How to become the best basic

EMT113

Forum Ride Along
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Hello!

I am a brand new EMT-B with a local ALS service. I am wondering what qualities/skills the best EMT-B that you work with has. In other words, what makes an amazing EMT-B? I am asking lots of questions and have been working very hard (picking up as many shifts as possible) to learn how everything works, but I want to know what else I should be doing to become the best EMT-B that I can be.

Thanks for any advice!
 

mgr22

Forum Asst. Chief
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  1. Impress with actions, not words.
  2. Show up on time, ready to work.
  3. Don't criticize anyone who's not there.
  4. Know how to lift safely.
  5. Be curious about what you don't know; know what you're supposed to know.
  6. Compromise to work well with others.
  7. Be nice.
 

ZombieEMT

Chief Medical Zombie
Premium Member
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I think one of the best things that you can do for your patients is to be an advocate. Speak up for your patient, regardless of who it is. Even if that means to a paramedic or doctor, speak up. Many people become complacent and forget to actually sit down and be compassionate for their patient, and go back to the basics.
 

johnrsemt

Forum Deputy Chief
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1: Learn; ask questions; but at the appropriate times: do not question what your more experienced partners are doing in front of patients and family. Especially if it is something you learned in Basic class. Just cause it was brought up in class doesn't mean it was right. Had a new EMT-B question putting a pt. on 02 at 6L/m to start when he was Major COPD but his SPO2 was in the 70's%. 1st 3 times she questioned me, 4th time she pulled the NC and threw it away. Screamed at me that I was going to turn off his breathing. She walked back to the station.
2: Learn your area; nothing worse than getting lost from biggest ECF to Level I hospital that is only 3 blocks away.
3: Volunteer to spend time in Dispatch: So you see what they have to put up with before you start ragging on them.
4: Work with multiple partners to see how different people work.
5: Take notes.
6: Ask your partner how they like things done: when I worked with new basics (or new to me); I always told them that 4 things should be done with every pt. A; Vital Signs (including blood glucose), Monitor, IV, Airway (oxygen) make a decision if they needed it or not (Do what ever I wasn't doing). Didn't matter what I was doing pick one of the others.
7: learn to drive like your grandmother is on the cot: don't throw your partner and patient around in the back of the truck.
8: Learn how to evaluate your patients: Pt. assessment is a BLS skill; when I worked with a medic I always evaluated the patients, and I taught that to my partners when I became a medic. I went and got the reports from the ECF or hospital staff when my partner did the pt. assessment. (be honest, if you are not comfortable transporting the patient it should be more than because the 80 y/o female hit on me).
 

ViolynEMT

Forum Chiefess
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1: Learn; ask questions; but at the appropriate times: do not question what your more experienced partners are doing in front of patients and family. Especially if it is something you learned in Basic class. Just cause it was brought up in class doesn't mean it was right. Had a new EMT-B question putting a pt. on 02 at 6L/m to start when he was Major COPD but his SPO2 was in the 70's%. 1st 3 times she questioned me, 4th time she pulled the NC and threw it away. Screamed at me that I was going to turn off his breathing. She walked back to the station.
2: Learn your area; nothing worse than getting lost from biggest ECF to Level I hospital that is only 3 blocks away.
3: Volunteer to spend time in Dispatch: So you see what they have to put up with before you start ragging on them.
4: Work with multiple partners to see how different people work.
5: Take notes.
6: Ask your partner how they like things done: when I worked with new basics (or new to me); I always told them that 4 things should be done with every pt. A; Vital Signs (including blood glucose), Monitor, IV, Airway (oxygen) make a decision if they needed it or not (Do what ever I wasn't doing). Didn't matter what I was doing pick one of the others.
7: learn to drive like your grandmother is on the cot: don't throw your partner and patient around in the back of the truck.
8: Learn how to evaluate your patients: Pt. assessment is a BLS skill; when I worked with a medic I always evaluated the patients, and I taught that to my partners when I became a medic. I went and got the reports from the ECF or hospital staff when my partner did the pt. assessment. (be honest, if you are not comfortable transporting the patient it should be more than because the 80 y/o female hit on me).
Regarding comment number 1, I can't believe she wasn't taught not to over oxygenate a COPD patient in her EMT class. Must have had a crappy teacher.
 

Aprz

Forum Deputy Chief
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Regarding comment number 1, I can't believe she wasn't taught not to over oxygenate a COPD patient in her EMT class. Must have had a crappy teacher.
Actually, I think she was taught that, if I am reading that correctly. It looks like she considered 6 liters per minute oxygen by nasal cannula too high, she questioned him several times because she thought it would "turn off his breathing", and then she took off the nasal cannula.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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There is a huge difference between the best EMT on a BLS 911 ambulance, a BLS IFT ambulance, and an EMT on a ALS ambulance.

To be the best EMT on an ALS ambulance:
  1. your job is to make your paramedic's job easier. anticipate what equipment they will need on a call, for a particular patient.
  2. ask them what they expect from you. not every paramedic has the same expectations
  3. ask them what they want you to do on a call. Some medics like to do the physical assessment, some like to ask questions, some like to talk to the first responders. some like to put all the equipment on the cot and bring the cot to the front door, while others say bring the bag and monitor, and they will grab a carrying device. It is all paramedic dependent.
  4. learn your response area.
  5. Spend time in dispatch during the busy times. not just 4 hours at the beginning of the shift. Experience what it's like during the 3-11 time period. ask to listen in on some calls. Bring donuts.
  6. learn all of your equipment, how to test it, and how to use it. even the ALS stuff that you don't use on a real patient
  7. if the truck is dirty, wash it.
 

ViolynEMT

Forum Chiefess
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Actually, I think she was taught that, if I am reading that correctly. It looks like she considered 6 liters per minute oxygen by nasal cannula too high, she questioned him several times because she thought it would "turn off his breathing", and then she took off the nasal cannula.
I read it wrong, but still if his SPO2 is 70%, he needs a cannula. Not her place to take it off. Her EMT class, imo, would not tell students to give no O2
 

Lo2w

Forum Captain
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Speaking as an EMT in a 911:

1) As others said, learn your area. Also learn how to drive the rig so you're not tossing your partner around the back.

2) Know your protocols and anticipate how your medic likes to run things. On our more serious medical calls if we have fire on helping with stair chair/extrication, I'll hop in the truck and start getting monitor/12 lead ready, setting up the IV stuff, spiking a bag if it's called for etc.
 
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