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Posts posted by naturegirl

  1. I hope I'm posting this in the right spot for maximum reading. I am looking for advice on how to move into management. I love field medicine, but I'm 52 and I know things are going to become harder physically. However, more than that, I've seen too many instances of bad management driving good EMT"s and medics away and I want to do something where I have good skills. I have 8 years in EMS, 2 as a medic. I know my experience is short compared to other training officers, directors, etc. Is there any path I can take to get into management? I have a lot of management skills but every FTO, or training officer or administator seems to have 20 plus years of experience. By then I'll unfortunately probably be retired. So please advise and if you think it's not possible please tell me that too. I'm very willing to move to make it happen, and I plan to later this year. I just got my CPR instructor and that's it for any training experience.

  2. The JB learning program is ok. There are several that offer questions in the same format as the exam. Don't worry. I knew a lot of people who failed it and I was freaked too. I bought a study program and made a point to figure out why the answer the program gave was right and I was wrong. I bet I drilled for 60-80 hours. I also used EMT-nationaltraining.com and another program I bought as a disk. I felt so sure I would fail when it shut off at 78 questions I went home and cried. But I didn't. I passed and if you work at it you will too. Good luck

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  3. Just a quick follow up. Time is amazing. I took a chance and confided in a long term employee here some of what has been happening. IT'S NOT ME! She confirmed that this hostility came with this new administrator and many people are working on baling out. She did also state that no one knows why or when he goes after someone but there's probably nothing I can do to change his treatment of me. It's pretty much written in stone now that I'm on the losing side. I'm just happy to know it wasn't me. Thanks for all the good advice. I hope if you need it you take from it. It helped me alot. I may not be as good a medic as some people here, but I'm a better person. Catch everyone later.

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  4. Morale? What's that? Seriously? We get to drive real fast with the lights and sirens blaring. What's better than that? Free health care? Yep, we treat each other as needed cuz they don't keep up on workers comp. The real reason we go thru so much thiamine is hangovers. And for my tendonitis, I can grab all the icepacks I need to keep my arm cool. Every 3 or 4 years we get brand new ass kickin' neon striped coats. What more could we ask for?

  5. I'm glad to hear it may not be in my head. I actually thought I was imagining some of it until I stood up for myself and my boss accused me of being argumentative and rude. It was over a stupid protocol test and a poorly worded question. I don't want to initiate any conversation with him because he turns everything I say into a character attack. I do acknowledge I need to learn better ways to "grow a pair". At my current job we are very blunt and sometimes get yelled at but then it's done and we move on. Thanks all for the comments. It's comforting to know I'm not alone in this. And thanks, Ninja for the boost to my ego. Not true but I'll take it :mobile:

  6. I told myself when I went to medic school 2 years ago it was the last career I'd ever have. I'd work in this until I couldn't, physically. I didn't get into EMS until later in life, after a full career doing something meaningless and pale by comparison. I asked myself if I was ready to sit in the big chair (the captains seat) in back, instead of driving the ambulance. I had 4 years as an EMT with both a volunteer service and a pretty casual and un-rigid service and I thought I was ready. I had no idea.

    Oh, it's not the patients that die, or get messy or combative. IT's not the 4 year old that drowned or the baby that bled to death or the old lady afraid of dialysis who didn't go and coded in front of her family. It's the fact that I opened myself up to get better, made myself vulnerable by getting a new job at a new service with a higher standard. I actually told them I learned all these great skills in medic school I wasn't using and I wanted to be better. Apparently at this service the accepted method of instruction is to berate, humiliate, and pick apart any mistake, comment or way of doing that is different. I don't know how it started or when or if they even notice, but I just spent yet another end of shift listening to what a lousy medic I must be for making a mistake. I've had to defend my use of tape on an IV over a "toilet bowl", and when I asked how they want things done, I get a weak, well what do YOU think? followed by a session of why I was wrong. I know things are different at different places, but isn't it easier and simpler to just say what you want rather than tell you to do it the way you want and then tear you apart for it? It's not a protocols thing but the way in which not doing everything perfectly gets handled. And God forbid I actually made a mistake, which I did, and felt terrible and apologized repeatedly but it only made it worse and pretty much my whole existence as a medic and future was placed in question. I don't understand why this EMS agency seems to eat their young, so to speak, to be rude and hurtful to co workers without a thought and endlessly complain about each other behind their backs. It's also how our boss treats some of us. I'm starting to think it's a bad fit, but the problem is I know I'll be better for being here because they do have higher standards, better protocols, more challenging medical calls, but I don't know if I can handle much more in the thoughtless manner of "correction". Is this the best way to inspire an employee to improve themselves or is it just the way things are in EMS? I'd really like to know so I can decide if I should just swim back into the shallow end of the pool and give up trying to be better. I hate the fact that I can take anything from patients but my co workers are driving me to tears. I feel like they'd throw me under the bus without a thought. I need some advice.

