Really getting discouraged...

emsfire3924

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I'm really getting bummed. It's been almost 7 months since I became nationally registered and I still have not been able to find a job as a working EMT. I have applied all over the place and still no one has called me back for an interview. I've been volunteering at a fire department for experience and I love it. I just want to do more! I want a job more then anything and it's really bothering me. :sad: I want experience with my basic skills before I move on to the paramedic program but I feel like I'm just stuck here doing nothing...
Advice appreciated.
 

Veneficus

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Quit wasting time volunteering go to paramedic school.

Nobody needs experience as an EMT before becomming a paramedic.
 
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emsfire3924

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Quit wasting time volunteering go to paramedic school.

Nobody needs experience as an EMT before becomming a paramedic.

Really? That goes against everything I was taught in class. Our instructors pretty much drilled it into our heads that we need to establish our basic skills before we go on to learn the advanced ones. The next medic program at my local college starts fall of 2011. I'm pretty sure I'm going!!
 

abckidsmom

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Really? That goes against everything I was taught in class. Our instructors pretty much drilled it into our heads that we need to establish our basic skills before we go on to learn the advanced ones. The next medic program at my local college starts fall of 2011. I'm pretty sure I'm going!!

You can totally do it. Establish your basic skills now: make sure you are extremely comfortable checking vital signs in a variety of settings, work on pre- or co-requisites for the paramedic program, practice documentation with the feedback from a more experienced provider.

I like volunteering, so I'd continue, but don't let the lack of EMT-B experience stop you from furthering your education.
 
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emsfire3924

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You can totally do it. Establish your basic skills now: make sure you are extremely comfortable checking vital signs in a variety of settings, work on pre- or co-requisites for the paramedic program, practice documentation with the feedback from a more experienced provider.

I like volunteering, so I'd continue, but don't let the lack of EMT-B experience stop you from furthering your education.

Thank you!
Another question... The college I'm going to go to offers either the associate of applied science degree in paramedic technology or the paramedic certificate. From what I see, the AAS just includes your generals but will take me longer to do. I know its a degree but do you think when I go to apply for medic jobs that they will look down on me for not having a degree? Afterall, I would have the same license as the person with a degree...
 

abckidsmom

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Thank you!
Another question... The college I'm going to go to offers either the associate of applied science degree in paramedic technology or the paramedic certificate. From what I see, the AAS just includes your generals but will take me longer to do. I know its a degree but do you think when I go to apply for medic jobs that they will look down on me for not having a degree? Afterall, I would have the same license as the person with a degree...

Start next semester and finish the degree properly. When you graduate, immediately start a program to finish your bachelor's. Don't get out of the habit of school, or pick up extra obligations before you've finished. Your mid-career self will thank you, since you'll have the degree needed to remain competitive as you promote out of the straight field medic role and into education, management or whatever.

Personally, the flexibility of RN, BSN, EMT-P is overwhelmingly cool to me, but nursing school when you're starting a career in EMS is tough. Really, finishing the degree in ANY related field will be useful: a science, communication, or emergency management. I've seen a couple of EMS BS degrees, but they seemed like a ripoff when I looked at them a couple of years ago.
 

Aidey

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Really? That goes against everything I was taught in class. Our instructors pretty much drilled it into our heads that we need to establish our basic skills before we go on to learn the advanced ones. The next medic program at my local college starts fall of 2011. I'm pretty sure I'm going!!

What basic skills do you need to establish that won't be gone over in paramedic school?
 

mgr22

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I strongly agree with abckidsmom's suggestion that you get a degree instead of only a certificate. A degree gives you more options both inside and outside EMS. I know, I know -- lots of medics don't have degrees, and there aren't tons of management openings in EMS. But suppose you get hurt and can't do EMS anymore? Or suppose you do it for a few years and then want to try something else? That paramedic certificate won't help much.

In general, having a degree matters more than what you majored in, and a Bachelor's is better than an Associate's. But get whatever you can. It's an investment in your future.
 

46Young

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Start next semester and finish the degree properly. When you graduate, immediately start a program to finish your bachelor's. Don't get out of the habit of school, or pick up extra obligations before you've finished. Your mid-career self will thank you, since you'll have the degree needed to remain competitive as you promote out of the straight field medic role and into education, management or whatever.

Personally, the flexibility of RN, BSN, EMT-P is overwhelmingly cool to me, but nursing school when you're starting a career in EMS is tough. Really, finishing the degree in ANY related field will be useful: a science, communication, or emergency management. I've seen a couple of EMS BS degrees, but they seemed like a ripoff when I looked at them a couple of years ago.

@ OP, listen to everything abc says. I also started a thread in this section for those such as yourself, "EMT's Can't Find Work."
 

Veneficus

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Really? That goes against everything I was taught in class. Our instructors pretty much drilled it into our heads that we need to establish our basic skills before we go on to learn the advanced ones. The next medic program at my local college starts fall of 2011. I'm pretty sure I'm going!!

