Teaching yourself

Pelle831

Forum Ride Along
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I have a question I went through a awful program for my medic and only learned so much.. if you were to teach yourself paramedic where would you start and what steps would you take to prepare yourself for the NREMT I would use my class syllabus but everything was out of order and I need to re teach myself everything from the beginning but it’s hard to know where the beginning actually is... please serious answers only, thank you.
 

justin1232

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I would start with Anatomy and physiology. Then medical terminology. Go on to acid base, then work way down from pulmonary, to cardiology, Acid Base, endocrine, reproductive, trauma, pharmacology, etc

For cardiology look at basics first before getting into 12 leads and such. Same with pharm. learn classes, mechanisms of action for the general classes, then down to details for each specific drug.

Skills for me were hands on. I can read about intubating all day but till I actually did is when it clicked

My class was online and had a lot of self study but I felt they taught it well for being a live lecture and when I went for my hands on training it was very thorough.
 

mgr22

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If I were teaching myself to be a paramedic -- assuming, say, three years' experience as an EMT in a moderately busy 911 system -- here are some elements of the curriculum I think I'd have trouble mastering:

Priorities: I wouldn't necessarily know what material I was studying was most important, in terms of both gaining certification and operating in the field.

Art vs. science: I wouldn't understand enough about the limits of science in practicing medicine. Medic school wouldn't teach you how to apply the art, but would let you know about areas where art is a major component.

Working with other healthcare providers: I wouldn't know how medics can best work with other practitioners. Being subservient to others, as EMTs often are, leaves a gap in one's ability to make treatment and transport decisions. "Load and go" isn't always the right answer, given the tools most medics have.

Diagnosing people vs. manikins: Practicing on the latter is often so contrived, there isn't much worthwhile to gain from such exercises. I don't think there's an academic substitute for treating human patients under the supervision of a preceptor.

Getting practical explanations about theoretical concepts: Google might help, but it's tough to find answers tailored to your questions when you're asking a computer.

Sharing anecdotes: War stories can become tedious, but there is value in hearing how others do things. It also helps to discuss cases you're encountering with more experienced medics.

Finding the best supplementary sources for curriculum-based material: Suppose you're having trouble with, say, drug math. You might not know about potentially helpful media.

Honest feedback: How are you going to evaluate your own progress? Some people are too hard on themselves; others aren't hard enough. It helps to hear from a third party.

What are some of the things that made your program "awful"? What do you mean by "out of order"?
 

joshrunkle35

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I took a dumbed down Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Terminology and Paramedic Prep course before Paramedic school.

I took a lot of other courses afterward for Pre-Med, Pre-Nursing, Nursing and NP.

If I were doing Paramedic all over, I would take Anatomy with a Cadaver Lab, Physiology, Pathophysiology, Medical Terminology, Biology I, Chemistry I, Intro to Psych, Lifespan Development, Nutrition and a class on endocrinology before beginning Paramedic School.

Obviously, you don’t need the Sophmore/Junior Pre-Med stuff like OChem, BioChem, Bio II, Chem II, Physics I and II, Genetics, etc.

If you took the basics before Paramedic school, you can walk in and learn Cardiology in 3-4 weeks. If you don’t, you’re learning Anatomy, Physiology, Biology, Chemistry, Electrophysiology, Medical Terminology and possibly even Nutrition and lifespan development when you begin to learn what a bundle branch block is.

If you have all of those basics beforehand, the concepts are not hard to grasp. The reason that medic school has so much “teach yourself the information” is because the prerequisites which should be required (and are required for similar professions like nursing, respiratory therapy, radiation therapy, dietetics, etc) is not required because that would force us to have a degree, and the fire chief’s unions and the nursing unions spend big money to prevent that.
 

Gurby

Forum Asst. Chief
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I'd probably do this:
  • Sign up for a NREMT practice question site like Kaplan / JBLearning / etc.
  • Download Anki flashcard program
  • Go through practice questions and use them to guide studying. For example:
Image 76.png


Based on this question, I'd say jeez what's the heck is "vermitium" or "travicula"? Google those term, turns out they are nonsense words. Okay what the heck is "glottic opening"?



Based on this picture I would make flashcards that look like this:

Image 77.png



Keep doing more practice questions, and every time you encounter something you don't understand go learn about it. Make flash cards. Review flash cards every single day. Continue doing this until you know everything there is to know about medicine.
 

Pelle831

Forum Ride Along
7
3
3
If I were teaching myself to be a paramedic -- assuming, say, three years' experience as an EMT in a moderately busy 911 system -- here are some elements of the curriculum I think I'd have trouble mastering:

Priorities: I wouldn't necessarily know what material I was studying was most important, in terms of both gaining certification and operating in the field.

Art vs. science: I wouldn't understand enough about the limits of science in practicing medicine. Medic school wouldn't teach you how to apply the art, but would let you know about areas where art is a major component.

