How Do You Know?

charlietango

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Hey there. I'm new to the forums so I guess welcome to me? I'm an anxious person - in my own mind and decisions that is. Since I graduated high school in 2015 I've always been obsessed with the idea of a career in the emergency service field.

I've sat on the idea for a few years to see if I was kidding myself, and still that infatuation hasn't gone away so this year I decided to bite the bullet and commit.

I am potentially taking the MFR program in March. I'm based in Canada so that is the Medical First Responder course that you have to take before EMT.

For someone who doubts themselves how did you know you were meant for the medical field? Emergency services field? Despite anxieties, how did you know this was your calling?

Even if I discover I don't want to proceed to EMT/Paramedic is becoming an Emergency Dispatcher plausible with this course? Or are there other careers out there with a vein in Emercency.
 

mgr22

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I don't think you know if something is your calling until you try it to see how well it fits your life and values. Just don't make that decision after, say, one day. Also, I think it's fine to do something for a living or a hobby, even if it isn't a calling.
 

Bullets

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I didnt even think that medicine or emergency work was anywhere in my future before i started. I was studying History concentrating archival and preservation sciences. Once i graduated i had a summer free and a friend suggested joining the volunteer first aid squad and the rest was history.

All ill say is do it. Worst case you find out you hate it and now you know, and have a little more medical training in your background. Best case youll find a new job you love
 

GMCmedic

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I was 8 credits shy of a bachelors in Computer Science, one day I woke up and realized an office job sounded terrible. O think that silly EMS show Trauma was on and I thought being a medic sounded fun. 8 years later, I'm a flight medic and my only regret is not doing this sooner. I didnt know it was a calling, I still dont know if it is, but I have never woken up dreading to go to work.
 
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charlietango

charlietango

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I don't think you know if something is your calling until you try it to see how well it fits your life and values. Just don't make that decision after, say, one day. Also, I think it's fine to do something for a living or a hobby, even if it isn't a calling.


I definitely agree with you. The MFR program is only 80 hrs so if I discover it's not my cup of tea then there's very little lost - and hopefully a lot learned.
 
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charlietango

charlietango

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I didnt even think that medicine or emergency work was anywhere in my future before i started. I was studying History concentrating archival and preservation sciences. Once i graduated i had a summer free and a friend suggested joining the volunteer first aid squad and the rest was history.

All ill say is do it. Worst case you find out you hate it and now you know, and have a little more medical training in your background. Best case youll find a new job you love

This actually makes me incredibly happy to read. I was always just too nervous to go to school right off the bat - but I think trying this is the first step to seeing if I like it. No harm in trying right? And at the end of the day anything medical is always handy to know and have. Thank you very much.
 
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charlietango

charlietango

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I was 8 credits shy of a bachelors in Computer Science, one day I woke up and realized an office job sounded terrible. O think that silly EMS show Trauma was on and I thought being a medic sounded fun. 8 years later, I'm a flight medic and my only regret is not doing this sooner. I didnt know it was a calling, I still dont know if it is, but I have never woken up dreading to go to work.

I honestly believe my obsession with the idea of medicine stemmed from multiple medical television series. Greys Anatomy, Chicago Fire, ER TV shows. But then from there I took classes like Anatomy and Physiology and absolutely loved every second.

But like you I crave an excitable and ever changing work environment which is also why I want to chase the emergency side of the medical field.

Thank you for your insight. It's definitely encouraging.
 

Akulahawk

EMT-P/ED RN
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I think a better way to approach this is to do exactly what you're doing: you have a big curiosity about this field so you're taking the first step into it. You don't have to keep going if you feel it's not something you relate to. For some people, working in medicine is just about a paycheck. For some, it's a "calling" that they feel they're absolutely drawn to do and are supposed to do. I'm neither and I think my approach to this is better... for me. I'm both a Paramedic and an RN. I'm also an Athletic Trainer, though I'm not an ATC (long & boring story about that, involving a mis-step). What's the common thread? I'm about helping people heal. So the professions I have chosen are expressions of my underlying drive rather than a specific calling to do a particular job. Frankly, I'd be just as happy being a PA as I am about being an RN. It's just that one of those was easily attainable while I continued to work full-time.

