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Anyone an EMT or paramedic?

Mind sharing why you became one, and how? What's the scariest call you went to? How do you stay detached if the call is for a little baby? How do you deal with someone not making it? I have a BA in communications but want to go back to school since my major is a dead end these days. My town has a nursing school and programs. EMT and paramedicine isn't at the TOP of my list, but I love helping people.

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Asked by Owl_Feather at 12:50 PM on May. 20, 2013 in Money & Work

Level 22 (13,272 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • My hubby was a paramedic, and I was going to become one. He had a really hard time with the calls where there were kids that were killed by drug dealers. He's extremely protective as a result. He hasn't been a paramedic since becoming a parent.
    I'm a former Navy corpsman and nursing student now, and I have always done okay with kids, but every now and then, one really strikes me. My hardest one was while I was pregnant, and a young infant was brought into the ED by her foster mom, who had just picked her up. She was way undernourished, her fingernails were really long and dirty, and it just broke my heart. I held her for a good 20 minutes while she slept in my arms, and I still tear up about it.
    I wish we got to hear the outcomes, especially with ones like that.
    DH primarily worked search and rescue as a paramedic, so lots of dead people in all kinds of states. He has some stories!

    Answer by musicpisces at 12:54 PM on May. 20, 2013

  • Also look into the salaries where you are- they generally suck, at least here they do. You might be better off looking at nursing programs, where you can at least make a decent income. Look at the job market where you are (or where you want to be).

    Answer by musicpisces at 12:55 PM on May. 20, 2013

  • oh yes I was just thinking about that whole outcome part. You pretty much do your thing, and leave the scene and if applicable, bring them to the hospital and move on to the next call. Not knowing how the person turned out would drive me nuts!

    Comment by Owl_Feather (original poster) at 12:57 PM on May. 20, 2013

  • my town is a black hole. One year it was the 3rd poorest city in the country. I want to go to school mainly so I can move out of here lol. the medical industry is always hiring so I'd probably be ok finding a job elsewhere.

    Comment by Owl_Feather (original poster) at 12:58 PM on May. 20, 2013

  • Yeah, it kind of does! There are totally patients I still wonder about! But it's great being able to help people, and when they acknowledge it, it makes my heart sing. Every day that I'm with patients, it reinforces that I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing. I would do it for free if I could afford to! I actually am looking at getting into pro bono services once I have my master's.

    Answer by musicpisces at 12:58 PM on May. 20, 2013

  • I was a volunteer EMT and the calls with kids were the worst, but you just deal with it or you quit. The turnover rate is pretty high due to that. I have not renewed my certification in several years since my life is just cray right now.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:59 PM on May. 20, 2013

  • Actually, even nursing has been short on jobs, at least where I am. My prior experience and being prior military will help me BIG time, but a lot of my cohorts are having trouble finding work. Be sure to look at wherever it is you want to go. Things are constantly changing, though. A lot of nurses stopped retiring when the economy tanked and their retirement accounts drained. Now they're just getting to a point where they can start to afford to retire, and their bodies cannot keep going with the rigors of nursing. They say some jobs will be opening up in the next year or two. Let's hope!

    Answer by musicpisces at 1:00 PM on May. 20, 2013

  • hmm volunteer EMT. I can see that being a big plus with getting a job as one. And helpful to the others who are employed. How can one go about being a volunteer? I have no experience though :/

    Comment by Owl_Feather (original poster) at 1:04 PM on May. 20, 2013

  • I went through training and worked as a volunteer for three years on my fire dept. at home. I worked on the ambulance and fire dept., but didn't get paid. It was very stressful and I can't believe I did what I did back then.

    Answer by m-avi at 1:04 PM on May. 20, 2013

  • EMT certification is a VERY basic course. You are there only to prevent a person from dying in the next 10 to 20 minutes before they are passed to the next medical professional. There is a lot of blood, broken bones, etc. Airway, breathing and circulation.

    There is no time or room for wondering about things not related to keeping that person alive.

    There are also the crazy calls. Drugs and drunks. Elderly dementia.

    I loved it. I cant work the hours and be there for my kids. The pay sucks too. Go higher. You sound like a nurse.

    Answer by staciandababy at 1:53 PM on May. 20, 2013

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