Interested in becoming an Emt

SBroadway

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Good morning all! I'm very interested in the medical field and would like to start my career as an Emt. I begin classes next semester(spring), however before I start, I would like to know the daily life as an Emt, as well as other questions regarding. I will use these questions and answers toward my health profession assignment and will take into much consideration. Thank you!

*Why did you decide to become a EMT?


*Did you have another career before you went to school to become a Emt? What was it like to change from one career to another?


*Where did you go to school for this job? What was the hardest part of school for you?


*What is a typical workday like? Hours, breaks, coworkers


*Do you work under a lot of pressure in this job? (If yes) Can you give me an example of a typical high-pressure situation?


*Is there a lot of take-home work in this job? (If yes, Do you ever find it hard to turn-off work at home and enjoy a personal/family life?)


*What kinds of professional development opportunities are there in this field? Can a person advance in this career?


*Does this job give you the challenges you need to stay interested in this field?


*Do you see yourself doing this job for the rest of your work life? Why (or why not)?
 

PotatoMedic

Has no idea what I'm doing.
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*Why did you decide to become a EMT?
Because I wanted to put red stuff on wet stuff! (Or is it the other way around... 🤔)

*Did you have another career before you went to school to become a Emt? What was it like to change from one career to another?
Astronaut! Easy... I didn't have the grades for it.

*Where did you go to school for this job? What was the hardest part of school for you?
Where is my secret. I don't want the to take my certificate away. Faking it till I made it.

*What is a typical workday like? Hours, breaks, coworkers
I try to get paid to sleep as much as possible.

*Do you work under a lot of pressure in this job? (If yes) Can you give me an example of a typical high-pressure situation?
Trying to make sure my coworker doesn't kill anyone is always tricky.

*Is there a lot of take-home work in this job? (If yes, Do you ever find it hard to turn-off work at home and enjoy a personal/family life?)
I think it would be unethical to take work home. Maybe even a HIPAA violation. But that is for the single folk to figure out.

*What kinds of professional development opportunities are there in this field? Can a person advance in this career?
Professional development! Haha!

*Does this job give you the challenges you need to stay interested in this field?
Im challenged to figure out how to get out of this field. Does that count?

*Do you see yourself doing this job for the rest of your work life? Why (or why not)?
Well this profession is know to kill its employees... So possibly. But hopefully not.


Hopefully this helps. But since I'm sleep deprived and feeling snarky it probably won't 😅
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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I'll be a little more helpful than my sleep-deprived colleague
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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*Why did you decide to become a EMT?
I've been an EMT since I was 17. always liked being able to help people.

*Did you have another career before you went to school to become a Emt? What was it like to change from one career to another?
I was working in IT, commuting from NJ to NYC 5 days a week, and two nights a week, I was running from the train to EMS Station 1 for a shift. I did the math, and while I was going to take a paycut, my commute was going to change from a 1 hour train ride each way to a 15 minute walk from my front door. I also went from working 5 days a week to 3 days a week, with the potential to pick up OT on my days off. I very rarely worked more than 5 days a week in EMS even with OT. Since 2015ish, I have gone back to IT, and do EMS related jobs on the side.

*Where did you go to school for this job? What was the hardest part of school for you?
I attended an EMT course held in a neighboring couty's high school, ran by an EMT instructor. hardest part of school was cardiology section. Paramedic school was several years later, at a local community college in another state.

Currently, I teach EMT classes at the local community college, where the pay is a lot better than being on the truck.


*What is a typical workday like? Hours, breaks, coworkers
12 hour shifts are standard, but I've worked 24s as well. I've done 18 hour shifts when needed, but I wouldn't recommend 24s unless you get adequate downtime for sleeping. My busiest shift was in a small city, where we did 11 calls in 12 hours, did calls in three separate counties, transported to 5 different hospitals, and broke into my apartment near the local trauma center because my drunk girlfriend and her friend got themselves locked out. But I worked in systems where doing 18 calls in 12 hours was busy for a summer day. I've also had a few no-hitters. Coworkers vary depending on where you work; I have some who have a HS education and no desire to do anytime more, and have worked with people with a PhD or masters that just liked being on the ambulance. Breaks occur during your downtime; rarely scheduled if you work 911, but you can get some during the IFT.