So I now work full-time as an ED RN and I really do enjoy the work. Of course there are aspects of the job (as with any job) that I don't particularly like but I do like the job enough to keep going back every shift. If I had the same income as a Paramedic as I do as an RN, I'd probably do that instead as I find that work to be a bit more fun, and I have some more autonomy, but it is harder on the body than nursing is. On the other hand, my scope is wider as an RN than it is as a Paramedic, though there are things that I'm not supposed to do as my hospital doesn't allow me to do them... like do orotracheal intubation or insert External Jugular IV lines... both of which are procedures that I can do as a Paramedic.

Bottom line is that I relate very well to what I do, even though it's probably not a 100% match for everything I'd want in a job. Because I do relate so well to what I do, this is something I can make a career out of while also being able to support a family and I won't feel like I'm just there to earn a paycheck.

Oh, and on that note, it's 100% OK to choose a profession just for the paycheck. You just have to know up-front what you're getting into and what you'll be doing just for that paycheck... and you have to be willing to do the job the right way. I know people that are just "in it for the paycheck" and they're good nurses. I also know zealots that are your typical nursing evangelists... Nothing's better!!!!! Some of those are not exactly the best nurse....

Just remember the old adage: "Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life."
 

Peak

ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
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I didn't originally intend to end up working so much in EMS/ED/Critical care. My original goal was to get on a big fire department so I went zero to hero to try to be more competitive. I worked for a smaller department for a few years and realized that the chances of ending up on a big department were pretty slim, and that I didn't like the politics in the fire service; I did really enjoy the EMS portion although without getting on a big fire service the pay ends up being mediocre at best (and typically down right insulting).

I messed around a bit getting a bio degree originally thinking that it would also help me get on a big department, but as that idea started to fall apart I started looking at other options like medical school, PA school, or nursing school. Nursing made the most sense for my situation and my long term goals, and I love the flexibility it offers me (I still dabble in EMS, I just recently transferred to one of our inpatient critical care units, and I still pull shifts in the ED as a charge).

If I hadn't started in EMS I seriously doubt that I would be in the medial field. In all reality for me even the paramedic program only took about two years, so if it didn't work out that wouldn't have been the end of the world, and a good number of the credits could have transferred as general education hours at the university (I think I ended up getting credit for like 40 or so hours). It also never hurts to have some basic medical training.

If I had the same income as a Paramedic as I do as an RN, I'd probably do that instead as I find that work to be a bit more fun, and I have some more autonomy, but it is harder on the body than nursing is. On the other hand, my scope is wider as an RN than it is as a Paramedic, though there are things that I'm not supposed to do as my hospital doesn't allow me to do them... like do orotracheal intubation or insert External Jugular IV lines... both of which are procedures that I can do as a Paramedic.

This depends greatly on your country, state/territory, and even individual facility. I certainly can't speak to the Canadian scopes of practice, and that is something you would have to look into.

In my state I have a larger scope of practice than paramedics, although this is largely because of the amount of training I have and would not be the case for most nurses, and most hospitals limit their scope anyway. I can still intubate (although my hospital strongly prefers the docs/APRNs tube) and I can still place EJs. In fact when I work outside the hospital now I'm still working under my nursing license.
 

Jn1232th

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I knew after I worked for a while as an EMT. I did 911, events, then now working in a hospital setting and realized I really miss the field so I'm getting my medic done. I say once I got the hospital job I realized how much I like medicine. As for your anxiety, that goes away over time. When I first started off I always got tunnel vision when I saw a trauma or a cardiac arrest. Now I work in the OR and I see the worse injuries and I can keep doing my thing. Just takes time to get use too
 

StCEMT

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I've always been interested in the medical field in some aspect or another. What's made me realize I like what I do as a potential long term option is that years later I am still really excited to go to work every day. I get paid to hang out with some of my best friends, I get to do something good for other people, and I am regularly challenged and have to give some thought into what I'm doing.
 

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