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Second Ride Along

32 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

Hey guys,

Haven't been on here since class started. Three weeks from finishing my EMT-B course. Had my first ride along. Very uneventful. Didn't even get to take vitals. My second one is coming up on Thursday. Any suggestions? Hope I get more calls so I can test my skills. Hope to be EMT-B certified by January. Any suggestions would be appreciated for the ride along or anything else. Its strange to see how much i understand on this forum now vs before I took this course.

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Posted · Report post

Keep in mind, you will find shifts that are uneventful. Sometime you feast and sometimes you famine. Then there are times when the fit hits the shan and you wish for the quiet. My first couple ride a longs were quiet, just hang in there and be open to learning by observing. Do stick with the forums, cuz there is a lot to learn.

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Posted · Report post

Well unfortunately the EMS gods will either shine on you or say "nope aint gonna give you shit" and let you just sit around and watch TV in a recliner at the firehouse.

Just do what you did last shift and observe and be there to do what they need you to do.

Tell the medic or the emt in charge that you are willing to do whatever they need you to do. Remember it is their job to keep you safe, but your job as well so keep your head on your shoulder.

Don't be an idiot like one of my students and go off into the basement of one of the houses we were at looking for the overdose victim and nearly become a victim themself. That was a bad scene. STICK WITH YOUR PRECEPTOR. GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But in all seriousness, do what they tell you to do, perform what you have been taught and soak up the learning atmosphere because one day soon you will not be in the learning sphere anymore, but in the patient care in charge sphere and what you learn on your ride time is that important.

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Posted · Report post

I know better than to go wandering around a patient's house. The only interventions they allow basic students here to do are vitals and CPR. But if I get a call I'm sure I'll learn a lot just by watching.

Thanks guys good advice!

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Posted · Report post

I know better than to go wandering around a patient's house. The only interventions they allow basic students here to do are vitals and CPR. But if I get a call I'm sure I'll learn a lot just by watching.

Thanks guys good advice!

Really, That sounds like they use you as glorified eye candy and part time help. No splinting, no bandaging? How the heck do they expect to help you learn skills that you should learn? Any chance you can get with a better more progressive learning environment?

Have you had a discussion with your instructor about the limitations that you are under at the EMS Agency you are riding with? Could it be that someone at the class you are in ruined it for the rest of you by screwing up royally or does that service just not trust you students.

When I had students they were allowed to do whatever their scope of learning (to that point of their class) allowed them to do. If they had learned bandaging and splinting then they did that, if they hadn't gotten to that point, then they didn't get to do it.

Sounds like your ride service is behind the times.

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Posted · Report post

Well in the class they told us we could do whatever we felt comfortable doing that we learned in class, but the emts I ride with are a little less open and I didn't even get any good calls. One was transfering a Schitzophrenic from one hospital to another where I wasn't allowed to take vitals at all, and the other was a diabetic who overdosed on her medication and by the time my station got there another station was already there and had already handled the situation so I wasn't allowed to take vitals on that call either. I basically just rode around on the engine and studing at the station.

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Posted · Report post

Ahhh that sheds more light on the situation. I suggest that you just let them know you are willing to do whatever they allow you to do. If there is a skill that they are going to perform ask them if you can do it, as long as it's in your scope. All you can do is ask.

It they don't allow it, document it on your evaluation sheet that you turn into your instructor. If you don't have one of those, make sure you let your instructor know that you had skills that you could have done but the crews wouldn't let you do them.

You are there to learn and if the people you are riding with aren't letting you do them, then they really don't need to have students ride with them. You are being robbed of valuable skills time that some other crew might let you practice.

But maybe all the crews are like that, I don't know.

good luck and just be available to the crew.