  7. I need help finding out when you lose student status? I've heard it's when you test, practical but I've noticed other programs test long before their students are finished with clinicals, so is it a state difference or NREMT or DOT? Also where can I find core requirements, such as skills, and time required? I'm coming up empty in my google search. If you know, what is the minimum requirement on "team leads"? Also, specific skills, IV starts, pediatric contacts, cardiac arrests, etc? I'm trying to compare my program with what is the requirements in order to test. Also why are there differences between states in when students can work and get paid and count their contacts from work vs riding as a student with a preceptor? Is it states requirements or what?

  8. I must admit I'm surprised at the responses I've gotten. In the past, on this forum have been some very heated discussion about paramedic education, skill levels, and lack of salaries being related to lower education, lack of political support etc. It ran the gamut. Just for the record, I don't want to be in administration until I"m too old and feeble to pick up a patient or a cot. I love the street, I love being out where the action/fun is and I just want to be marketable wherever life may take me. I've looked at some previously posted jobs here and at other forums and a BS has been recommended on some. I can clearly see the value of organic chemistry, A&P, Biology and Pharmacology.

    So I may infer from the posts that maybe an advanced degree is not really necessary for where I want to go. I could just take a few courses in these advanced subjects and make the most of my paramedic school time. I'll welcome any further discussion on the issue.

    So next year when I'm job hunting, I'll post again on the subject so others may learn from what I did or didn't take.

  9. OK, I'm down to making a decision here and I'm really interested in what the gallery has to say. Is it necessary/worth it/waste of time to get a BS in paramedic sciences/EMS. I can handle the organic chemistry, biology and A&P but will it make a difference in getting me a job wherever I want? Or is the current non related degree I have enough, along with the paramedic program and being nationally registered? I'd also like to hear from anyone who has moved around the country a bit on what are the different standards in training and education. I've also looked at some of these online degrees that accept previous experience and are cheaper than attending a local U and paying per credit hour.

  10. I guess it all depends on whether you're trying to hold onto your job at all costs, justify your existence and your salary or just trying to make yourself feel more important by referring to people as "(content removed - admin)". I've had patients transported in our ambulance that didn't trust that their little stubbed toe might not be critical, or the hair wrapped around the baby's toe wasn't a real emergency, or when they ran out of their prescription and needed a fast track through the ER.

    I can't even how say how many para-gods have thrown a fit during an intercept because they patient wasn't "critical" enough for their skills to be used. Boo Hoo. Isn't this the heart of what's wrong with everything these days? People too high on themselves to be realistic? The fact is that if EMS gets budget axed, you would seem to be more willing to demand ALS on every call than to ration the best care for the most sick and perhaps deny the patient who really does need you.

    We do the best we can with what we have and to transport people with paramedics when BLS will do is like demanding the brain surgeon see every headache that comes into the doctors' office. Maybe we should get rid of PA's, and all the nurse specialists too? I bet you could justify that too if you really tried. But it wouldn't make it right

  11. I have often wondered why every ambulance seems determined to staff with only Paramedics. not to diss on the top spot, but paramedics where I work make $17 an hour, compared to my measly $12.75 as an EMT I, and 70% of the calls are NOT ALS. As I've had pointed out to me here on the forums many times, EMT B's are just trained first aid providers. Most would be more than capable of handling the 70% that doesn't require any sort of advanced interventions. That would save lots of money and plus, most EMT-P's I know are bored with the BLS stuff anyway. Lots consider it beneath their training, so now we can save a TON of money and still preserve EMS.

  12. Geez, perhaps it will be the rise of the volunteers as desperately broke EMS services cannot answer all the calls. Maybe patients will have to provide pre approval from their insurance before they get picked up by an ALS service. Or, God forbid, family and friends will have to transport the sickest and everyone else will just, well, suffer.

    Or not.

    Maybe they'll just print more smiley faced monopoly money and all will be good after all.

  13. Just wanted to post a follow up to all the great helps and let anyone else who experiences this know what I did. I kept trying. One day I forgot I wasn't very good at starting lines and, well, I started a few without any problem. It built my confidence up and then I just started asking people for tips, help, pointers. Anyone in the medical field with the skill, I just asked. nurses in the ER, paramedics who train emt's. Phlebotomists, Anyone. I found out I can volunteer at the bloodbank and get better still. So for those of you new to IV's you will have problems. You'll not always get young healthy trauma patients with great veins. They'll be diabetics with crap for veins, people who have such bad veins they'll have central lines because NO ONE can get a vein. And you'll learn little tricks, like this one: If you're using an unfamiliar catheter you might accidentally be advancing the entire needle, not just the catheter because it sticks, or you forget to loosen it up before you advance it. Or another one: If you insert the catheter, and get flash and can only advance it so far, you might be stuck in a valve. Attach the saline flush and gently gently push, you might be able to float the catheter past the valve. And don't forget: Humble yourself and ask for help. It can come from the most unexpected places. :lol:

