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Old 07-26-2012, 03:43 PM   #11
DrankTheKoolaid
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The 20 years ive been doing this has always been FT on a 911 truck or in the ED. I often forget that alot of EMT and medics never actually work 911 and do IFT only.

So I stand somewhat corrected. Experience on a 911 truck would be what i had meant.

And your right you can pick up bad habits while working with poorly trained and skilled partners. What I would hope of any new ALS provider is to look back at his partners and pick out the good and discard the bad that they saw happening and incorporate it into there own practice


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Old 07-26-2012, 03:48 PM   #12
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I would agree. If you could get quality experience as a 911 provider, then I could see you being better prepared to be a new medic in the field. Sadly, those jobs are few and far between. At least down here they are.
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:50 PM   #13
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Field experience probably makes little difference for most in the classroom. However, once in the internship, it makes all the difference. The interns with little to no experience struggle once on the bus. There may be exceptions but, they are few and far between.
I must be an exception then. I had a total of 5 months experience as an Intermediate on an ALS 911 truck when my internship started and I didn't have a problem. Only experience I had prior to school was Ski Patrol and Beach Patrol/Lifeguard.

Few in my class had any experience and everyone passed and did just fine in their internships.

You don't need experience to go to medic school and become a good medic. If having experience makes you feel more comfortable then that's your choice. It's going to depend on the person. There isn't a one-fits-all answer to this question.

If you are socially awkward you aren't going to be great at this job with or without experience. As long as you can talk to people and can lead you'll be fine.
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:05 PM   #14
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It could depend on where you live I live in Northeast ohio and they tell you just get your education first then experience. You can't work for many fire departments around here unless a medic so that is everyone's mentality just knock all your EMS training out at once.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:26 PM   #15
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Being an EMT if only for a short while gives one the experience of dealing with patients, family, co-workers, other medical staff, different scene dynamics, how to manuever a gurney, getting patients out of homes/facilities, paperwork, hospital ringdowns, etc. My job as a preceptor is not to teach these things to someone with no experience. As an EMT, you should know how to do these things at least in the most beginning fashion.

It also gives one the experience/knowledge to determine whether or not this career is for them. I have had a few 'terns that were inexperienced whom became very disenchanted with the job (all the BS) once it began.

To NVRob; as I stated there are exceptions. And just because everyone passed in your class does not mean there were not struggles that may have been non-existent with some experience. Besides, the only way to really know how you did would be to talk to your preceptor
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:31 PM   #16
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This has been debated to death. There are many people on here that say it would be idiotic to not get a minimum of one year field experience as a basic before starting medic.

I laugh at these people

From my personal experience from the student and teacher side, I see no reason to wait and gain experience. I had zero experience and was at the top of my medic class. There are others here the same way.
I think the main advantage of working for a bit as a basic is that you get a chance to develop your people skills. I know many medics that are technically brilliant but who's interpersonal skills and bedside manner suck. Granted that may or may not have been different if they had been a basic for a while first but I think it might have helped.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:02 PM   #17
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While everyone is different, I think that a Basic should spend time (maybe 6 months) doing work as a Basic before going to Medic School. The reason is that there are lots of little things that a student should know, or at least be comfortable doing, before going on. If there was a "zero to hero" course that included ongoing experiences so that the students could be comfortable with that stuff along the way and when they're ready for their field time, they'll hit the ground running. We do that with other healthcare programs, but we don't do it with EMS. We divide the didactic and internships into separate portions of the programs...
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:07 PM   #18
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Everyone here has made some great points I'm already signed up and ready to start in a few weeks.. I may try to see if there are any openings at my local volly department,so I'm not going into medic blind.
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:16 PM   #19
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As far as passing the academic work I have no doubt that an EMT could move into the paramedic knowledge level, however once you are a paramedic on the streets your experience or lack there of will often determine how well you can put your knowledge to use. More knowledge is always a good thing, but without the ability to perform some functions without having to exert mental capacities on them you may find yourself struggling to complete patient care. This is true at the BLS level and even more so at the ALS level.

If you do go through paramedic school without any field experience besides your clinicals I suggest you try and get paired with a good medic who can mentor you.
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