Staying at emt level

akflightmedic

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Or....you may find the guy who at the end of his career gives up his paramedic patch and takes an EMT role. :) When I was 19, I was working at the county with this guy who was in his 50s...awesome dude, been with the county for decades and was a kick *** EMT. Best I ever seen. In my head, I was quite dismissive of his "lack of ambition" to advance himself....little did I know. He had been a paramedic since before I was born, he just decided to give up the patch, take a less challenging yet still rewarding role to cruise through his retirement years and there was no loss of pay or benefits for him to do so!

Smart feller, right there.
 

hometownmedic5

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Why do some people stay at the EMT level? Sometimes it boils down to simple economics. If you stay an EMT long enough, you might find yourself making more money as an EMT than you would if you became a Paramedic. I once worked with a guy who was an EMT for around 20 years and he was making a LOT more money than I was. Great. Good for him. I asked him why he didn't go for Paramedic and his simple answer was that when he was younger, he couldn't afford it, and when he could afford it, when he was done with school and started working as a Paramedic, he would be making less because he'd be a 1st year Paramedic and it take him around 6-7 YEARS before he would match his current income.

So what this should tell you is that if you want to stick with EMS, and advance within the profession, you should start your advance early before you get to the point where it becomes economically non-viable to advance.
This is a very good point also, and a point that rings true for me as well. I received a twenty five cent raise when i went from B to P, because I had been a basic for many years and had maxed out the BLS pay scale but was now a brandy new first day medic worth what every other first day medic was worth at the time...
 

EpiEMS

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you should start your advance early before you get to the point where it becomes economically non-viable to advance.
This is a very good point! The only caveat is that it depends on the NPV of your earnings stream...that is to say, if you plan on not working many hours per week (or per year), for example, you may not be benefiting enough from the increased earnings to recoup your investment & actually get some returns.
 

DrParasite

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he just decided to give up the patch, take a less challenging yet still rewarding role to cruise through his retirement years and there was no loss of pay or benefits for him to do so!

Smart feller, right there.
More like he worked for a stupid system.

While I can understand what and why he did it, the system he worked for should have restructured his pay to be at an EMT's level, and he should have taken a pay cut. If you aren't working a a paramedic, you shouldn't make paramedic pay. Otherwise there is no incentive to maintain your paramedic cert.

I did work with an EMT who had been at the agency for almost 20 years, and if he got his paramedic, it would be a definite pay cut, because he would be a new paramedic. All he did was drive the CCT unit, which had a nurse a paramedic, unless he got pulled into communications or was moved to fill an open spot elsewhere.

We did have one paramedic supervisor (who functioned more in an administrative role than clinical/supervisory) who let her paramedic lapse and went down to EMT because she didn't need her paramedic cert to do her job.... But if you don't need your paramedic cert to do your job, no need to maintain it.
 

Tigger

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I just signed up for medic school after running as a volunteer ff/emt-b for the past couple of years. My decision was largly influenced by the fact that most fire departments in my area heavily prefer to hire medics.
Do you want to be a paramedic?
 

Medic27

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No desire? Yet you say your want to get experience before doing it. What's the ground truth? Remember, you don't have to be a nurse before you become a doctor.

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It's true, but it's my desire. Although you don't have to become a nurse to become a doctor, you have to do premed consisting of chemistry, organic chemistry, calculus, physics, biology, biochemistry and much more. Have a great basis and understanding in this then you can take the MCAT and excel to medical school. Although it's not necessary for a paramedic it's the concept and idealogy of walking before running. That's my opinion.
 

MackTheKnife

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It's true, but it's my desire. Although you don't have to become a nurse to become a doctor, you have to do premed consisting of chemistry, organic chemistry, calculus, physics, biology, biochemistry and much more. Have a great basis and understanding in this then you can take the MCAT and excel to medical school. Although it's not necessary for a paramedic it's the concept and idealogy of walking before running. That's my opinion.
I see your point, but hear this. If your goal is to eventually become a paramedic, why delay? I'm an RN and a paramedic. I talk frequently with CNAs who are planning on becoming an LPN, and then going in to become an RN. Prereqs notwithstanding, why delay your goal? Experience is a good thing, but not necessarily for school. It is more costly and takes more time. We will eventually go to a paramedic baseline and do away with EMTs as medics can do both BLS and ALS. The converse is not true.