  14. The first trauma I answered was a MVA where the driver impacted the passenger window crank with her rib and pulled her lung out of her chest. Although not ALS at the time, we did rapidly transport her to ALS personnel who intubated and started fluids. They were able to bring her back enough to get her to surgery. I'm pretty sure not dicking around at the scene saved her life. Then there was the time someone gave a baby a piece of beef jerky and it choked right in front of me. I'm also pretty sure NOT panicking like everyone else and removing the obstacle saved the baby's life. Then there was the guy who had a heart attack and drove into traffic head on that I pulled from his car and gave CPR to. He also survived. Or the EPI pen that got used immediately for an allergic reaction when we were 45 minutes from the nearest hospital. After that I quit counting and started applying myself to learning from every call how the little things save lives. Recognizing when my skills are not enough, knowing when I need help. Not just the dramatic para-god kind of stuff that everyone seems to think are more important than the basic stuff. It all counts. It's all important. Although many people with higher training may denigrate the training an EMT B receives, I am sure there are countless thousands alive today because someone with some "first aid training" recognized they were having a real heart attack, a stroke, or other life threatening crisis and did the right thing. They didn't try to play God, but got them where they needed to be.

  15. I wonder every day what will be the future of EMS when you can make more money clerking at the adult bookstore or stocking shelves at the auto parts store than you can in saving someone's life. Our aging population means either the EMT's will be scarce or they'll be a lot older but in any event, pay has to change. I guess we could go back to the "old days" when the funeral home sent a couple people to pick you up and run you to the hospital. Thank God for the ambulance driver, right?

  16. Here's one I haven't seen mentioned. I work for a tribal ambulance service in SD. Paramedics make $17.45 an hour, I-12.25 and basics somewhere around 9 an hour. Some of the tribal EMS systems are actually GSA jobs with federal benefits, GS 5 or better. Cost of living is cheap, lots of trauma and challenging medical calls. My service pays for medic school if you can relocate, you have to maintain a FT schedule, often a 40 straight

  17. I once worked with a guy whose sleep was disturbed by the birds chirping in the bay. He proceeded to climb a ladder and killed the birds; he also lacked anything coming close to reasonable interpersonal skills and could only carry on a conversation related to Star Trek. He once bought a scorpion and placed it in the box where it escaped from it's box. You should have seen the look on his partners face when he admitted it was gone. What finally sent him packing was when he maced a fellow co worker during an argument. It wasn't his lack of job related skills but his utter lack of people skills and that's generally true of 80% of the people who get fired from a job. They're just plain obnoxious people who lack the ability to relate to anyone else. They should be working the night shift in a security shack somewhere, alone. Too bad there isn't a better test to pass than the EMT/paramedic test. Maybe if paramedics were paid better than garbage workers who pick the trash up, we could be more selective about who works in EMS.

    I'm trying to decide if I'd rather work with an affable but skill impaired partner or a sharp as a tack total jerk. I wonder if my partner thinks the same thing? Yikes, could it be ME?? :twisted: :twisted:

  18. I transported a 450 lb quad home once. All the way there I kept wondering how we were even going to unload the cot, let alone get him off of it. My driver was a 160 lb lady with a bad back. This man's wife takes one look at us and starts having a fit because even she knows there's no way we are going to get him into his special chair. Eventually the whole family had to pitch in, mad and all. Next time, I'm ordering lift help well in advance. It made me join a gym and start strength training so I don't end up permanently crippled.

  19. Honestly, both lately. I don't want to make excuses but I've had lots of people lately with medical issues, not young healthy people with veins you can just throw the needle at. The last one was a lady with diabetes and hypertension. Her veins looked good, got flash but then blew not one but two. Third time I was gold, but then the IV wouldn't run. No matter what I did, I couldn't get it to go, but I didn't see any infiltration. I noticed the cath wouldn't advance completely but I didn't know why. All this was during a rough drive. It wasn't a positional issue like AC with the arm being bent. This last vein was on top of the wrist below the thumb. I finally gave up and pulled it and got such a shot of blood I knew I was in a vein. I don't know. I didn't know that people with diabetes and hypertension shouldn't necessarily have a tourniquet, I haven't had all that training. As an I-85 they really just taught us the mechanics of how to do it, not all the problems that cause veins to not cooperate. All my good sticks have been on healthy young trauma patients. It seems like all my patients lately have been unstable diabetics with shunts and crappy veins. Or they tell me that the nurses can't even find a vein and I think I just don't even want to try. That's why I thought I should get more education to address this. I'm so open to help.

  20. I agree we are trusted by the general public. I often get information from patients they would never share with law enforcement. I also often get lied to. It's not really that fine of a line between violating a patient's trust and being vigilant to potential "things" we should report. Wasn't it an EMT in London who noticed the car loaded with explosives while responding to another call close by?

  21. This is so helpful. I think that the self confidence is a big part of it. I got called on the carpet by my B supervisor over it and I'm glad now she took the I class because I can't wait to return the favor. I know they're tracking my stats and I think it's shooting my confidence down. I've down them successfully and I know I can do it. Medic school is a long way off to get those practical experiences. I think I'm going to go to the local medical assistant/phlebotomy school and ask the instructor for a little practical education.

    My last one I thought was good until I ran fluids and nothing went. when I pulled the cath out I was obviously right where I should have been. I don't know why the fluid wouldn't go. I had the vein on the side of the wrist, no positional issues.

    I will keep trying. Thanks for the ideas

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