shake and bake courses

sleepless near seattle

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I found this forum while researching "accelerated" PM programs. A LOT of negativity and, despite the rules of this forum, rudeness. I am an 8 year career firefighter, been an EMT/IV for my entire career. My station is an ALS transporting agency with 22 line and 2 admin. There is no private in the county or anyone else to turf a call to. You call, we haul. Because of our situation, most calls "become" ALS. Have wanted to be a fire medic since my days as a voly beginning in '95. Graduated with BS in Sportsmed in '95. No problems with A&P, no problems with pharm, no problems with patient contact (approx 2700 calls/year among 22 guys). My problem is not being able to take a year off with out losing my job, admin is unable to send me to school but encourages it (can't afford to give time or money). Also family is number one priority. I know the job, they know the job. A lot of the negativity surrounding the other thread I read was based on time. I think it's important to state that even the "3 month" courses are only didactic, clinicals and rides are entirely seperate and have be set up with and approved by local MPD. I completely understand the lack of support for these types of programs, and/or programs that allow you to ride at your own station because of their lack of depth, but as ridryder kept posting, you get out what you put in. I have to believe that there are exceptions and that these programs could gain some legitimacy or respect based on stringent acceptance requirements. Any info or support anyone could share would be greatly appreciated. I'm looking to enter late this spring or summer.
 

ceej

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Which program are you looking at attending?

If you are looking at the one in Indiana, please PM me and I can give you some information.
 

rescue99

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I found this forum while researching "accelerated" PM programs. A LOT of negativity and, despite the rules of this forum, rudeness. I am an 8 year career firefighter, been an EMT/IV for my entire career. My station is an ALS transporting agency with 22 line and 2 admin. There is no private in the county or anyone else to turf a call to. You call, we haul. Because of our situation, most calls "become" ALS. Have wanted to be a fire medic since my days as a voly beginning in '95. Graduated with BS in Sportsmed in '95. No problems with A&P, no problems with pharm, no problems with patient contact (approx 2700 calls/year among 22 guys). My problem is not being able to take a year off with out losing my job, admin is unable to send me to school but encourages it (can't afford to give time or money). Also family is number one priority. I know the job, they know the job. A lot of the negativity surrounding the other thread I read was based on time. I think it's important to state that even the "3 month" courses are only didactic, clinicals and rides are entirely seperate and have be set up with and approved by local MPD. I completely understand the lack of support for these types of programs, and/or programs that allow you to ride at your own station because of their lack of depth, but as ridryder kept posting, you get out what you put in. I have to believe that there are exceptions and that these programs could gain some legitimacy or respect based on stringent acceptance requirements. Any info or support anyone could share would be greatly appreciated. I'm looking to enter late this spring or summer.

Shake n Bake programs need to be banned, period. Their pass rates at registry are often very poor and the quality of medical care provider is often just as poor. While fast paced schools have the capability to do great things, too frequently they simply haven't the ethics nor desire to do a decent job. They're mills for a reason and that reason isn't patient care.

Most EMT/Medic mills are intended to turn out workers for the transient occupation. They are more often than not, run by ambulance services whose interest is in providing a constant source for these low paying jobs. Even the accredited colleges / proprietary schools often have problems with ethics at times, which then leads to poor classroom productivity. To make matters worse, state monitoring agencies aren't doing their job in making sure our schools do their's. It really is a vicious circle.

Just find as good quality program as you can and do your personal best. Good luck.
 

NomadicMedic

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There are several full time fire fighters that are still working and are in my program at Tacoma CC.

If you're looking at paramedic education, don't sell yourself short just to save some time. At least make sure your school is Accredited by CoAEMSP.
 

rescue99

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There are several full time fire fighters that are still working and are in my program at Tacoma CC.

If you're looking at paramedic education, don't sell yourself short just to save some time. At least make sure your school is Accredited by CoAEMSP.

Trust me when I say...it really hasn't made a difference whether the school is accredited or not. WHO, is running the show, WHO is teaching and most of all....WHO is watching the store. For a decade, I've seen dean's, a college president, program managers, a state monitoring agency, I/C's, CEO's, even a SAG, not give not give a flying poo what happened to students as long as the tuition / fees were paid and the wheel kept turning. Ethics and quality....in that order. These things really do matter. They make or break any program.
 

46Young

Level 25 EMS Wizard
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Over here the NOVA Annandale Campus holds classes in their curriculum twice weekly, so that members on shift work can attend on days off. Nice accomidation for the FF's here. A certain class may be held in a repeating fashion on Mon/Tues, or Wed/Thurs. Distance learning (online courses) can also be your friend, asynchronous if possible. Are any of these options available within a reasonable distance from you?

