treatment/transport. A lot of the guys who take it are wannabe firefighters who think they don't need to read the book. So they show up, can't reach 80%, and either drop or stick it out until the end, either way a 79.9 won't get you a certificate. It was a great program though, I loved it.
 

samiam

Amazing Member
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I am probably going to get some flak for this but I had a ER administrator explain it to me like this. There are relative levels of critical thinking in medicine ranging from EMT to MD and generally EMT -B requires the least amount, you have to make the relationship that ok he has difficulty breathing my protocol says give O2. You don't necessarily have to know why. (Not saying someone is not capable of knowing or learning why but its not 100% required). Paramedics builds on this and adds a bit more required critical thinking to do some EKG interpretation and recognize certain symptoms with certain disease and adjustments to medicine etc but again there are standard protocols that limit what and how you can think and do things, Then you get to nurses who have to make a few more critical thought recognizing different interactions and making some clinically relevant diagnostic observations etc, then building on that a MD has to almost always think critically and adjust what he does to what is happening.

As a EMT-B you will have a great time and get some great experience and introduction to medicine you will have to do some critical thinking and those who are capable make GREAT EMT's but it is not exactly a requirement and that is why there are some out there who are licensed but not exactly the brightest light bulb.

Courses that teach critical thinking and go above and beyond what you MUST know and give you NICE TO KNOW are great and that is what makes a great healthcare provider.

It is important to have a passion for what you do. Grab a physio and anatomy book (I Like Moore's) and learn more then you need to! Read all the clinical scenarios and learn all that you can (Moore's has blue clinical case boxes). This will make you a great provider and will even let you help out and get on the good side of your paramedic (Get dubins and review ekg's they are cool!!). It can also help you catch things that someone else might miss so better care can be provided to the patient!
 

chaz90

Community Leader
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Man, I don't want to derail this thread, but I would certainly argue a few points with the preceding poster. Not saying I disagree with all of it...
 

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