how long did it take you to feel competent?

kristenpeace

Forum Ride Along
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out of curiosity, I am wondering how long it took you all to feel comfortable in your jobs and get the feel of everything. I am only two days in as a new EMT, and of course I feel overwhelmed at all the information and equipment etc. I know it takes awhile to feel comfortable and all the learning takes experience, but how long was it for you all? (I am a brand new EMT and at my company EMTs get 911 right out of the gate...) thanks!
 

NomadicMedic

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Once you run a few calls, get the charting down, figure out how to get to the emergency department without getting lost… It'll all start to feel normal. I'd guess you don't feel incompetent as much as you feel overwhelmed by learning new things. And a lot of it are the things they didn't teach you in EMT class. How to talk to a patient on a 15 minute ride to the hospital. How to make up the stretcher quickly and get back in service. How to do all the job specific tasks that are unique to your service.

Give it a few weeks, once the newness wears off you'll settle right in the groove.
 

rugbyguy

Forum Crew Member
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Exactly what DE said. Once you start getting annoyed more than scared/nervous, your nice and settled into EMS.
 

avdrummerboy

Forum Lieutenant
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Since you work 911, not sure if it's an ALS company or not, it can seem quite inundating. The company I work at has employees do 9 24 hour shifts in order to complete FTO time because there is that much to learn. I can say that even after those 9 shifts it still took me a month or so to actually feel comfortable in working and feeling competent. Hell, I've been working here for about a year and a half now and I still have days that I feel totally incompetent, so do not feel bad, it'll come in time. Always keep learning and you'll be fine.

Also, don't be scared to ask questions, most people are nice enough to answer them, and most people who have been there for a while have made the same mistakes as you (even if they won't admit it.)
 

EpiEMS

Forum Deputy Chief
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I'd say it took me about 200 hours of working as an EMT to feel like I knew what I was doing with a clearly BLS patient, but more like 500 to be comfortable with knowing the resources I needed for a less-clearly BLS patient.

Beyond that, after a few dozen transports, the ED should be pretty familiar and you'll get the process down, just like any other job.
 

planetmike

Forum Lieutenant
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Near the end of my EMT-B classwork a couple months ago, it all just started making sense. I understood most of what was happening, and I felt comfortable on the truck. I took my skills tests, passed first time. And then on my first shift after testing, I felt like I really knew what I was doing. And on the first call of the shift, I was working with a new AIC (Attendant in Charge), and I actually handed her the equipment she needed before she asked for it. That was a great feeling, I hope it never goes away. Or when it does, I hope I am able to find it again.

All in all for me, it took about 6 months, running 911 calls for a volunteer agency, one shift per week (0 to 5 calls per shift), for me to really feel comfortable and that I was contributing more than just taking up space while trying to learn the job. YMMV.
 
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kristenpeace

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thanks you guys for the positive feedback. I am very passionate about my work and cannot wait for the day I can anticipate the paramedics needs and have the lay of the land. We get 5 days of training (working with another EMT) and then I am out on my own in the standard EMT/paramedic team. I will keep asking questions and never stop learning!
 

Ewok Jerky

PA-C
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Know where your equipment is and what is is used for.

Go through the cabinets and bags at the start of every shift so you know what is what. As a basic on a 911 unit you are most valuable when you not only know what is needed, but where to find it, and where to find another one if it breaks/doesn't work.

Also, know where your hospitals and what specialties are available (Cath lab, trauma, maternity, peeds etc.)
 
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Smash

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16 years in, I'm still not sure that I am.
 

joeyCC

Forum Ride Along
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out of curiosity, I am wondering how long it took you all to feel comfortable in your jobs and get the feel of everything. I am only two days in as a new EMT, and of course I feel overwhelmed at all the information and equipment etc. I know it takes awhile to feel comfortable and all the learning takes experience, but how long was it for you all? (I am a brand new EMT and at my company EMTs get 911 right out of the gate...) thanks!

To this day, I suck at writing a PCR. Partner does it while I deal with Pt. unless it's a birth. she does it. :rolleyes:
 

NomadicMedic

Pot or Kettle? Unsure.
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To this day, I suck at writing a PCR. Partner does it while I deal with Pt. unless it's a birth. she does it. :rolleyes:


"Arrived on scene, applied collar and LSB. Transport to hospital. TOT ED staff. In service"

Seems easy to me.
 

joeyCC

Forum Ride Along
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"Arrived on scene, applied collar and LSB. Transport to hospital. TOT ED staff. In service"

Seems easy to me.

switch lives with me. it's never that easy on me. i do 'em right. just don't want to most of the time. too anal about it. i would have made that another 6 lines of info. i also cant use TOT.
 
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PotatoMedic

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I lol'd.
 

Chewy20

Forum Deputy Chief
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switch lives with me. it's never that easy on me. i do 'em right. just don't want to most of the time. too anal about it. i would have made that another 6 lines of info. i also cant use TOT.

0965d01d-bd09-41b6-ac45-d28dfcef0941.jpg
 

EMT4EVA

Forum Probie
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I think it's different for everyone, but for me I'd say it took about a month or so before I really felt comfortable.

out of curiosity, I am wondering how long it took you all to feel comfortable in your jobs and get the feel of everything. I am only two days in as a new EMT, and of course I feel overwhelmed at all the information and equipment etc. I know it takes awhile to feel comfortable and all the learning takes experience, but how long was it for you all? (I am a brand new EMT and at my company EMTs get 911 right out of the gate...) thanks!
 

DesertMedic66

Forum Troll
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"Arrived on scene, applied collar and LSB. Transport to hospital. TOT ED staff. In service"

Seems easy to me.

We have had medics write those types of reports. Let's just say it didn't go over well at all with our CES department.
 

planetmike

Forum Lieutenant
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I can't figure out what "TOT" stands for. I'm guessing something along the lines of "transfer of ??".
 

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