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Thread: EMT training

  1. #1

    Default EMT training

    I'm planning on takeing emt training classes this year and next.(Getting certified as a basic or intermediate EMT)

    I was wondering if anyone on this forum was an EMT or has taken those classes?
    What's it like?
    How hard is?
    Is the job's difficulties worth the pay?
    What have you had to do on the job?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valerye View Post
    I'm planning on takeing emt training classes this year and next.(Getting certified as a basic or intermediate EMT)

    I was wondering if anyone on this forum was an EMT or has taken those classes?
    What's it like?
    How hard is?
    Is the job's difficulties worth the pay?
    What have you had to do on the job?
    I was a volunteer EMT in West Texas, and am now a nurse. Being an EMT can be fun, frustrating, exciting, and a whole lot of other things. The type of things you do depends on where you work and the type of squad to which you are assigned.

    The job can be both physically and mentally difficult. Much of it gets better with practice. The hours can be very long, though.

    Pay is low. This is due to many factors, including the fact that many cities would rather depend on volunteers (which are free, or at least cheaper) than paid EMS services.

    The other difficulty is that many others in the health care field do not view EMT's as "professionals", though many EMT's have as much, if not more, education as others in health care. Be prepared for this perception.

    As far as the things I did as an EMT, there were many memorable experiences, and I would be remiss if I listed only a few. Let's just say my experiences drove me to pursue my Master's in Nursing.

    I would recommend getting a few copies of the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) and looking them over to get a feel for the profession. These should be available at large libraries, particularly academic libraries, or perhaps at your local fire station/EMS facility. You may also subscribe, which you should certainly do if you pursue this career.

    Good luck, and let me know if you need anything!

  3. #3

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    I'm an EMT-B student right now. So far it's not too difficult as we've only gone through assessment (basic, rapid trauma, etc.), basic airway management, CPR, basic human anatomy and a whole lot of legal stuff. I really love going to class everyday and from what I've heard from some paramedics I've talked to, it's one of the best jobs in the world; I can almost guarantee that you'll love it once you start. Just remember, you'll be dealing with people when they're at their worst and you'll see a lot of things that most people don't want to see, so be prepared for that.

    The pay isn't great, even as an EMT-P unless you're lucky enough to get on with a hospital based service (at least here), if you really want to be the best of the best, shoot for being a flight medic on the helicopters, those guys really know their stuff and make pretty good money.

    I don't know how it is in Louisiana, but here in Oregon you've got to have at least 24 hours of ride-a-longs with an ambulance, and 32 clinical hours in the ER. I have my first ER shift this Friday 2200-800, I'm so excited.

  4. #4

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    I am not an EMT myself but I've worked with EMTs and on the beach we're a first response (even before the EMTs). One thing you have to keep in mind is can you mentally handle it? You won't truly know until you face it but you're putting yourself in a position where you'll be seeing some very awful stuff which can be very hard to deal with for some people. Take a moment to think about that before you sign up for this. One very positive thing is that every day is different and it's challenging (at least that's what I've been told and know from my side of the story)

    It can be a dreamjob or pure hell depending on how you can deal with it and you love the changes and challenges. Either way it'll be a job that asks a lot from you, physically and mentally.

    Good luck whatever you chose.

  5. #5
    Butterfly Mage

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    My sister was an EMT before she became a meth junkie.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly Mage View Post
    My sister was an EMT before she became a meth junkie.
    Reminds me of a conversation I overheard recently in a patient's room:

    Social worker - "Do you have a brother that lives in (unnamed town)?"

    Patient - "Yes, I do."

    Social worker - "Oh, I think I know him. Does he do antiques there?"

    Patient (quite seriously)- "No, he does drugs."

    BTW, the patient was there for an overdose. Butterfly, sorry to hear about your sister.

  7. #7

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    This may be purely a British problem, but when I think 'paramedic' (assuming EMT are paramedics? I've never heard of it before) I think 'dealing with pissed idiots at 3:00 am on a Saturday'.
    If you live somewhere where people drink at bars/clubs and then smash each other up, consider if you'd comfortable dealing with drunk or drugged-up people. I image that's the harder part of the job, and the most depressing.

  8. #8
    dprdinky

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    I would say EMT's are an honorable profession that doesn't get the credit or pay they deserve. It can be very fulfilling and possibly lead to other long term career opportunities if EMT is not what you want to do with the rest of your life.

  9. #9
    EmeraldsAndLime

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    I think Martin said it accurately, in that you've got to be prepared for whatever you may face. Not an EMT myself, but I've done some first-aid training (incl. CPR). My training was about 30 minute practical and about 6 hours of sitting around watching a slide-show, and even that was enough to make me hope I didn't have to put my skills into action.

    Good luck with it though! It's certainly an admirable profession.

  10. #10

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    Charlie, I don't know if it's the same there but here there's basically 4 levels of pre-hospital care: first responder, EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, and EMT-Paramedic; so Paramedics are EMT's.

    Not to deter you or anything, and I'm sure you already know this but, it's not like you see on TV. You're not always out there saving lives and a lot of the time (depending on where you word) you're doing transport calls; but know this, it doesn't matter what kind of call it is, you're still making a difference in somebody's life, that's the reason I got into it.

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