*Do you work under a lot of pressure in this job? (If yes) Can you give me an example of a typical high-pressure situation?
yes. People are dying, and the family/bystanders are expecting you to show up and save the day. sometimes you can... often, if it's their time to go, nothing you can do to change it. You can also have a seemingly stable dispatch, and show up and find a critical patient, where all you can do is scoop and run to the hospital.

for example, my partner and I were dispatched to an orthopedic doctor's office for a sick person (and I think I was on a non-emergency truck that day). These are typically not anywhere near an emergent call, and more often than not, you are just a taxi ride to the hospital. we grabbed our equipment, and took our stretcher in, asked the receptionist which room our patient was in. We were directed to the room, and when we went in, found a person sitting on the exam bed. She said she didn't need help, we were there for her 35 year old bf in the chair. he looked like crap. asked him medical history, and he said 5 heart attacks. and I was pretty sure this was #6. We did a scoop and run to the hospital with a CATH lab, advised them what we had, and had a bed waiting for us when we walked in. Dude was sick...


*Is there a lot of take-home work in this job? (If yes, Do you ever find it hard to turn-off work at home and enjoy a personal/family life?)
not really take home, however, many/most people in EMS work a side job. Some people have side job within EMS, while others are completely unrelated.

*What kinds of professional development opportunities are there in this field? Can a person advance in this career?
haha. that's funny.

you can become a supervisor. or a paramedic. or even work in communications. there are administrative positions, but not every system has them. sadly, there isn't much room to advance.


*Does this job give you the challenges you need to stay interested in this field?
I liked it. having a good partner could make the difference between a good shift and a horrible shift.

*Do you see yourself doing this job for the rest of your work life? Why (or why not)?
as long as my body allows me to. but I don't do it full time anymore, as I wanted to pursue a job that was more conducive to raising a family and owning a house.
 
OP
S

SBroadway

Forum Ride Along
4
1
1
*Why did you decide to become a EMT?
Because I wanted to put red stuff on wet stuff! (Or is it the other way around... 🤔)

*Did you have another career before you went to school to become a Emt? What was it like to change from one career to another?
Astronaut! Easy... I didn't have the grades for it.

*Where did you go to school for this job? What was the hardest part of school for you?
Where is my secret. I don't want the to take my certificate away. Faking it till I made it.

*What is a typical workday like? Hours, breaks, coworkers
I try to get paid to sleep as much as possible.

*Do you work under a lot of pressure in this job? (If yes) Can you give me an example of a typical high-pressure situation?
Trying to make sure my coworker doesn't kill anyone is always tricky.

*Is there a lot of take-home work in this job? (If yes, Do you ever find it hard to turn-off work at home and enjoy a personal/family life?)
I think it would be unethical to take work home. Maybe even a HIPAA violation. But that is for the single folk to figure out.

*What kinds of professional development opportunities are there in this field? Can a person advance in this career?
Professional development! Haha!

*Does this job give you the challenges you need to stay interested in this field?
Im challenged to figure out how to get out of this field. Does that count?

*Do you see yourself doing this job for the rest of your work life? Why (or why not)?
Well this profession is know to kill its employees... So possibly. But hopefully not.


Hopefully this helps. But since I'm sleep deprived and feeling snarky it probably won't 😅
This helps a lot actually. Gives me good insight! Appreciate the honesty and thank you very much for the share!
 
OP
S

SBroadway

Forum Ride Along
4
1
1
*Why did you decide to become a EMT?
I've been an EMT since I was 17. always liked being able to help people.

*Did you have another career before you went to school to become a Emt? What was it like to change from one career to another?
I was working in IT, commuting from NJ to NYC 5 days a week, and two nights a week, I was running from the train to EMS Station 1 for a shift. I did the math, and while I was going to take a paycut, my commute was going to change from a 1 hour train ride each way to a 15 minute walk from my front door. I also went from working 5 days a week to 3 days a week, with the potential to pick up OT on my days off. I very rarely worked more than 5 days a week in EMS even with OT. Since 2015ish, I have gone back to IT, and do EMS related jobs on the side.