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Posted · Report post

I got to agree with the Captain here. Sounds like the service you are riding with is not on the ball. When we have a student come in, we all recognize that at the beginning is where we all started. A kind word and a welcoming attitude goes a long way to helping a student begin their learning experience. On a busy shift, there is not a lot of extra that we need to do except keep an eye on the kid and make sure they don't get into trouble. There is time getting to the scene where we encourage the student to be pro-active by asking questions based on the tone out information about what they expect at the scene, what they should make sure gets taken in to the scene, etc. After the call, we go over what was really there and monday morning quarterback the call.

If there are few calls, then the student gets taken to the back of the rig to explore where everything is and what its used for. We have gone as far as scene playing where one of the medics is the patient and the student runs the call.

It is an honor to precept students. We are usually the only experience they are going to get and it behooves us to make sure that student gets the most out of the situation that they can.

I am sorry that a lot of students do not get this.

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Posted · Report post

I don't want to bash on students, but what do you expect to happen. You don't have a basic cert yet so anything you do will be under the cert of the EMT's you are riding with. It would depend on how comfortable they felt with you as to what they let you do if anything.

Me personally, I would have a hard time letting an EMT student touch my patient. That doesn't mean I wont explain things to the student and I might let them listen to lung sounds or get the second set of vitals. But, ultimately my name is attached to that patient and I am responsible.

Sit back, observe what the EMT's are doing, ask appropriate questions AFTER the call. If you are lucky enough to get hands on experience, great. That means they trust you and your abilities. BUT, if you don't get hands on experience don't sweat it. Just pay attention and learn what you can. Ride out time is meant to give you first hand experience as to how we operate in the field.

In a perfect world students could get hands on time. However, legally speaking it is not in the best interest and can get people in trouble.

Good luck to you and enjoy your ride along. Remember to thank the crew.

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Posted · Report post

I am also very leary of basic students assigned to me that I haven't even met previously, I have them show me their skills in the station prior to touching a patient. We start out checking the truck together, I am surprised how many of them don't have a clue as to what some of the equipment is, much less how to use it. I have them take vitals of people in the station to ensure they are competent, then we do some splinting and run through some scenrios and what I expect of them on the truck. It may take your preceptor a few shifts to become comfortable with you.

My advice is to ask questions when the time is appropriate. If you don't know how to do something just ask, we don't expect you to know everything. I would rather you ask than fumble aroud not knowing how to use something.

Good luck!

I did double the required clinical hours trying to get my calls. I know how frustrating it can be to have a slow day as a student.

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Posted · Report post

I don't want to bash on students, but what do you expect to happen. You don't have a basic cert yet so anything you do will be under the cert of the EMT's you are riding with. It would depend on how comfortable they felt with you as to what they let you do if anything.

Me personally, I would have a hard time letting an EMT student touch my patient. That doesn't mean I wont explain things to the student and I might let them listen to lung sounds or get the second set of vitals. But, ultimately my name is attached to that patient and I am responsible.

Sit back, observe what the EMT's are doing, ask appropriate questions AFTER the call. If you are lucky enough to get hands on experience, great. That means they trust you and your abilities. BUT, if you don't get hands on experience don't sweat it. Just pay attention and learn what you can. Ride out time is meant to give you first hand experience as to how we operate in the field.

In a perfect world students could get hands on time. However, legally speaking it is not in the best interest and can get people in trouble.

Good luck to you and enjoy your ride along. Remember to thank the crew.

So Mike did you get any hands on experience when you were doing you ride time?

Why do you think that students are in class and doing ride time? You are there to evaluate them, you are there to help them on a real world patient. If you don't trust them then you should not have them on your truck.

I'm having a little bit of a hard time understanding why you are precepting students. That's what preceptors do, they help students with their skills.

I'm not bashing you because it's your prerogitive to not let them touch your patient but they have to learn it sometime.

Does your service just put students with you and that's it. If so that's a shame.

But I will tell you this.When and if you go to medic school you will be expected to perform skills and get them checked off, what happens if you get a medic preceptor who thinks like you "i'm not going to let them touch my patient because my name is attached to that patient so they can't touch them so all this medic student gets to do on this shift is sit back and observe" How are you going to feel?