The problems you mention regarding the inability to take off of work to accomodate a FT schedule are common for the medical field. Go FT or get lost, we don't need you. This screws the working professional. Many knock accelerated programs, but when no other options are available, what are you supposed to do?

Good luck in any case.

Of course, you could take a leave of absense to complete the medic program, and then get on as a firemedic at a large dept, (laughably easy to do, believe me) paying you well, probably way more than you're getting currently. If your present dept won't work with you, do the medic program anyway, then laugh at admin there while you're making a comfortable wage for a much larger dept with much greater opportunities for career advancement.
 
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OP
sleepless near seattle

sleepless near seattle

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Thank you all for the input. Rescue 99, I really do appreciate what you are saying, and do believe, in general, that shortened programs equals lesser quality. I took the time to explain my experience and university background because of that. I realize that someone straight out of high school with no college/work experience could be accepted into these programs and I do agree that is not good. After doing some more research, I've confirmed what I said earlier, the "accellerated" programs simply complete the didactic portion first, then send you to your home area to complete rides and clinicals. Total time isn't actually a lot different than most tech school programs like TCC's (Tacoma Comm Coll)that n71xi is attending. We have a lot of their students do ride alongs with us. The school has a great rep with an excellent lead inst. (nationally rec. Mike Smith, check out many articles in JEMS), and most, though not all, students we've had from them have been great. Any program is the essentially the same in that you get out what you put in.
The format I'm looking at with the didactic up front, is simply the best way for my family and my employer. I'm looking closer at McCook Comm. College in Nebraska(another EMT-IV from my county is attending there starting this month). It is part of Mid Plains Comm Coll and seems to have a very user friendly format. I'll admit, I don't like the thought of a completely green medic from a program like this working on my family, but the flip side is I do believe it to be a good fit for me and others like me with a solid University background and ample field experience.
ceej- thanks for the heads up, I'll take a look, but honestly I'll probably commit to the Nebraska program. We've got our MPD's blessing and support for clinicals and rides and it will definitely be helpful to have a local resource from the same program when I go through.
If anyone out there KNOWS (please, no second/third hand rumors) anything about McCook's program, I'm still open for feedback.
 

VentMedic

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You make a statement like this

Shake n Bake programs need to be banned, period.

And then you also state this:

Trust me when I say...it really hasn't made a difference whether the school is accredited or not. WHO, is running the show, WHO is teaching and most of all....WHO is watching the store. For a decade, I've seen dean's, a college president, program managers, a state monitoring agency, I/C's, CEO's, even a SAG, not give not give a flying poo what happened to students as long as the tuition / fees were paid and the wheel kept turning. Ethics and quality....in that order. These things really do matter. They make or break any program.

What data are you basing your statements on to bash CoAEMSP accreditation?

Do you know the requirements of the accreditation?

What do you think some schools would be like if they were not held to some basic minimal requirements? Most likely like the shake and bakes you stated should be banned.
 

VentMedic

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The problems you mention regarding the inability to take off of work to accomodate a FT schedule are common for the medical field. Go FT or get lost, we don't need you. This screws the working professional. Many knock accelerated programs, but when no other options are available, what are you supposed to do?

Good luck in any case.

Of course, you could take a leave of absense to complete the medic program, and then get on as a firemedic at a large dept, (laughably easy to do, believe me) paying you well, probably way more than you're getting currently. If your present dept won't work with you, do the medic program anyway, then laugh at admin there while you're making a comfortable wage for a much larger dept with much greater opportunities for career advancement.

Of course you could just find a FD that only does EMS for the extra funding and has no regard for quality to where just any shake and bake course or medic mill will do.

It is amazing at how many people have held full time jobs and finished a college degree. But there always seem to be a few that whine about a little effort. EMS continues to make it too easy to gain entry and unfortunately it is the patients that pay for it while the FFs collect a great paycheck with little regard for what quality care involves. Even more unfortunate is that the standards may be so low in some departments that they don't even realize how subpar their care is.
 
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JPINFV

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Want to find: Accelerated part time medical school. Help. I can't keep a job while attending medical school full time. After all, it's so unfair that neither of my prevous EMS employers will continue to pay me while I'm attending school full time because those evil medical schools won't bend over backwards for me.
 

Achromatic

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I am an 8 year career firefighter, been an EMT/IV for my entire career. My station is an ALS transporting agency with 22 line and 2 admin.