Working with other healthcare providers: I wouldn't know how medics can best work with other practitioners. Being subservient to others, as EMTs often are, leaves a gap in one's ability to make treatment and transport decisions. "Load and go" isn't always the right answer, given the tools most medics have.

Diagnosing people vs. manikins: Practicing on the latter is often so contrived, there isn't much worthwhile to gain from such exercises. I don't think there's an academic substitute for treating human patients under the supervision of a preceptor.

Getting practical explanations about theoretical concepts: Google might help, but it's tough to find answers tailored to your questions when you're asking a computer.

Sharing anecdotes: War stories can become tedious, but there is value in hearing how others do things. It also helps to discuss cases you're encountering with more experienced medics.

Finding the best supplementary sources for curriculum-based material: Suppose you're having trouble with, say, drug math. You might not know about potentially helpful media.

Honest feedback: How are you going to evaluate your own progress? Some people are too hard on themselves; others aren't hard enough. It helps to hear from a third party.

What are some of the things that made your program "awful"? What do you mean by "out of order"?
Well I dont want to get into a pissing match with anyone who says their class was harder and they still passed and blah blah.. but my class was 6 months long 3 days a week at 24 hours a week i had to maintain 3 days of work a week at 12 hours a shift so that was 60 a week.... by out of i order i mean nothing was ready for us to start clinicals right away as far as required uniforms and badges so clinically got started with 4 months left of the 6 so then on top of 60 hours of work a week we had 24 sometimes 32 hours of clinicals a week on top of 60 hours of school and work the teacher was not a nationally registered paramedic and repeatedly told us he signed up to teach a basic class we never did med math and we had never had time to open our book our teacher casually would throw chapters and topics out that he said was a “rehash of basic class” so thats kinda what i dealt with i put my head down did my hours but never had a chance to open my book and we were all over the place in the classroom as far as what we were learning and how much time we spent on any topic
 

Gurby

Forum Asst. Chief
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Well I dont want to get into a pissing match with anyone who says their class was harder and they still passed and blah blah.. but my class was 6 months long 3 days a week at 24 hours a week i had to maintain 3 days of work a week at 12 hours a shift so that was 60 a week.... by out of i order i mean nothing was ready for us to start clinicals right away as far as required uniforms and badges so clinically got started with 4 months left of the 6 so then on top of 60 hours of work a week we had 24 sometimes 32 hours of clinicals a week on top of 60 hours of school and work the teacher was not a nationally registered paramedic and repeatedly told us he signed up to teach a basic class we never did med math and we had never had time to open our book our teacher casually would throw chapters and topics out that he said was a “rehash of basic class” so thats kinda what i dealt with i put my head down did my hours but never had a chance to open my book and we were all over the place in the classroom as far as what we were learning and how much time we spent on any topic
Less whining, more flash cards.
 

Remi

Forum Deputy Chief
Premium Member
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Being an autodidact is a great thing, and is infinitely easier now than ever before because of the internet. Between FOAMed, wikipedia, youtube, and a thousand other resources, pretty much every bit of knowledge is accessible online, and is mostly free.

Even though you can teach yourself pretty much anything, a structured study of basic A&P and basic pharmacology is probably the best foundation there is for learning anything to do with medicine. If you have any academic aspirations, invest the time and money into a two-semester A&P course though a community college, and also a basic pharmacology course. If you are pretty sure you aren't going back to college anytime soon, then use free online resources to learn those things.

From a practical standpoint, I wouldn't worry at all about "teaching yourself paramedic". Study your protocols and make sure you understand the why behind the protocols. Read your paramedic text, ACLS text, PALS text, and trauma text as a starting point, and look things up online and in other texts. Ask questions here and in other productive forums. Doing that will pretty much get you where you need to be.

Also, I hate to say this because there's no way not to come off as a ****, but I really mean it to help you: take the time to write a decent paragraph. A grammar error or misspelling is fine, but if you want to be taken seriously, you need to be able to communicate effectively. I know this is just an EMS website, but you are communicating with professionals here, and asking for their help. People will take you a lot more seriously if it appears that you are at least trying to communicate well.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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Did you pass your paramedic program? did you even bother to take the NR-P exam? Were you eligible to take it after you finished the program?

my paramedic programs was grossly disorganized, our lead instructor was unprofessional, and openly admitted so, and used tests that were poorly written or had multiple right answers, depending on your point of view. and not every student who signed up day 1 made it to the end, or took the registry exam. But there are still several that did, so just because the program has issues doesn't mean it's impossible.

and for the record, I rarely opened the book in class... that was what my homework was for, and my assigned readings that were expected to be completed before class started, so I was prepared for class.

Was your instructor a paramedic at all? there is no rule that says you need to be NR certified to be an instructor in an paramedic program (exception being those states that require you to have active NR to be a paramedic in that state)
 
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