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DrParasite

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I see your point, but hear this. If your goal is to eventually become a paramedic, why delay? I'm an RN and a paramedic. I talk frequently with CNAs who are planning on becoming an LPN, and then going in to become an RN. Prereqs notwithstanding, why delay your goal? Experience is a good thing, but not necessarily for school. It is more costly and takes more time.
because a paramedic who has a few years of experience under their belt working as an EMT tends to be better providers, because they understand the basic skills of performing a patient assessment? I would also say that having some experience as an EMT makes paramedic school, particularly the hands on stations easier.

a Prereq to get into nursing school by me is to be a CNA, or at least have the CNA certification. prereq for PA school is patient contact hours. MDs spend 4 years in undergrad, followed by 3 years of medical school, of which a year or so is hands on, and then they have an internship (which included strict oversight) followed by residency (which is structured similarly to school, you have oversight, are evaluated, and can be corrected if needed). If you are the paramedic with an EMT partner, than once you get your P card, if you get paired with an EMT, it's all on you (and yes, some places have less stringent credentialing processes than others).

Where I came from, you needed to be an EMT for at least a year before they would even consider your paramedic school application; most schools wanted 3 years, preferably working in a 911 system. And unlike some places who accepted everyone, we actually had criteria for acceptance, and a process, so it wasn't a guaranteed thing, and often students would apply two or three times before they got in.

If you were a zero to hero medic, good for you. I know many zero to hero medics who aren't in EMS anymore. Some didn't like it, some couldn't cut it, and one got car sick working in the back of the ambulance (still not sure how he passed his clinicals).

Personally, I think having a requirement that you work in a 911 system (or IFT system if you plan to be an IFT paramedic) for a few years before you take it to the next step ensures you know what you are getting yourself into when you take the plunge to paramedic school.
We will eventually go to a paramedic baseline and do away with EMTs as medics can do both BLS and ALS.
Don't hold your breath on that one..... In fact, the science says that an all ALS system makes for poorer paramedics (dilution of skills and all that).

so I don't see the industry as a whole doing away with EMS, although I do see them making both courses longer and contain more content.
 

hometownmedic5

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I haven't been keeping strict records, but over the years it seems to me I have come across just as many shake and bake medics who were rock stars as I have long time basic who went medic and couldn't adjust. I think it depends on the person.
 

EpiEMS

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This kinda smacks of anecdotes (which is not the plural of evidence) to me...
What we can say with some confidence is that there is a "significant association between both EMT-B exam score and length of EMT-B certification and first-attempt success on the cognitive portion of the national paramedic certification examination". However, I have yet to see any info about people dropping out of the field.

We will eventually go to a paramedic baseline and do away with EMTs as medics can do both BLS and ALS. The converse is not true.
Not sure if I agree entirely - I think we will see something more like Canada's model, where we have degreed (2 year) lower level BLS (or ILS) practitioners and then bachelors degreed ALS providers. Yes, this is closer to an all-paramedic model, but doesn't exactly mean all-ALS.

because a paramedic who has a few years of experience under their belt working as an EMT tends to be better providers, because they understand the basic skills of performing a patient assessment? I would also say that having some experience as an EMT makes paramedic school, particularly the hands on stations easier.
So, I think the latter sentence is verifiably true (see my reference above). However, the first sentence doesn't necessarily grok - I am not convinced that experience as an EMT is any better than no experience, except insofar as *comfort* on scene is concerned.
 

Medic27

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I haven't been keeping strict records, but over the years it seems to me I have come across just as many shake and bake medics who were rock stars as I have long time basic who went medic and couldn't adjust. I think it depends on the person.
Another reason I want to wait is the responsibility and maturity, not for me... for future patients as well, I don't feel quite ready to become a paramedic for school difficulty, funds, and maturity.
 

akflightmedic

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Another reason I want to wait is the responsibility and maturity, not for me... for future patients as well, I don't feel quite ready to become a paramedic for school difficulty, funds, and maturity.
Kudos for recognizing that fact. I was a paramedic at age 19...I was VERY immature then, only I didn't know that until now (after living a few years...right?) :)
 

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