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  1. For reasons I am not going to get into for right now, I am going to take a break for maybe a year at applying to EMS agencies and am instead going to seek work with a medical/ambulance/BLS transport company. You know, one of those which moves people around whom just can't be thrown into a car for their trip from the nursing home to the dialysis place, etc. I think when I broke my jaw and was moved from one emergency facility to another where I was going to actually have the jaw operated on-at another hospital-one of those took me on my merry, dilaudid(sp?)-hazed way. Transport work can be a lot less exciting than EMS, yes, but those patients do go critical all the time. And the experience can be very good to have. And at times when a public system may be overloaded, such as New York's weather troubles of last year, they're called in to help. Does anyone here do that kind of work, and what does it pay? thanks, Jeff
  2. I recently posted something about the Fisdap test. For those who pass it, there is a 90% first-time pass rate for the NREMT, which is damn impressive. It's not an NREMT-specific study package, but are you going to argue with a 90% first-time pass rate? The proof is there in black and white. Now, I'm just an EMT-B, but they also have an agency-administered test as well as a study package for paramedics which includes a practice test which is as tough as the real test as I had to take to qualify for an agency three times last year (at different agencies, I mean). It also analyzes your weaK areas and gives helpful feedback and such. They also have a Fisdap podcast hosted by EMTs and EMT-Ps which has a lot of helpful study tips and strategies. Other than that, I'll tell you what I told the other students in my class when they whined about how tough the studying was: Work harder. No sugar coating it. You don't stop wrestling with the 500 pound gorilla when YOU get tired, you stop when IT gets tired. I know BTW you're not whining, but what I told them applies to your situation and I hope my advice helps. I know thsi last oen may sound corny, but find and print out Vince Lombardi's famous inspiratiojnal speech about persistence. You'll see persistence, not brains, talent or anything else is what wins the game more consistently than any other pesronal trait in life. I once saw a History Channel documentary about somethingorother wherein an English pilot who fought in the Battle of Britain was discussing how the Brits won that one. He said "When you believe in what you are doing................you are twice as strong."
  3. Like the title says....are there any well known and well-regarded study materials for the NREMT? Some such product or other has to be predominant out there. I didn't see much of anything in the Android store that looked very impressive nor which I would trust enough to be oriented towards the test. Please also see my other post on the Fisdap test. Those who take that test and pass it have a 90% FIRST TIME pass rate for the NREMT, versus it's normal 70% failure rate. I highly recommend their online study package for that test. It's worth the $35 and includes a practice test you can take up to three times which also analyzes your weak areas. So that is undoubtedly a good study tool. But still, I'm looking for something specific to the NREMT. Thanks Jeff
  4. Okay so we've all heard about or even taken the NREMT. But there is another test out there which many agencies or employers are requiring you to take and pass before they'll hire you. It's called the Fisdap and it's adminstered by the fine Folks at www.fisdap.net. By now I have come to think of it as the cousin to the NREMT. This is NOT an easy test, in fact it's probablty just as hard if not harder than the NREMT. More on that in a minute. I took this test three times in the past two years. Actually four times if you want to count the online mock test you can take through the web site when you buy their online study p[ackage for $35, which I recommend highly. But for purposes of our discussion let's just say I took it three times. The mock/practice test, like the real one, was 200 questions and just as hard. The first time I took it, I flunked it. By two....points. You need a 72 to pass. I got a 70, and they were unwilling to budge on that one. See you in six months! The next time was when I took the practice test. This was after three days of intensive study preceeded by a week of daily study using their own study package. I got a 72. The next time I took it I got a 72, then ext time (come to think of it, I did take it four times) it was a 73. A pass is a pass, but it was a bit frustrating that I seem consistently unable to get a score that passes by more than a repeatedly razor-thin margin. UUUURGH!! To make matters wore, when I got the analysis of just where I was weak in my knowledge, it wasn't in any one area. It was spread out equally amongst almost all subjects. How hard is this test? According to a statistical abstract available as a PDF on their web site, those who pass the Fisdap have an astounding 90% first-time pass rate on the NREMT. Seeing as the NREMT has an otherwise 70% first-time failure rate, it's safe to say that the Fisdap is harder, and in fact may make for a very good study tool for the NREMT. It's all there in bl;ack and white. One thing I can tell you about the Fisdap is that it's 200 questions and there is little time pressure to take it, though it is timed. I felt no need to rush. Apgar scoring, burn area calculations and GCS are not on it. Some agencies require their people to take this test every year to keep working for them. One of the agencies I tried out for has a statistician come in every year to make sure the test is hard enough and not too hard for most of their personell to pass it by way of adjusting the metrics. And there you have it