If you are truly observant of the student doing the skill on the patient and not just letting them do the skill then you can stop them when they begin to do it wrong. You also inform the patient that this is the student doing the skill and is it ok for the student to do it. The patient can say no or yes.

Frankly Mike, I'm disappointed in your response. Every preceptor I had when I was going through both EMT rides and Medic rides allowed me to perform whatever skills I had been trained on in class.

But you are entitled to your position and I'm not busting your balls about that position, just disappointed is all.

I am also very leary of basic students assigned to me that I haven't even met previously, I have them show me their skills in the station prior to touching a patient. We start out checking the truck together, I am surprised how many of them don't have a clue as to what some of the equipment is, much less how to use it. I have them take vitals of people in the station to ensure they are competent, then we do some splinting and run through some scenrios and what I expect of them on the truck. It may take your preceptor a few shifts to become comfortable with you.

My advice is to ask questions when the time is appropriate. If you don't know how to do something just ask, we don't expect you to know everything. I would rather you ask than fumble aroud not knowing how to use something.

Good luck!

I did double the required clinical hours trying to get my calls. I know how frustrating it can be to have a slow day as a student.

I'm not saying that they be able to do all the skills that you do as an emt on a regular basis but come on, EMT skills are not rocket science in the knowledge it takes to do so. How much knowledge does it take to put a couple of 4x4's on a wound and then wrap it with some kling?

But you should be showing them how to put on a splint and allowing them to help. Not just letting them observe. I'm sure they've done it dozens of times in the classroom setting.

Putting on a hare traction splint, that takes two or more people to do, why not get them involved in putting it on.

Not allowing them to get in and help and just making them observe is to me just tanatmount to a wasted 12 hour shift.

If you need to have them prove to you that they can do the skill before they get to do it in the field under your supervision, that's great, but to refuse to let them touch your patient except for lung sounds or a second set of vitals, is just silly.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I'm not clear about whether this is her preceptorship or ride outs.

Based on what she's saying I'm thinking these are meant to be observational shifts and not her being evaluated on any skills. Some medics don't mind letting them get their feet wet on ride outs, but some prefer the student to observe, take notes, ask questions and learn before being thrown in the deep end. I have to agree with not overwhelming a student with tasks and simply having them watch and learn.

I remember my ride outs, I was very content to simply observe, see how the medics asked questions, see where their priorities were. I also remember being fairly comfortable during my first preceptorship shifts because of that. I learned a lot about communication and history taking during my ride outs. Skills will be evaluated during preceptorship.

Edited by Curiosity
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Posted · Report post

So Mike did you get any hands on experience when you were doing you ride time?

Why do you think that students are in class and doing ride time? You are there to evaluate them, you are there to help them on a real world patient. If you don't trust them then you should not have them on your truck.

I'm having a little bit of a hard time understanding why you are precepting students. That's what preceptors do, they help students with their skills.

I'm not bashing you because it's your prerogitive to not let them touch your patient but they have to learn it sometime.

Does your service just put students with you and that's it. If so that's a shame.

But I will tell you this.When and if you go to medic school you will be expected to perform skills and get them checked off, what happens if you get a medic preceptor who thinks like you "i'm not going to let them touch my patient because my name is attached to that patient so they can't touch them so all this medic student gets to do on this shift is sit back and observe" How are you going to feel?

If you are truly observant of the student doing the skill on the patient and not just letting them do the skill then you can stop them when they begin to do it wrong. You also inform the patient that this is the student doing the skill and is it ok for the student to do it. The patient can say no or yes.

Frankly Mike, I'm disappointed in your response. Every preceptor I had when I was going through both EMT rides and Medic rides allowed me to perform whatever skills I had been trained on in class.

But you are entitled to your position and I'm not busting your balls about that position, just disappointed is all.

I'm not saying that they be able to do all the skills that you do as an emt on a regular basis but come on, EMT skills are not rocket science in the knowledge it takes to do so. How much knowledge does it take to put a couple of 4x4's on a wound and then wrap it with some kling?