Considering the meager skills taught in EMT class, I question the quality of instruction that promotes such nonsense.

The people I have seen struggle most in paramedic class are the EMTs with "experience" that think they already know, or know what is important. They confuse the bad habbits they have seen and learned and forget what is on the test is not what they have been doing.

In my 7 years teaching medic class, experienced EMTs were the largest percentage of failing out, and consistantly were the lower end of the class academically. The 2 people that were asked not to come back to clinical sites because of their attitude/behavior were "experienced volunteers" who thought they had seen/done it all.
 

emtstudent04

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Don't get discouraged that it's taking this long to get hired. It took me about 7 months to get on with a company. Just keep trying and be persistant with places your applying to. Call those companys every week to check up on that status of your application or call every other week. Make visits to the places you want to work at and show that you really want the job. Keep doing the volunteering it's good experience.

Best of luck!
 
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JJR512

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Quit wasting time volunteering go to paramedic school.

Nobody needs experience as an EMT before becomming a paramedic.

Not entirely true...All the Paramedic programs in Maryland I've checked out (HCC, AACC, and BCC...I think UMBC as well) require a minimum number of patient contacts at the basic level before acceptance to their paramedic programs will be granted. That number is either 100 or 150, or may vary between schools.

What basic skills do you need to establish that won't be gone over in paramedic school?

How about the skill of dealing with people?

True, a degree program will probably include an introductory psychology class—but not everybody takes the degree program. And true, you will be dealing with patients in clinical situations. But it's news to me if a paramedic program teaches you how to deal with emergency situations and the people in them. There's nothing like field experience to teach you that. There's nothing like trying it to see if you can even function in those situations in at all.
 

Lifeguards For Life

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The only people I have ever heard say "you need experience as an EMT before paramedic school" have all been EMT's. I have never heard a medic say this.

It's almost like an excuse used by basics to justify why they are avoiding furthering their education and worth.

there is nothing taught in basic classes that requires working time as a basic to master.
 
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Aidey

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Not entirely true...All the Paramedic programs in Maryland I've checked out (HCC, AACC, and BCC...I think UMBC as well) require a minimum number of patient contacts at the basic level before acceptance to their paramedic programs will be granted. That number is either 100 or 150, or may vary between schools.



How about the skill of dealing with people?

True, a degree program will probably include an introductory psychology class—but not everybody takes the degree program. And true, you will be dealing with patients in clinical situations. But it's news to me if a paramedic program teaches you how to deal with emergency situations and the people in them. There's nothing like field experience to teach you that. There's nothing like trying it to see if you can even function in those situations in at all.


You misunderstand Vene, experience as an EMT B may be a requirement for some Paramedic schools, but it is a useless requirement that schools came up with for some arbitrary reason. Schools can require underwater basket weaving as a pre-req but that doesn't mean it does the students any good. Same thing with the requirement that people have some number of years or hours of experience as an EMT before going to Paramedic School.

As for dealing with people I should hope that anyone attending Paramedic school has enough maturity that they can deal with people. If they don't they will learn during their clinicals and internship or fail out.

Nursing schools don't require that people be a CNA first, why should Paramedic schools require that people be an EMT?
 

Veneficus

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Not entirely true...All the Paramedic programs in Maryland I've checked out (HCC, AACC, and BCC...I think UMBC as well) require a minimum number of patient contacts at the basic level before acceptance to their paramedic programs will be granted. That number is either 100 or 150, or may vary between schools.

I would very much like to tell whoever came up with those requirements how absolutely foolish they are. It is blatent stupidity.

Keep in mind at least more than 70% of all EMS instructors have no education other than paramedic class. Even amongst the higher end educators, few of them actually have some knowledge about educational processes.

If an EMS program requires OTJ after the educational period which is not specifically in an academic setting, like a medical residency, clinical, or the like; that program is a diservice to the students and just ripping them off. There is no promise, no telling, and no direction to what those people may be learning in the academically unsupervised employment. There are no learning objectives that must be met, there is no criteria as to what constitutes "patient contact" and no ability to correlate the patient contact with specific experience or understanding.

How exactly does that benefit anyone?

In my last full time employ I worked for a hospital and in the ED we could expect to have 150 patients in a 12 hour shift. Does that mean I saw all of them? certainly not. What if I just poked my head in, said "hi" and asked why they were there? I could have decided they all needed to see a physician and had 150 patient contacts in 12 hours. While you could learn a lot, how much do you think one 12 hour shift would benefit you? Especially when you had no idea what you were looking at as the Basic EMT curriculum is on a lesser level than WebMD.(which is not even for healthcare providers)

At the same time you could work for Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe, IFT company running the dialysis derby and other than lifting a cot and learning how to get from the local nursing homes to the local dialysis center, see 150 patients in a bout a week. What would you do? Take some vitals? Not exactly a difficult skill to master. If it was so critical why wouldn't your EMT program require a week of clinicals? Every program has the authority to exceed the minimum standards. Clearly they don't think it is so important or they would.

