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The absolute begining.

Discussion in 'Education and Training' started by ChubbyMedic, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. ChubbyMedic

    ChubbyMedic Forum Ride Along

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    Hello folks I'm starting my emt basic class 19 days (counting down lol) and I'm trying to be as prepared as possible, already have my book, workbook, and study/cheat sheet. And i know I'll need a watch with a second hand, stethoscope, and good pair of shears. Anything I'm missing? And any reccomendations of watches, scopes, or shears would be very much appreciated! Thanks in advance.
     
  2. DesertMedic66

    DesertMedic66 Forum Troll

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    Do not spend money on expensive watches, stethoscopes, and shears while you are still in school. You don’t want to spend +$300 in equipment and find out you don’t want to be in the EMS field.
     
  3. Peak

    Peak ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse

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    Cheap watch from walmart or target, an ADC 603 (this is what I actually used back when I was on the engine because it worked but I didn't care if it was stolen), and whatever color cheap trauma shears you prefer.
     
    ChubbyMedic likes this.
  4. DrParasite

    DrParasite The fire extinguisher is not just for show

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    Best watch: go to walmart, target, Kmark (are they even still open?), and find one that has a glowing backlight, and a big visible second hand or numerical second counter on the main screen. bonus points if it's water proof down to 100 ft. must cost less than $20, preferably less than $10.

    Best stethoscope: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mabis-Legacy-Sprague-Rappaport-Type-Adult-Stethoscope-Gray/36780953 something not expensive, and still functional. or see if you get find a great deal on ebay for a littman for less than $25. DO NOT BUY AN EXPENSIVE SCOPE AT FULL PRICE FOR CLASS.

    I'd wait until the first day of class, see who needed sheers, and then buy https://www.ebay.com/itm/25-PAIRS-T...446470&hash=item1e9bc48717:g:ojUAAOSw7ThUmog- reselling for a slight markup to covers your costs.

    or just get find the cheapest pair possible. some places will even give them away as promotional materials.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
    ChubbyMedic likes this.
  5. Specialized

    Specialized Forum Crew Member

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    A utility belt to hold all of that ;)

    Pretty much what everyone else said above. Best of luck!
     
    SandpitMedic and ChubbyMedic like this.
  6. ChubbyMedic

    ChubbyMedic Forum Ride Along

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    Thank you very much!
     
  7. DrParasite

    DrParasite The fire extinguisher is not just for show

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    I actually have one of those.... It doesn't get worn unless i'm working on an inner city truck, usually going on back to back to back calls.

    If i'm working in the suburbs, or on an engine/QRV, it stays in my bag.

    Since I changed jobs, I can't even remember the last time I wore it at work.
     
    Specialized likes this.
  8. Specialized

    Specialized Forum Crew Member

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    That's great you have a use for one though. I guess it just depends on the job. Running BLS IFT I have no need for one.
     
    ChubbyMedic likes this.
  9. Gurby

    Gurby Forum Asst. Chief

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    I really like having a digital watch - I have a Timex Ironman. I use the lap timer/stopwatch every single day - keep track of how long CPR has been in progress, how long ago you gave a med, when you started the laundry, when you put the pizza in the oven, etc. When taking a pulse just make a mental note of what number you started at, and count for 6(x10), 10(x6), 15(x4), 20(x3), 30(x2) seconds. If HR is slow/irregular/patient is actually sick then count for longer.

    Don't buy shears if you can help it - your job should give them to you. If you have to buy for class, get the cheapest ones you can and then never use them once the class is over.

    I'll agree to disagree with general consensus that you don't need a fancy stethoscope. I don't think you'll regret spending $50 or $80 to buy a Littmann Lightweight or Classic new on Amazon. It's something you'll use for every single patient, and it really stinks when you have an actually sick patient and you can't get a BP reading you're confident in - as a rule of thumb, in my experience, the sicker the patient is the harder it is to get a good reading... That said, maybe see if you can get away with using a Fisher Price stethoscope during class and then invest a bit of money into a nicer one once you've gotten your first job.
     
  10. Specialized

    Specialized Forum Crew Member

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  11. ChubbyMedic

    ChubbyMedic Forum Ride Along

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    I figured so but i found a site studentmedicalshop and they have littmanns that are mis-engraved but otherwise brand new but cheaper so I've been thinking of picking one up there.
     
  12. DrParasite

    DrParasite The fire extinguisher is not just for show

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    I agree wholeheartedly that a good stethoscope is a worthwhile investment in your EMS career. And everything you said is 100% correct.

    What I disagree with is purchasing the scope while in class. learn the basics with a cheap scope; BP, basic lung sounds, etc. Once you pass your state or NREMT exam, and get a job, then absolutely get one. The only scopes I have ever owned is a black master classic II (which was stolen the one night that I left it in the truck after my shift), and a cardiology III that was a present. I wouldn't waste my money on a littman lightweight, but the classic II is a good scope. Get it engraved, with a name tag, and keep in mind that there are people who will claim a scope that they finding lying around or in a truck bag as their own.