But you should be showing them how to put on a splint and allowing them to help. Not just letting them observe. I'm sure they've done it dozens of times in the classroom setting.

Putting on a hare traction splint, that takes two or more people to do, why not get them involved in putting it on.

Not allowing them to get in and help and just making them observe is to me just tanatmount to a wasted 12 hour shift.

If you need to have them prove to you that they can do the skill before they get to do it in the field under your supervision, that's great, but to refuse to let them touch your patient except for lung sounds or a second set of vitals, is just silly.

I don't train students, I'm just off of FTO myself. We didn't do ride alongs we went to Harborview for our Clinical time. We weren't allowed to touch patients unless we were under direct supervision of a MD or RN. Even then it was limited to positioning patients. I helped log roll a patient and man were those doctors nervous - even though its a teaching hospital.

The point I am trying to make is I hear students all the time saying they are going for a ride along and you hear their expectations. The expectation of a student on a ride along is that they are there to observe what is going on. Hands on skills are developed on FTO.

One has to remember that an EMT works under local protocals where as a student is working under national standards, which can be conflicting. For example National standards teaches CPR to one set of standards, however here in King County we do a variation of High Performance CPR.

I think people get student ride alongs and new hire FTO mixed up.

Would I let a student touch my patient? I don't know, that would depend on my evaluation of the student, the patients condition and my gut feeling. Would I teach a student and explain things to them? You bet.

Bottom line, students should not expect to be involved in patient care.

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Posted · Report post

This is where you and I disagree. I fully believe that students should be involved in patient care to the extent (and this is the caveat) to the extent of the person watching over them or in charge of them felt comfortable with them doing what they allowed them to do.

Let me ask you this, how do you think medic students get their skills checked off? They are students and by your reasoning they should not be involved in patient care so there is no way in your reasoning that they should be able to get their skills checked off. Right? So if they are not involved in patient care then how do you expect that medic student to get any of their skills or assessment skills checked off which is a critical part of their paramedic curriculum completed?

Again, I'm just asking the question, not jumpin on you. I'm just trying to see how you expect for medic students to get their skills checked off?????

I disagree with your premise but don't disagree with you having that premise.

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If you aren't willing to let students learn then don't accept students.

Students are there for exposure, for practice, for experience. Failing to allow any of that means you are a poor preceptor/instructor. So what if your name goes on the chart? Did you not observe the student? Did you not supervise? Did you not step in immediately if they were making a mistake?

Some students need more guidance and teaching than others. They do not need preceptors who are too afraid of themselves to let anyone else get involved.

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This is where you and I disagree. I fully believe that students should be involved in patient care to the extent (and this is the caveat) to the extent of the person watching over them or in charge of them felt comfortable with them doing what they allowed them to do.

Let me ask you this, how do you think medic students get their skills checked off? They are students and by your reasoning they should not be involved in patient care so there is no way in your reasoning that they should be able to get their skills checked off. Right? So if they are not involved in patient care then how do you expect that medic student to get any of their skills or assessment skills checked off which is a critical part of their paramedic curriculum completed?

Again, I'm just asking the question, not jumpin on you. I'm just trying to see how you expect for medic students to get their skills checked off?????

I disagree with your premise but don't disagree with you having that premise.

Big difference between Medic students and EMT students. Most Medic students already have their EMT cert for entry into the program. Medic students tend to work more under the supervision of a doctor during their clinical time.

EMT students are usually entry level and are obtaining their first job in the healthcare field. Here in WA, an EMT student isn't allowed to practice.

As I stated, if I feel comfortable with the student, they have demonstrated a reasonable level of competency and the patient is stable with good vitals then maybe I will let them take a Blood Pressure. If I hear a strange lung sound maybe I will let the student listen so they can hear it too.

EMT students shouldn't have the expectation that they are going to be a "3rd provider" on the rig though. The expectation I have is that they are there to learn and observe.