  5. Well, as the post says. I developed and used several mneumonic devices when I was studying to be an EMT and taking the classes. For instance, I used Sick Antelopes Make Pork Latkes (to) Eat for as a way to remember SAMPLE history. The more outlandish, the more likely I was to remember them. Hey, whatever helps you get the info in there and cemented into your knowledge base, right? But I have been unable to come up with anything to remember decorticate versus decerberate posturing. Which is which? I know what they are, but how to do I remember the difference? Hep me! Shalom, Jeff
  6. I remember my EMT instructor saying a few years ago that "Tourniquets are coming back next year." and he postulated that was so because they were being used by US soldiers in war zones abroad. Turns out he was right. I'll spare you the details, but I took an online exam when I tried out for an agency in NC and there were questions regarding whether a tourniquest should be used or not. The correct answer was to use the tourniquet. I also bought some study materials (including a few very handy Andoid apps!) and they all said to use a tourniquet, so it would seem their use has become not only widespread but probably standard by now. Seems a tourniquest would make more sense for heavy bleeding if for no other reason (aside from that they're effective) you can have your hands free to do whatever else the patient needs done to them rather than holding your hand on a pressure point. Shalom
  7. Ifyouweren'tdoublejointedyou'dstarvetodeath
  8. I don't like the word "guestimate". You're either estimating or guessing, so which is it? It's an estimate. As long as you know the criteria, you can mention what elements of the GCS your estimation was based on when you have a few more minutes to do so when you get to the hospital. I doubt you're going to loose your job over getting it wrong by a couple points. And if you have time or gumption to give calculate an exact answer, then go for it. I'm not discouraging it for those who can do so.
  9. I'll do that, but i like to get both the official line on something like this as well as the inside skinny. Can u tell me the skinny portion? That's why i asked here. Tnx
  10. When you are typing out a long post such as this at home on your tiny android tablet's virtual keyboard, and then u save it to a word processor so you can paste it from there to the board, and the paragraph formatting doesn't transfer, um, no, paragraphs are not your friend, apparently. But i'm so sorry to have put you out so terribly there, sport. Um, yeah, actually running for a week leading up to this event helped me a lot. I ran fsrther and farther and with greater ease each time, so, yeah, i'd call that helping me. And since that was the intended effect, i'd also say that was pretty smart. Um, yyyyyyyyyeah, i did say i was sensitive to heat. But, well, i also mentioned that the remedy for this was a cooling vest. Problem solved. You might also take into account that, way_ul, i didn't have one when doing this test. See, when i say that i am going to need/get something, that means i don't actively have one at the present time. And i hsd no idea at all that i might face such rigors as enclosed spaces and heights in this job, i mean, the two hours i spent out at this training facility wouldn't EVER lead me to think that. I mean, why would it? They probably just wanted to see how i looked in turnout gear, yeah, that's it. I.....think i mentioned that i found the rapelling quite easy. In fact it was a breeze. And just what "clautrophobia" are you talking about? I don't remember using that word, nor suffering from that condition. Kinda wondering how that ended up in your reply. Every board has one or two posters who probably check in several times a day, have their account set up every time anyone posts anything whatsoever on the entire site, then drops everything short of establishing a central line to leap valiantly at the chance to post their self_righteous responses after not even reading the original post-as is painfully obvious here-much less posting anything as far as a meaningful or useful reply. You sort of headed in that direction after the previous mountain of tripe, but then u blew that too, and yes i hope it keeps u up at night that i spelled that "U" instead of "you". I'm betting i just described you to a T. I'll probably find several replies like this, left by you, littering this site. So you, ASS, would do well to stay the hell out if my posts from now on. Think you can follow *that* idea? See, i even put that last sentence into a brand new shiny paragraph for you.