*Where did you go to school for this job? What was the hardest part of school for you?
I attended an EMT course held in a neighboring couty's high school, ran by an EMT instructor. hardest part of school was cardiology section. Paramedic school was several years later, at a local community college in another state.

Currently, I teach EMT classes at the local community college, where the pay is a lot better than being on the truck.


*What is a typical workday like? Hours, breaks, coworkers
12 hour shifts are standard, but I've worked 24s as well. I've done 18 hour shifts when needed, but I wouldn't recommend 24s unless you get adequate downtime for sleeping. My busiest shift was in a small city, where we did 11 calls in 12 hours, did calls in three separate counties, transported to 5 different hospitals, and broke into my apartment near the local trauma center because my drunk girlfriend and her friend got themselves locked out. But I worked in systems where doing 18 calls in 12 hours was busy for a summer day. I've also had a few no-hitters. Coworkers vary depending on where you work; I have some who have a HS education and no desire to do anytime more, and have worked with people with a PhD or masters that just liked being on the ambulance. Breaks occur during your downtime; rarely scheduled if you work 911, but you can get some during the IFT.

*Do you work under a lot of pressure in this job? (If yes) Can you give me an example of a typical high-pressure situation?
yes. People are dying, and the family/bystanders are expecting you to show up and save the day. sometimes you can... often, if it's their time to go, nothing you can do to change it. You can also have a seemingly stable dispatch, and show up and find a critical patient, where all you can do is scoop and run to the hospital.

for example, my partner and I were dispatched to an orthopedic doctor's office for a sick person (and I think I was on a non-emergency truck that day). These are typically not anywhere near an emergent call, and more often than not, you are just a taxi ride to the hospital. we grabbed our equipment, and took our stretcher in, asked the receptionist which room our patient was in. We were directed to the room, and when we went in, found a person sitting on the exam bed. She said she didn't need help, we were there for her 35 year old bf in the chair. he looked like crap. asked him medical history, and he said 5 heart attacks. and I was pretty sure this was #6. We did a scoop and run to the hospital with a CATH lab, advised them what we had, and had a bed waiting for us when we walked in. Dude was sick...


*Is there a lot of take-home work in this job? (If yes, Do you ever find it hard to turn-off work at home and enjoy a personal/family life?)
not really take home, however, many/most people in EMS work a side job. Some people have side job within EMS, while others are completely unrelated.

*What kinds of professional development opportunities are there in this field? Can a person advance in this career?
haha. that's funny.

you can become a supervisor. or a paramedic. or even work in communications. there are administrative positions, but not every system has them. sadly, there isn't much room to advance.


*Does this job give you the challenges you need to stay interested in this field?
I liked it. having a good partner could make the difference between a good shift and a horrible shift.

*Do you see yourself doing this job for the rest of your work life? Why (or why not)?
as long as my body allows me to. but I don't do it full time anymore, as I wanted to pursue a job that was more conducive to raising a family and owning a house.
Thanks for the share and honesty. Really appreciate what y'all do! Hopefully soon I'll be able to join the ranks. But for now, I need to complete this one prerequisite before entering the course. Be safe!
 

mgr22

Forum Deputy Chief
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Thanks for the share and honesty. Really appreciate what y'all do! Hopefully soon I'll be able to join the ranks. But for now, I need to complete this one prerequisite before entering the course. Be safe!

What's the prerequisite?
 
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SBroadway

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The prerequisite is politic science (U.S Government), but the class regarding this assignment is professions of caring. I needed an interview from someone that was in the profession I was thinking of going into (EMT). I actually wanted several opinions if that makes sense.
 
