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Working while in Medic School

Discussion in 'ALS Discussion' started by Virgil, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Virgil

    Virgil Forum Crew Member

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    I've been thinking about this for a while, in the midst of my future plans and things. Is this viable? Has anyone worked while going through their school? If so, part-time/full-time?

    As beneficial as it would be, I don't know how practical saving up money to survive on for 8-12 months(Plus school costs) would be. From my thinking, working part-time would be sustainable but of course I have no idea of the workload of medic school, so I defer to all of you tried and true medics to offer insight if you may.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. mgr22

    mgr22 Forum Asst. Chief

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    I worked part-time during medic school. It was hard. School felt like a full-time job, and the pressure was always on not to screw up. I know some who did it and found it easier than I did. For me, it was the hardest long-term thing I've done.

    If you're used to following priorities and managing time, you have a good chance of getting through it. One suggestion would be to let your family and friends know you're going to be much less available for the duration. If your significant other or kids have a problem with that, it will be twice as hard.
     
  3. DrParasite

    DrParasite The fire extinguisher is not just for show

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    most people who go through medic school (non-degree, 12 month program) do so while working full time. It's going to suck, and take up a lot of your free time, including some vacation time and swaps at work, but it's very doable.

    If you are full time in the degree program, it's usually not structured in a way that allows for full time day shift employment, so it's sometimes doable, but more often part time employment with full time schooling or full time employment with part time employment is doable.
     
  4. Virgil

    Virgil Forum Crew Member

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    That's very interesting. My background is mainly in security, and that field allows for a lot of down time, perhaps that would be the best part-time option while going to school. The program I am looking at is 8~ months long, so the strain wouldn't be for too long.

    I hadn't considered the family-school balance very much, but that's a good point. I suppose this all comes down to your work ethic and time management skills.
     
  5. DrParasite

    DrParasite The fire extinguisher is not just for show

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    what's the class schedule like? does it clash with your work schedule?

    my medic class schedule was monday/wednesday, from 6pm to 10pm for 12 months, with the occasional weekend. So if you worked bankers hours or had a day job, it was awesome.

    another medic program was monday or thursday, 9am to 5pm; if you worked rotating shifts, just work the day that fit your schedule (if you worked monday, go to class on thursday; the following week you worked on thursday, so you went to class on monday). clinicals were scheduled as you chose depending on availability.

    it's a lot of reading, a lot of studying, but I will warn you that many of my coworkers relationships did not survive medic school....
     
  6. Bullets

    Bullets Forum Knucklehead

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    I worked fulltime and had no problems with medic school. Class was two nights and 1 day every weekend.

    However, i was slightly older than most of my classmates and had already completed a bachelors degree (which i had a job during undergrad) so i knew going in what college level or style course work entailed and how to balance my work and school life. Granted, EMS is a pretty good job for this as i had plenty of downtime during my shifts to study and do course work, as well as access to medics to discuss any issues. Some of my younger classmates who came straight out of HS had a harder time getting used to college style learning.
     
    Virgil likes this.
  7. Virgil

    Virgil Forum Crew Member

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    I'm actually not sure on the class schedule, but it says the course can be taken so that students graduate in as little as 8 months. So maybe that means they allow for some leniency in scheduling. The program is at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA, for anyone wondering. Very close to me and definitely not the most expensive in the area. It seems like it was established in late 2017, interesting.

    If medic school is the dealbreaker between me and my girlfriend then there wasn't much foundation to begin with. We plan on moving in together, most likely before I even get into school so we'll still have plenty of time to see each other. But time will tell I suppose.

    For now I'm just going to keep my head down and get good at being a Basic.
     
  8. Virgil

    Virgil Forum Crew Member

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    @Bullets Part of what kept me out of college straight out of high school was me being worried of failing due to all the material and studying. I coasted through HS, and college humbled me greatly when I finally decided to go back.

    I feel more productive when I am working and also studying. Something that I can keep in the back of my mind all the time. It just keeps my mind fresh and stops me from being the couch potato I was all too familiar with before.
     