I was a student myself a few months ago. I know how hard it is to get comfortable with your skills. But as a student you are an observer, not a provider. Many hospitals won't even allow students in the room to hear the Short.

Students haven't taken HIPPA, many of them aren't aware of local protocols or privacy issues.

Student Ride outs are designed to give the student a real world look into our field. See how equipment really works and how an ambulance is really set up. Once they get hired their FTO program will give them the hands on experience they need.

Medic programs are different and usually are under the immediate direction of a doctor which gives the student a little more legal protection. Basic programs are usually college programs under the direction of a college which offers no more legal protection than a standard good samaritan law. In fact many programs around me make the student sign a form that says they are to not practice what they learn until hired, may not refer themselves as an EMT and will hold harmless the institution should they violate any of that.

BLS and ALS is two different worlds.

If you aren't willing to let students learn then don't accept students.

Students are there for exposure, for practice, for experience. Failing to allow any of that means you are a poor preceptor/instructor. So what if your name goes on the chart? Did you not observe the student? Did you not supervise? Did you not step in immediately if they were making a mistake?

Some students need more guidance and teaching than others. They do not need preceptors who are too afraid of themselves to let anyone else get involved.

Guidance and teaching isn't necessarily giving a student free reign in the back of an ambulance.

Me personally, I would be more than happy to explain anything the student wanted. It is very doubtful that I would let and EMT Basic student touch my patient though.

Now if this was an FTO type of situation then that would be different.

Its not me being a jerk or not wanting them to learn, its me protecting them. WA doesn't recognize students and they could be held liable.

As I said in my above post, big difference between a BLS student and an ALS student. Different legal protections, different requirements.

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Posted · Report post

Guidance and teaching isn't necessarily giving a student free reign in the back of an ambulance.

Who's arguing for free reign in the back of an ambulance? That's where the preceptor's role of supervision comes into play. Fail to supervise a student and a preceptor should be fired.

Me personally, I would be more than happy to explain anything the student wanted. It is very doubtful that I would let and EMT Basic student touch my patient though.

Then you do not deserve to be a preceptor. If you currently are one, please, for the sake of your students, step down. You are only standing in the way of them taking care of people

Now if this was an FTO type of situation then that would be different.

We aren't talking about FTO type situations.

Its not me being a jerk or not wanting them to learn, its me protecting them.

It's you protecting you. If you were properly supervising their activities and intervening when necessary you would be protecting them and your patient. By refusing them anything more than observation you are doing them, and any future patient they may encounter, a HUGE disservice.

WA doesn't recognize students and they could be held liable.

Liable for what? You failing to be an attentive preceptor? You failing to intervene if necessary? You failing to teach? Any subsequent lawsuit won't come after a student. There's no money there. They'll come after you and your employer. So this goes back to you protecting you.

As I said in my above post, big difference between a BLS student and an ALS student. Different legal protections, different requirements.

I'm not talking about ALS vs BLS. This is a BLS oriented discussion. So we're talking BLS.

I have no idea if you are a preceptor or not. I'm inclined to think not. So any "you" reference was a general reference and not you individually.

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Who's arguing for free reign in the back of an ambulance? That's where the preceptor's role of supervision comes into play. Fail to supervise a student and a preceptor should be fired.

Then you do not deserve to be a preceptor. If you currently are one, please, for the sake of your students, step down. You are only standing in the way of them taking care of people

We aren't talking about FTO type situations.

It's you protecting you. If you were properly supervising their activities and intervening when necessary you would be protecting them and your patient. By refusing them anything more than observation you are doing them, and any future patient they may encounter, a HUGE disservice.

Liable for what? You failing to be an attentive preceptor? You failing to intervene if necessary? You failing to teach? Any subsequent lawsuit won't come after a student. There's no money there. They'll come after you and your employer. So this goes back to you protecting you.