Last edited:

PotatoMedic

Has no idea what I'm doing.
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The prerequisite is politic science (U.S Government), but the class regarding this assignment is professions of caring. I needed an interview from someone that was in the profession I was thinking of going into (EMT). I actually wanted several opinions if that makes sense.
I'll try to give a non sleep deprived reply tomorrow. Please appreciate my initial as more sterical.
 

Jambow

Forum Probie
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*Why did you decide to become a EMT?
I was a Junior fire fighter at the age of 14, wanted to be a firefighter, the City department would not hire you until you were 21.
I took the paramedic class and turned 18 during the class, I chose to become an EMT and then a Paramedic, decided to stay there.
Where I live Fire and EMS services are separated.

*Did you have another career before you went to school to become a Emt? What was it like to change from one career to another?
I had several small jobs prior to working as an EMT, For me it was not hard, I had several years experience in the fire department and rescue squad (both volunteer)
My transition to Emergency services was fairly easy

*Where did you go to school for this job? What was the hardest part of school for you?
I live in NC, Most of our programs are through community colleges. I went to a local community college for my training.
Hardest part was working full time and making time for class and clinicals

*What is a typical workday like? Hours, breaks, coworkers
100% all over the place, depending on what and where you work. Most station based EMS is like going to a second home, kitchen and living room with bedrooms for the EMT's. Some places you do not have stations and spend the shift in the ambulance.
Again depending on where, rural vs urban, you could have alot of down time or you could be busy the entire shift.
Most agencies do 12 or 24 hour shifts, again depending on where you are, if you work 24s you are allowed to sleep as long as you are not on a call
I did work one place that did not pay for sleep time, if you slept all night they did not pay us (illegal)


*Do you work under a lot of pressure in this job? (If yes) Can you give me an example of a typical high-pressure situation?
Depends on what you consider pressure or stress, Typically yes generally at least some pressure or stress
example- think of how much parents love their children, now imagine that child is sick or worse, now imagine the parents handing you that child and expecting you to know exactly what to do and how to fix the situation.
I worked as a paramedic with an EMT partner for most of my career. The EMT's could not start IV's, so all the pressure was on me if we had the critical need

*Is there a lot of take-home work in this job? (If yes, Do you ever find it hard to turn-off work at home and enjoy a personal/family life?)
Depends, a lot of the providers have adopted the (go to work, do your job, go home, forget about work) mentality
I have seen this be harder for new employees. You will need interest besides EMS & EMT. Friends, sports ect..
Stay out of the politics if you can, Yes most EMS is very political
Most agencies also have committees or extra stuff that you can get involved in = Burn out
I have seen several new people jump in to the career and try to do everything, some did great, some quit and found a new career
I have a very strong support system at home (wife) , I work my shifts, 24 hour, and participate in training, hiring and protocol meetings
I spend a lot of time at the station, but it stays at work - minus a long 24 hour shift where we were up all night, then it requires several hours of sleep once I get home, Again strong support (wife)

*What kinds of professional development opportunities are there in this field? Can a person advance in this career?
Again depends on where you are, and what kind of systems are around, One system I worked for in Virginia, had special promotional positions for the EMT's only. Normally more rural areas it may take a while to advance in the career. Same most urban (cities) have more turn over in the employees and normally offer a little quicker advancement opportunities. Again the service I worked with in Virginia, would have dual role employees, EMT and Dispatch, The Dispatch side was paid very well, Normally an EMT Dispatcher was paid several dollars more per hour than the Paramedics in the trucks.


*Does this job give you the challenges you need to stay interested in this field?
Yes - There are always new advancements in treatment and new polices and procedures
Best I have heard ( in five years, 1/2 of the medical knowledge you have will be wrong, we just don't know which 1/2


*Do you see yourself doing this job for the rest of your work life? Why (or why not)?
I have worked EMS for over 20 years, EMT through Flight paramedic. The shift work can be hard on a family. High divorce rate in EMS. I left EMS for a short time and worked doing nuclear stress testing. I am currently looking at going back to an ambulance. Most municipalities have good or decent retirement systems and benefits. Some states are doing 20 year retirement (rare)

Hope this helps, I think it has been a great career. I have learned lots and have actually saved a few lives.
 

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