How can I get better?

needsleep

Forum Probie
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What courses/certifications can put me at the top of my game for my PT's? I'm a newer paramedic and am current in all the alphabet courses. I'm taking ACLS-EP this weekend, and am registered for ACLS, PALS, PHTLS, BLS instructor courses, along with a Handtevy Peds course later this year.

What else can I do? I want to be the absolute best I can be. I can't get enough of the information =)
 

VentMonkey

Professional Blindspot
Premium Member
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Experience. Keep your thirst for knowledge, but by and large experience will be your ticket to shaping the level of provider that you want to become. The books and courses are the foundation to build your experience on. GL.

Oh, also, podcasts are a great and relatively inexpensive (free) resource.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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How many patients do you see in a shift? how many sick patients? Echoing what @VentMonkey said, experience is what you need. the more patient contacts (especially with sick patients) the better off you'll be.

For the record I'm not a fan of a newish provider taking all the instructor courses, because then you can only parrot back what the book says, but that's just me.

Do you have an associates degree in EMS? college level A&P, pathophys and microbiology? maybe even basic psych and sociology courses?
 

mgr22

Forum Deputy Chief
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Nothing wrong with taking courses, but reading more about cardiology and pharmacology was most helpful in bridging the experience gap when I was a new medic. "Taigman's Advanced Cardiology" was particularly useful. Also, every time you hear the name of a med your'e not familiar with, look it up.
 

FiremanMike

EMS Coordinator
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12-Lead EKG in Acute Coronary Syndrome by Tim Phalen is an unbeatable and easy to read textbook for reading 12 leads with confidence

Advanced Stroke Life Support is an excellent class if you don't have it already

I'm not sure if your paramedic school required anatomy and physiology, but if you haven't taken those classes in college, I highly recommend them. I didn't think they were all that useful at first but as physiology goes on, I recognize that it's putting a lot of pieces together for me. I'd also follow up A&P with pathophysiology, if that class is available to you.

And, as someone said, experience. Do your best to make the best of your time on the truck, there is a difference between 20 years of experience and 1 year of experience 20 times, never stay stagnent.
 
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needsleep

Forum Probie
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I have a BS in Biology and an AS in Paramedicine. Currently looking at MS programs.

I’m at a somewhat busy suburban dept. apprx 5-10 calls per 24 hour shift. Been on the job 3 years.

I’m truly valuing all of the input and opinions!
 

FiremanMike

EMS Coordinator
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I have a BS in Biology and an AS in Paramedicine. Currently looking at MS programs.

I’m at a somewhat busy suburban dept. apprx 5-10 calls per 24 hour shift. Been on the job 3 years.

I’m truly valuing all of the input and opinions!
Honestly, in your case, I'd start working towards your RN, NP, PA, or even MD/DO.. but that's completely my opinion based on my life..
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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Damn.... in that case, I'd say do what @FiremanMike mike recommends.... if you want to do more, and have a strong science background, look into PA and med schools.
 

Frank frankerson ESQ

Forum Crew Member
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Know aflutter, afib, MAT.. svt with aberrancy versus vtach. Difference between wide complex, and really wide complex. Know hyperkalemia. Know PEA. Know when to give a med and when not to
 

rescue1

Forum Asst. Chief
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I was in a similar position and went to medical school--if you want to really want to be on top of your game in terms of medical knowledge, there's really no substitute for med school + residency.

Also, EMS is a new (ish) subspecialty of emergency medicine and there are increasing opportunities for physicians to work in the field. I did a rotation with New Jersey's MD1 program in school and they have a lot of cool toys in their fly cars, plus you got to teach classes, fly in the helicopter, work with SWAT, etc.
 

AusPara

Forum Probie
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Doctor, paramedic or nurse - I think the answer is the same.

Formal education is necessary for a number of reasons, not least because you need a piece of paper that says you’re qualified in that thing. This may be a somewhat controversial opinion, but these days, I really don’t think you need it to learn and it certainly isn’t the most important part of getting better.

I think reflective practice is the most important way of improving. Doing a lot of calls doesn’t make you experienced. If you don’t reflect on your practice, how you could have done better and act on your conclusions (be it through training, or reading, discussion, taking a course, etc.) then you won’t get better regardless of how many years you have under your belt.

Someone told be once that you can have either 10 years of experience or 1 year of experience repeated 10 times. It’s really up to you to choose which you want to have.
 

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