I'm not talking about ALS vs BLS. This is a BLS oriented discussion. So we're talking BLS.

I have no idea if you are a preceptor or not. I'm inclined to think not. So any "you" reference was a general reference and not you individually.

No I am not a preceptor. I fail to see how my opinion is a hinderance to a students education. Just because I won't let them touch my patient makes me a bad teacher? I'm not calling you a bad medic because of your differing opinion so at least show me the same courtesy. You don't have to agree with me, but my differing opinions don't make me a bad teacher.

I have been an FTO when I was a cop. I am new to the EMS game but I have already helped out several EMT students. I have even gone as far as to let the students observe me when they are on Clinical. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I will go above and beyond to help someone learn. Whether that person is a fellow EMT, Student or even patient / citizen that is just curious.

Maybe where you live things are different. Here, EMT students aren't allowed to touch patients. Harborview doesn't allow it, neither do we.

I think you have mis interpreted what I was saying. If you were a student on my ambulance, as a general rule I am not letting you touch my patient. That said if I trusted you, you showed a reasonable level of competence, and the patient was ok with it I might let you take a set of vitals. The rule though is you don't touch the patient. If its CPR I have no problem with letting a student do compressions if they wish - though we don't do CPR like is taught by AHA so that could pose a problem.

I don't know why it is such a difficult concept to grasp. I feel as if I am going in circles with this.

So, I will conclude my opinion with the following. To the OP, your role as student is to learn. Ask questions when appropriate. Take notes if you need to (never in front of a patient though). If you are allowed to do something then follow instructions. Don't go on your ride expecting to do something other than observe. If you do get hands on time, consider yourself lucky. Treasure any hands time you may receive and don't get upset by critisizm. Remember, school is nothing like the field - your real education begins when you enter the field.

Good luck.

Edited by MikeEMT
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Posted · Report post

I still disagree with you but if thats the way things are done in your area thats the way its done.

But I gotta say I think the way you guys do it up there is doing a huge disservice to your students.

Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk 2

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. If its CPR I have no problem with letting a student do compressions if they wish - though we don't do CPR like is taught by AHA so that could pose a problem.

AHA is a national standard...and you dont follow it?? I guess the science is invalid in Washington....And I thought NY was backwards in some things.

I allow basic students to do whatever they can...splinting, bandaging, vital signs, administering aspirin or albuterol. If they have been taught how in class, then I let them do it in the field. If they arent comfortable then I do it and they can observe. The only way to learn is to do in this field and most people in the basic class have never had any kind of contact with this kind of work. Never had real contact with trauma or critically ill patients. So why not let them practice taking vital signs on Gramma who stubbed her toe? I've had nursing students and medic students flip the f**& out in the back of my ambulance because they are completely unprepared to deal with patients on the streets and I had to make the driver pull over and put them in the front seat. I just don't see why basic EMT students cant do what they have been trained in class to do. Its one thing to put a traction splint on a leg that isnt fractured in class...quite another to actually see the effects of a fractured femur and the relief that the traction splint gives in the field.

To the OP...if you really want to do what you have been taught in class, then you need to be more aggressive in asking the crew you are riding with for the opportunity. Be a go-getter and be unafraid when asking...even if your scared shitless. The best advice I ever got in medic school was this...be the duck, smooth on the surface and paddling like hell underneath. Dont let 'em see you sweat.

Good luck to you and I hope you are able to get some practice in.

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AHA is a national standard...and you dont follow it?? I guess the science is invalid in Washington....And I thought NY was backwards in some things.

I allow basic students to do whatever they can...splinting, bandaging, vital signs, administering aspirin or albuterol. If they have been taught how in class, then I let them do it in the field. If they arent comfortable then I do it and they can observe. The only way to learn is to do in this field and most people in the basic class have never had any kind of contact with this kind of work. Never had real contact with trauma or critically ill patients. So why not let them practice taking vital signs on Gramma who stubbed her toe? I've had nursing students and medic students flip the f**& out in the back of my ambulance because they are completely unprepared to deal with patients on the streets and I had to make the driver pull over and put them in the front seat. I just don't see why basic EMT students cant do what they have been trained in class to do. Its one thing to put a traction splint on a leg that isnt fractured in class...quite another to actually see the effects of a fractured femur and the relief that the traction splint gives in the field.