How are you maintaining your IV/EMT-I skills, being that WA is not a state that recognizes the -I, and doesn't allow BLS to do any more than prep IV lines?
 

46Young

Level 25 EMS Wizard
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Of course you could just find a FD that only does EMS for the extra funding and has no regard for quality to where just any shake and bake course or medic mill will do.

It is amazing at how many people have held full time jobs and finished a college degree. But there always seem to be a few that whine about a little effort. EMS continues to make it too easy to gain entry and unfortunately it is the patients that pay for it while the FFs collect a great paycheck with little regard for what quality care involves. Even more unfortunate is that the standards may be so low in some departments that they don't even realize how subpar their care is.

If you work set shifts structured around class, it's doable. If you work a rotating shift, it's prohibitively difficult to impossible to go to school FT. Monday's free this week, but not for the next three. How is that supposed to work? The OP does rotating shift work for a dept that's unwilling to be flexible with the work hours or admin leave/sickleave usage. What would you suggest in that particular situation? You can't be in two places at once.
 

JPINFV

Gadfly
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Leave of absence, go to a college, fill out FAFSA, and take out Stafford sub and Stafford unsub like every other student out there. Yes... even the my classmates who have children manage to take out loans.
 
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46Young

Level 25 EMS Wizard
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Want to find: Accelerated part time medical school. Help. I can't keep a job while attending medical school full time. After all, it's so unfair that neither of my prevous EMS employers will continue to pay me while I'm attending school full time because those evil medical schools won't bend over backwards for me.

Do you need a FT job to support yourself while you go through medical school? This person likely has a family, needs the money and medical benefits. Different situation than yours.
 

JPINFV

Gadfly
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If you're taking out student loans, you don't need a full time job to support you through paramedic school either. ...and yes, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I have class mates who have kids, including at least one single parent in my class. The options are there. They might not be easy, but not everything in life is.
 

triemal04

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How are you maintaining your IV/EMT-I skills, being that WA is not a state that recognizes the -I, and doesn't allow BLS to do any more than prep IV lines?
Uh...you are talking about Washington State, right? Correct me if I'm wrong because I know there was a bit of discussion about consolidating all the various levels of EMT into 1 or 2, but I do believe it is still currently the same as it always was. As in (on page 2): http://www.doh.wa.gov/hsqa/emstrauma/download/emssop.pdf
Of course you could just find a FD that only does EMS for the extra funding and has no regard for quality to where just any shake and bake course or medic mill will do.

It is amazing at how many people have held full time jobs and finished a college degree. But there always seem to be a few that whine about a little effort. EMS continues to make it too easy to gain entry and unfortunately it is the patients that pay for it while the FFs collect a great paycheck with little regard for what quality care involves. Even more unfortunate is that the standards may be so low in some departments that they don't even realize how subpar their care is.
True, but there are a lot of degrees out there (not all by any stretch and probably not even a majority but a lot nonetheless) that have night courses or alternate schedules specifically so that non-traditional students are still able to attend. The medical field doesn't always do this as much though there are several programs out there that do in various fields. Right or wrong, that's just how it is.
 

John E

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Given that...

in the next what, 2 years? if your school isn't accredited you won't even be able to sit for the NREMT exams, I'd be looking at an accredited program now.

College classes aren't tailored to fit each individual students schedule, either make it work or take a leave from your current job. Attending a sub-standard school because the schedule fits your work schedule is just wrong.

I can't believe it, I might have just agreed with something Ventmedic wrote...must be slipping.

JohnE
 

VentMedic

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True, but there are a lot of degrees out there (not all by any stretch and probably not even a majority but a lot nonetheless) that have night courses or alternate schedules specifically so that non-traditional students are still able to attend. The medical field doesn't always do this as much though there are several programs out there that do in various fields. Right or wrong, that's just how it is.


And those who are serious about getting an education or advancing their career will seek out these programs rather than whining or using every excuse they can find as to why they can't take a college class or two towards a degree or just improving their knowlege base.
 

triemal04

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And those who are serious about getting an education or advancing their career will seek out these programs rather than whining or using every excuse they can find as to why they can't take a college class or two towards a degree or just improving their knowlege base.
Sure, I actually don't disagree at all. I do think though, that this is an area in which the medical field is lacking a bit. It is possible to find paramedic and RN programs that are scheduled for non-traditional students and I'd bet there are more fields out there that do the same...but they are pretty few and far between. Finding one can be a challenge and I can see why it could frustrate people who come into this field later in life. Regardless, the standard still needs to remain the same whether or not the course in run in a traditional or non-traditional manner.
 

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