Now what?....

firefighteremt343

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In August of 2015 I began the Paramedic Program at my local community college...to make a long story short I did well in class and didn't seem to have many troubles I was scoring right along with all of the other students in my class...the end finally came and it was time to take the NREMT exam. I had passed all of my skills on the first try and the only thing that stood between me and being a Paramedic was that written test. I took it once, and twice, and three times....I took the refresher and studied my butt off using every method of studying I could think of....I took that test 3 more times and am now as we know it S.O.L. I have essentially wasted a year of my life and a lot of money...my question is I've researched some of these "online" Paramedic programs and for someone in my position (who has already attended a campus course) I think this could be a viable option....heres the kicker...the clinicals...is there ANY schools or programs that anyone knows of that would accept all or atleast some of my clinical time from the Campus Course I previously attended? I am currently a firefighter/A-EMT and have been an EMT for 10 years this year. Any help that you can provide would be awesome, unfortunately I have a feeling I know what the answer will be!
 

NomadicMedic

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You know it already. You'll have to complete the clinical time again, unless the place where you took your class originally will just let you retake the didactic portion.

After 6 fails, perhaps this isn't the job for you?
 
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firefighteremt343

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First and foremost this is the job for me...would having the P Card be nice? Yes, but I can and will do great things as an EMT I'm optimistic in the fact that the year wasn't entirely wasted if anything it has certainly made me a better EMT...as far as taking the test 6 times, that proves nothing...it proves that you're better at taking tests then I am it does not prove or make you any more capable of doing the job then I am...lastly, thank you for your input
 

NomadicMedic

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...as far as taking the test 6 times, that proves nothing...it proves that you're better at taking tests then I am it does not prove or make you any more capable of doing the job then I am.l

After six fails it actually proves that you lack the fundamental upstanding of the core curriculum material to function as a paramedic. The CAT is a pass/fail on baseline competency. I'll say again, this probably isn't the job for you. Not everyone who tries out for the team gets a jersey.
 
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firefighteremt343

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While you're entitled to your own opinion I asked for help NOT to hear whether you think I am capable of performing the job or not...I've been a firefighter for 12 years and an EMT for 10 of those...this isn't my first day on the job, so you're telling me after being successful for 12 years this all of sudden isn't the job for me BC I failed a test? You're the type of person who motivates me to prove you wrong...
 

NomadicMedic

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I didn't say you weren't a capable firefighter or a capable EMT. I have no knowledge of your skills in those areas. But perhaps paramedicine is beyond your grasp. The lack of success with the test would lead me to that conclusion.

There's no shame in it.

When I was a kid, I really wanted to play baseball. More than anything. However, I have depth perception issues and can't field a fly ball to save my life. After trying out a couple of times and not making the team, the coach suggested I try soccer. We were all happier.

You see? Don't look at it as a negative... just realize that paramedicine is not for everyone and maybe there's another place where you can excel. Sorry you spent all that money and time, but maybe chalk it up to experience?

And whether you asked for it or not, you threw it out there in a public forum and I, like most of the EMS professionals who advocate for higher educational standards and more stringent testing, will tell you that not passing the test SIX TIMES is indicative of a clear lack of fundamental knowledge.
 

hometownmedic5

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You didn't fail "a test". You failed the same test six times with remediation and "every method of studying". The idea that you might not be cut out for being a medic isn't without merit. While I don't see the NR written as the end all be all measure of competence, it is the hurdle you have to get over.

I'll take your word for it that your qualified to be a firefighter and an EMT. According to the national certifying body(not the members here), you aren't qualified to be a paramedic. If you feel this was an abberant performance and want to try again, go for it. You are almost certainly going to start from scratch and repeat every step and pay every dollar again. In so far as this is a benefit, I can personally tell you that medic school is much easier the second time. I don't recommend it as a course of action, but since you're already on the boat, might as well make the most of it.
 

GMCmedic

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I have a coworker who took the EMT course and failed the test 6 times. He took the EMT course a second time and passed on the first (7th) try.

He is a great EMT and I enjoy working with him.

He went on to take medic class and failed the test 6 times. He is in medic class again.

He is having a much easier time in class the second time, and I habe no doubt he will be a competent medic. Sometimes it takes more than once for it to sink in.

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DrParasite

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I must agree with my nomadic friend.... If you have failed the exam 6 times, than it's not being a bad test taker, you don't know the material well enough to pass the test.

I'm sure your a competent firefighter, and AEMT, and this isn't a slam on your intellect, but at what point do will you say enough is enough? Want to take the test 9 times?

The other question is why do you want to be a medic? Is it required for your job, or will it get you a pay raise? Do you just want to have that P card because you spent so much time in class? Will you suffer any losses if you don't pass (other than bruised ego and out some money and time of your life)?

If you won't suffer any major losses (termination from your job being the big one if medic is required), than I would just give up. You tried, and did more than many would, but it wasn't in the cards. you will be a very well educated AEMT, and move on with your life. there is no shame in that. If you chose not to, I refer you to the wisdom of a pretty smart person:

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PassionMedic

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I have an old coworker who tracked with his classmates during the course and failed his state...twice. Then it took him 5 tries to pass the REMAC (regional credentialing to be able to practice). He is now a great paramedic, and I could think of worse providers to treat my family. HOWEVER, he had an admitted learning disability, and THAT was why he had issues with the written exam. I also had a friend who was an AMAZING EMT who just couldn't pass his medic. Last I heard he was in the class for the 3rd time.

If it is just a matter of not having enough of a grasp on the material to make inferences of what the questions are asking, you got to ask yourself would you be acting in your patient's best interest as a provider? If you can honestly (HONESTLY) say the answer is yes, then take it on the chin, and do the course over, clinicals and all, and focus on your areas of weakness. If you can't say for sure, than maybe being a paramedic isn't in the cards for you. I wish you the best of luck while you do the soul searching needed to see if the very rough path that would be ahead of you is the best course for you.


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