To the OP...if you really want to do what you have been taught in class, then you need to be more aggressive in asking the crew you are riding with for the opportunity. Be a go-getter and be unafraid when asking...even if your scared shitless. The best advice I ever got in medic school was this...be the duck, smooth on the surface and paddling like hell underneath. Dont let 'em see you sweat.

Good luck to you and I hope you are able to get some practice in.

We don't follow AHA because we are a research area. We are conducting different methods of CPR to figure out what works better. Not a whole lot of difference at the BLS level moreso at the ALS level. Where do you think AHA gets their facts? You think they just pull them out of their butt? They get their information by reviewing peer provided documents and making recommendations based on what works.

I said it once already and I'll say it again. WA does not recognize EMT Students. Our clinicals are meant to observe not go hands on. If a provider, RN, or Doctor chooses to let the student go hands on then that is at their risk and discretion.

There was a couple of EMT students doing their clinicals at Harborview a couple of years ago, back when they let them go hands on. The students moved a patient and ended up breaking the patients neck. Now students don't touch.

When you are hired and on FTO then that is your handson time.

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There was a couple of EMT students doing their clinicals at Harborview a couple of years ago, back when they let them go hands on. The students moved a patient and ended up breaking the patients neck. Now students don't touch.

When you are hired and on FTO then that is your handson time.

I have heard of a couple of emts that moved a patient and killed them so now emts can only observe. I have heard of a couple of Paramedics that gave the wrong med and patients died so now they can only observe. I have heard of a couple of nurses that pushed to big a dose and killed a patient so now they can only observe. I have heard of a couple of doctors that chose the wrong treatment and patients died so now they can only observe. See how ridiculous the logic given for why students can't touch just observe. No matter the level there will be mistakes made. Waiting to have hands on until hired in my opinion is idiotic. If the students did harm it was allowed by the supervising emt. If the supervising emt is not watching they deserve to be held responsible for the students mistakes. Part of training is being there to stop students from harming or killing patients.

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Mike, I have to agree with Spenac here. As ill suited as EMTs are to EMS work (and another topic, altogether) this is still medical education. Denying hands on education while still a student is dumb. All it does is turn out observers.

Harborview has a good reputation. But please don't drink the kool-aid. They have their faults, too.

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There was a couple of EMT students doing their clinicals at Harborview a couple of years ago, back when they let them go hands on. The students moved a patient and ended up breaking the patients neck. Now students don't touch.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and speculate that the patient's neck was already broken when the EMT students moved him. You don't mention whether or not the cord was damaged, but I am assuming so. His spinal cord likely would have been damaged regardless who moved him, ER staff included. Kneejerk reaction by someone looking for a scapegoat.

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I let students lay hands on the patients and encourage them to perform all of the skills that are appropriate to their level of training. I observe, correct, modify and improve their technique. That is how they learn. The patient is never at risk because I am there, directing and supervising their actions. Even doctors learn this way, "See one, do one, teach one" I have heard many a resident say while learning a new technique from the nurse, PA other medical personnel that are way below their educational level.

When I get green students that are timid and shy I get them to talk to the patient, interact, and begin exercising the skills that have learned in school. Just because they they do not have a cert does not mean they are not competent.

Moving back to the OP, you might try to volunteer for other things that are not necessarily EMT related; take out the trash, tidy the living areas in the station. Make sure you do these things well and expeditiously. This gives your preceptor an opportunity to watch you move, observe your level of confidence, see your hand to eye coordination and begin to form an opinion on how you will move in the confined spaces of an ambulance. It also lets them see that you are eager to get at the task at hand.

Good fortune to you.

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