  11. I took the agility test last week for a county agency where i am hoping to be hired soon as an EMT. Talk about being put through the wringer! This agency is in a county which has large rural areas, so the nearest hospital and fire/rescuse assistance may not always be as close or readily available as with agencies in more urban areas. With that in mind, the duties of the EMS there are also weighted tad more towards the rescue side ofthings than may be typical with many agencies, and the agility test reflects this, as i found out. Apparently this turned out to be a lot more than just getting out of a truck, choking tbe wheels, doing 3 min of CPR on a dummy, then putting a stretcher into the truck. Oh no, kiddies. It was a little more than that. I should mention that i am 43, not out of shape but not one who is overly familiar with exercise either, and i had taken all of the previous week, running every night, to build up to being able to survive running a mile. I arrived at the address given to find a 5 story high, thoroughly charred fire training building looming ominously over the rearmost property of a community college. Right away i could tell these guys meant business. There was a large construction dumpster off to the side of it with something in it that wss on fire and smelled like wood, letting off copious amounts of smoke, which no one seemed to be putting out, and which went right on burning the entire time i was there. This thing being onfire seemed to serve no purpose. The building was surrounded by a few fire trucks, an ambulance and various EMT personell, all younger than me, working antlike in groups on their own various training exercises. I should throw down that at no time wss the building or anything in it set on fire that day, and the interior of that thing was a soot-covered abomination that reeked of burnt wood and had walls as black as pitch from it all. The guy who was co-ordinating the play-through of myself and two or three other hopefuls was nice enough and explained that wewould not be timed on the entire thing but we were expected to keep moving betwen stations. The only thing we would be timed on was the 5 minutes of CPR-constant compressions with no stop for respirations-conducted on a dummy which had indicator lighrs on it telling if your hand placement was wrong or your compressions not forceful enough. He then walked us through the whole thing. First thing we had to do was don a 40 pound backpack and go up a 40 foot ladder to a sort of balcony on the fire tower. Then, backpack off, it was up three flights of stairs to the roof where we'd rappel down to the ground. I'm terrified of heights, had never rapelled, and don't even remember the last time i was in a 5 story building, much less even on it's 5th floor, much less the frigging roof. Next was a crawl through.......and did i mention it was 90 out and i don't tolerate heat well?........a 36 inch wide, 20 foot long black plastic pipe. Looking at the girth of a few of the other test takers, i wondered not only if they could grt in-much less out-of thst thing. Then a couple of firemen would help us don full firefightrr turnout gesr, standing in full sun, along with a functioning SCBA. Then we'd enter a low-visibility smoke room, go to it's far end, locate a 180 lb. dummy and dragit all theway outside. Did i mention that i don't handle heat well, and that whole thing of "well just drink plenty of fluids" doesn't even begin to help me bear it? And by "don't handle heat well", i don't mean merely "don't like it', i mean "lower threshold for heat exhaustion than most." Seriously, if i get this job, i am going to have to get an ANSI approved coling vest, and not the cheapo evaporative kind but the $150 kind that you put ice packs into. Then it was a walk uphill and around the building to the ambulance where we had to sit in the driver seat, put on safety glasses, get out, chock the wheels, then carry 50 lbs. of gear and monitors up one flight of stairs and set it down next to what would be the arch nemisis of most of us that day...... The CPR dummy. I was more terrified of this half-bodied representation of a woman than i ever had been of the real thing. Mainly because life had not yet imposed upon me the situation of having to do 5 minutes of CPR on a woman after going up a 40 foot ladder, rapelling down a.....you get the idea. But hey, first time for everything, right? Then we had to, with help from a firefighter, carry a 180lb dummy on a backboard down a flight of stairs with us at the head end, then help set him on a stretcher and successfully manipulate and maneuver the stretcher into a secured position in the back of the truck. Then we'd be free to pass ***k out, having finished the skills asessment. We started off, each of us staggered in ten min intervals. I managed the rappel skillfully with no hesitation or fear at all. I have NO