What if you volunteer for a year and only see 149 patients? What if none of them are "sick" as often referred to by people who take care of critically ill people regularly? You could see 150 patients and never once perform CPR, attach an AED, control a life threateing bleed, or even put somebody on a backboard. (a skill which is given more time in lifeguarding class than EM class)

Would you be on par with a paramedic student who started clinicals thier second week of school?

I know you didn't come up with this gem on your own, but I hope you can see just how fake it is.

Fear not, I know we all had the best EMS instructor ever. They are all number 1. As well as the only ones any of us ever had.

How about the skill of dealing with people?

What about it? I know doctors who have practiced for decades who can't deal with people. They are absolutely brilliant people and I would trust my life to them, but they are a bit short on people skills.

But aside from that little anecdote, go back to the volunteering scenario. What if you spend 2 years volunteering and only go on 100 calls? Will you know how to deal with people any better than say...the person who works at McDs?

Because they actually lose financially, McDs takes customer service a lot more serious than most EMS or IFT agencies. They actually put you through customer service training. (So does Wendy's for that matter.) So now the McDs grill cook has more customer service training than many EMS providers.

If it was so important, why isn't it given more attention in EMT school?

See the pattern here?

I like to say the purpose of education is so that students don't make the same mistakes I made. They should come up with new and amazing ones. It is the purpose of collective knowledge. It is how we advance as a species.

In short, if a teacher tells you that you have to spend time outside of the educational environment to learn or master specific skills, if those skills are so damn important to the job they should be part of school. You don't get out of any other healthcare related school without all the skills you need to function in your role. even medical residency is an educational position.

I have to see ~40 patients tomorrow morning, strangely enough, I have already mastered all the skills I will need to see them, and I am still a student with clear and predetermined objectives on what I need to accomplish.
 
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emsfire3924

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To answer some of your questions...

My instructor has been in EMS for 18 years. I think what he means is that you want to have your basic skills mastered before adding the advanced skills and it will make medic school so much easier on you.

We had a week of clinicals that were required of us in EMT class.

To get into the medic program here you have to show 100 patient contacts... which is a medic signing off that yes, you had contact with that patient and probably their vitals, interventions you done, etc.
 

Aidey

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To answer some of your questions...

My instructor has been in EMS for 18 years. I think what he means is that you want to have your basic skills mastered before adding the advanced skills and it will make medic school so much easier on you.

We had a week of clinicals that were required of us in EMT class.

To get into the medic program here you have to show 100 patient contacts... which is a medic signing off that yes, you had contact with that patient and probably their vitals, interventions you done, etc.


Again, what basic skills did you cover in EMT class that will not be covered in Paramedic school?
 
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emsfire3924

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Again, what basic skills did you cover in EMT class that will not be covered in Paramedic school?

None, but I think what he was meaning is that he wants it to be like second nature to us. Sure they will go over it again in medic school but this is stuff he wants us to do over and over again so it's going to be easy for us. I guess I can't really explain what he meant to you but I do understand it.
 

Veneficus

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To answer some of your questions...

My instructor has been in EMS for 18 years. I think what he means is that you want to have your basic skills mastered before adding the advanced skills and it will make medic school so much easier on you. .

I have been in EMS longer. So what?

Modern day paramedicne is not about skills. It is about knowledge. Drug abusers teach themselves how to start IVs. An AED can defibrilate a patient just as easily as a medic reading a monitor.

Anyone who thinks it is skills that make a medic had missed the boat by about 25 years. With each updated curriculum the focus is more on knowledge and less on skills. Infact I reviewed a recent educational manuscript that incorperated a basic biochemistry section in it. They removed pages from skills.

Anyone planning on mastering biochemistry working as a basic EMT?

We had a week of clinicals that were required of us in EMT class.

Sorry. A week is nothing to boast about.

To get into the medic program here you have to show 100 patient contacts... which is a medic signing off that yes, you had contact with that patient and probably their vitals, interventions you done, etc.

Then I urge you to seek a more respectable center of education.
 
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JJR512

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But aside from that little anecdote, go back to the volunteering scenario. What if you spend 2 years volunteering and only go on 100 calls? Will you know how to deal with people any better than say...the person who works at McDs?

Well, does the person who works at McDonald's have to deal with a critically ill or injured person? Does the person who works at McDonald's have to deal with a wife who was in the passenger seat of a vehicle in which her husband was just decapitated? I worked at McDonald's from entry level into management for several years, and I can tell you that in my experience, the answer to all that is NO. I had great customer service skills dealing with people in simple situations, sure. But nothing at McDonald's prepared me for EMS.

It'd be terrible for a person to take EMT-B then immediately go into Paramedic school only to find out two years later that he or she can't stand the sight of blood and guts. If that person had gotten some experience as an EMT-B first, he or she might not have wasted two years and several thousand dollars.

EMS isn't for everyone. It's better for someone to figure that out sooner, at the basic level.
 

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