  9. justin1232

    justin1232 Forum Lieutenant

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    I'm in medic school. Doing clinicals now. I work 5 days a week night shifts at the hospital and clinicals on my days off. It's tiring as hell but it's do able ‍♂️
     
  10. Never2Old

    Never2Old Forum Crew Member

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    When I did Medic school it a part time one year program. Every Tue/Thurs from 6p-10p, and every other Sat from 8a-5p. I had a full time 9-5 M-F job, and a P/T EMS gig as well. It does require good time management skills, and ate up a full year of my life. For that year I was missing from most of not all family celebrations, missed lots of birthdays, worked most holidays, missed sporting events, had no weekends with the guys, had little to no recreation time, missed lots of time with the wife, etc., but it all paid off when I became a Medic.
     
    Eir and Virgil like this.
  11. GMCmedic

    GMCmedic Forum Asst. Chief

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    I did a year program while working nights full time and I had a newborn halfway through. It sucked but its doable.
     
  12. Virgil

    Virgil Forum Crew Member

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    That gives me hope, thanks guys. Going to have to wait until the next class, most likely in Spring of 2020. That sounds so far away, but we're already in 2019!
     
  13. mgr22

    mgr22 Forum Asst. Chief

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    That's awesome! I take back any complaints I had about my schedule.
     
  14. Uclabruin103

    Uclabruin103 Forum Lieutenant

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    I had two jobs while in medic school. It's all in how you can handle the information. I had a science background, so a lot of the anatomy, theory, and terminology was more review. And your interest level means a lot too. If you truly enjoy the material, then you'll understand and retain the information much better.
     
    Eir likes this.
  15. johnrsemt

    johnrsemt Forum Deputy Chief

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    I had a lot of people ask me how I worked FT during medic school, my answer was always "I don't know". I worked minimum if 36 1st week, 48 2nd week plus usually OT, plus 24 at FD that was paying my way through school, while going to medic school which was 2 8 hour class days and anywhere from 16 to 36 hours a week of clinicals.

    you can do anything you need to, to survive. I did it for 18 months; then when school was over kept up the schedule with OT to get caught up on bills.
     
    Eir likes this.
  16. Eir

    Eir Forum Probie

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    I'm in medic school full time and work part time. If you work somewhere with flexible scheduling, it's totally doable. My program, and I assume most, has clinical rotations and internships, so scheduling sometimes takes some doing, but I am fortunate enough to work somewhere that understands that.

    I'm interested to hear from anyone who did both full time school and full time work successfully. I know I have the energy for it, but coordinating schedules does not seem possible.
     
  17. Eir

    Eir Forum Probie

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    Did your program not have clinicals?
     
  18. Never2Old

    Never2Old Forum Crew Member

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    Absolutely. Had to fit them into the schedule as well. There were a lot of very long days and nights! I couldn't have done it without the 100% support of my wife, who saw me maybe a few hours a week, and my kids who took out a missing persons report on me ;-)

    For a year I embraced the philosophy of, "Eat when you can, sleep when you can and pee when you can". Fortunately I was able to do some of that between calls, and classes, and get in study time as well. I truly feel you have to be a self starter and highly motivated to be able to go to medic school and work a F/T job as well. I still feel that it is one of my greatest personal accomplishments to date.
     
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  19. Virgil

    Virgil Forum Crew Member

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    A lot of very good information here, thank you everyone. I called the program yesterday and got some questions answered. It's a full time M-F academy from 0700-1700. Doesn't leave much room for work, but I suppose I can work a P/T into that schedule. They also told me they decreased their EMT-Basic hour requirement from 1200 to 1000 hours. Which is about 6~ months of F/T.

    I'm going to have to talk to my girlfriend and family before going to school, judging from what I've read in this thread. It seems like all my time will be devoted to school and I have to prepare them for that. I hope i can find a good balance for that.
     
  20. Eir

    Eir Forum Probie

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    That's not bad at all. It seems like maybe they squeeze clinicals into that time? If so, that's a great program that leaves plenty of time for P/T work.
     

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