idea how or why that was. I was half expecting, at best, to just sort of find myself safely on the ground with no idea how i got there. In fact it was so easy i'd be willing to do it again and from a greater height. It was after the smoke room dummy drag, and with the CPR station on the horizon, that i supposed i may be in trouble. Now i was hot and feeling winded. Poop. And before you say anything, yes, i was drinking so much water that i think the folks at the Evian plant that water came from are going to send a private jet to deliver me to their Christmas party. But it had better be Gulfstream. I like Gulfstreams. Hef always sends a Gulfstream for me when he's having a throwdown at the Mansion in Cali. I made it through the CPR station with flying colors, but had i run one step less in tne days leading up to this, had it been merely one degree hotter out, it would not have been so, and i do mean that. I finished the entire test with a score of 100. For a guy my age and hardly in great shape, i mean, i am not bragging at all, but that means there is no reason at all for anyone younger than me to have gotten anything less than a 100 is all i'm saying. Of the five aside from me who took the test, of the two who later told me their scores, they got less than 100s. There are firemen literally missing limbs who have gotten 100s on that test. I know because i met them that day. Most of the time being out of shape, let's face it, is an annoyance we joke about and which makes us wistfully dream of the days when we could fit into the 32 inch waist jeans we wore in high school. Then there are days of reckoning like this where being out of shape is going to cost you. Not that, in allfairness, i wasn't exactly NOT short of breath myself at the end of this, nor can i fit into 32 waist jeans. Has anyone else had to submit to such rigors to try out for an EMT job?
  12. I am in need of a primer concerning the NREMT. Imagine you're me....okay well let's not go there, but imagine the only thing you know about it is what NREMT stands for, and that in the final days of EMT certification, your instructor says it's easy and administered at a computer testing center in downtown (insert name of city i live in). Well from what scant info i have been able to glean, it's distinctly not easy and costs about $90 to take. I ask these questions ONLY as they pertain to EMT-Bs, not paramedics. So who administers or "owns" the test? Is it question-for-question the same in every state? Is it an attempt at-or the kernel of-what will eventually become a nationally adopted EMT testing standard? Is there a practical aspect to it? Is it administered and taken entirely sitting in front of a computer? How long does it take and how many questions does it comprise? Is it the standard test for any states as of yet or will it be soon? If you'e taken the FISDAP skills test, is this harder? And compared to most state EMT certification tests, is the NREMT harder? I'm outta here, thanks! Jeff
  13. Okay, sounds like good advice so thanks. I have not yet worked in the field, but will be soon. And where i live, transport times will be less than ten min, so i need to know what to best spend that time on. Apparently, precise BSA and GCS scores are not those things.
  14. Well, as i said, and thoiugh few will really admit, GCS is often estimated in the field instead of an emt going through the whole point-by-point asessment. If one is familiar with the GCS, and when time is of the essence and it has to be calculated stress, that's not a bad idea really to be able to estimate it. So i guess this opens up several other questiins such as...do you do this? Have you done it with other asessment scales and ratings? Are burn area calculations ever estimated? Should they be? That calcilation may nit sound all that tough to do and we have the rule of nines and all that, but that's an awful lot of relatively time consuming math to be doing when u have a screaming critical burn patient ti treat and the hospital is a fast 5 iin away.
  15. I took this test as part of a skills asessment a local EMS agency was having for prospective hires and missed passing by TWO QUESTIONS,!!! AAAARGH!!! But the captain who broke the news to me was very respectful and nice about it, took me into his office to talk things over, saying i could retake it in 2 months. He also gave me FISDAP's printed analysis of my results which pointed out areas i needed to work on. I have since also subscribed to the FISDAP web site and ponied up the $30 so i can use their online test prep package which includes taking up to three 200 question practice tests with explainations given for right answers. This agency required, i seem to remember, a 75 to pass. Has anyone had experience with this test as part of the hiring process, and if so, what score was required? Thanks
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