    I still recommend waiting until you get that first job before you spend money on a quality scope.
     
    Gurby and DesertMedic66 like this.
  13. rujero

    rujero Forum Crew Member Premium Member

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    Something like a Littmann Lightweight or Select Stethoscope is around $55-60 and in my humble opinion essential equipment for any student. Its affordable enough but still has great acoustics. When you're just starting out lung sounds are going to be hard to differentiate and better acoustics will help you to learn the difference with less frustration. You don't need to break the bank on a Cardiology scope like a lot of those whackers do, but don't handicap yourself either. When you have lung sounds down with your personal scope in a quiet environment, THEN I would switch to the cheap disposable one. It will make auscultating skills in the back of the rig with the sirens and road bumps much easier to adapt to when you can't find yours and someone hands you the crappy one from the first-in bag.

    Pick a bright color thats easy to find in the dark and if your smart, an unpopular one that few people in class have. That way they are less likely to steal it with the excuse of "I thought it was mine, whoops!" I got traffic cone orange in 2012 and the thing is still kicking just fine.

    Of course if you're just looking to check BP, the cheap disposable ones or basically any single lumen scope will work. Just stay away from double lumen scopes. The tubes rub together and create noise in your ears.

    -r
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  14. DrParasite

    DrParasite The fire extinguisher is not just for show

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    yeah, if your running BLS IFT, you would totally look like a wacker. I think when I originally ran BLS IFT, the only thing I brought with me to work was a pen and sunglasses..... both of which rarely lasted longer than two shifts before they were lost. working full time on an inner city 911 truck resulted in me bringing more stuff with me, based on my experiences on being on certain calls and not having certain items either on me or easily accessible.(both on my person and in a gym bag, but that's another story).

    When I picked up OT on an IFT truck, i think the only item I kept with me was the swivel radio receptacle on my belt, instead of on my utility/bat belt. because I hate those radio clips.
    Please don't insult those people who decide to invest in a high quality scope, or who receive them as presents from loved ones. It's their money to spend, and as you said, why handicap yourself when you can get the best? And once you have experienced filet mignon, it's tough to go back to grade F steak.

    OP, if you want a legitimate comparison between models, check out this chart. as you move right, the performance increases, as does the cost. I'd still recommend sticking with a cheap sprauge to start, and once you pass the exam and get your first job, then get a littmann classic model.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. rujero

    rujero Forum Crew Member Premium Member

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    I wasn't trying to insult you lol, its just that at the BLS level I don't personally believe you could make use of a Cardiology scope, and as we all know, these things have a habit of walking away. I feel like the best advice to give someone starting Basic school is to save his/her money. If he had gotten it as a gift, that would have been a different story I suppose. Either way I cant help but chuckle at Basics who roll in with a Cardiology III scope around their neck because they think they're out there diagnosing murmurs.

    I guess the bottom line of my point is its auscultation training and experience that makes the real difference more than how fancy your scope is.

    -r
     
    drumlemorace likes this.
  16. ThadeusJ

    ThadeusJ Forum Lieutenant

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    I wouldn't buy anything that you wouldn't get too upset when it goes missing or gets stepped/puked on. My watch was purchased at Walmart 30 years ago and actually still gets complimented on. Find something that you can read in the dark. My first 'scope was $$ and had to be replaced after a few years. The cheaper one I went to lasted 3 times longer. Patient survival rate stayed the same.
    Personally I would spend the money on decent personal equipment like comfortable boots and other clothing that is durable and warm/cool (see the multitude of threads in here somewhere).
     
    NomadicMedic likes this.
  17. drumlemorace

    drumlemorace Forum Ride Along

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    If it's needed then i suppose buy one. Only thing i had to buy for school was a white button up shirt, black slacks. Boots, and a watch with a second hand......everything else was provided.......I say go cheap, you wont mind losing it, or breaking it. And it goes from steth, to shears.....just go cheap until you learn what you are looking for as far as function and ergonomics go.
     
  18. beaucait

    beaucait Forum Crew Member

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    Ask for one for christmas or your birthday. My littman was a christmas gift when I was taking my EMT class. My grandmother also bought me a jumpbag with all the goodies. I am with a first responder service who routinely responds with their POV. First find out what your department or job will supply and go from there :)
     
  19. ChubbyMedic

    ChubbyMedic Forum Ride Along

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    Can't really do that since I'm not with a department or have a job lined up lol
     
  20. DrParasite

    DrParasite The fire extinguisher is not just for show

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    Sounds like a great reason to wait until you get on a department or have a job lined up before you spend a lot of money on expensive tools ;)
     
    NomadicMedic likes this.

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