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Timmy

Young Paramedics

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Life experience and maturity are vital to this business. Think about the responsibilities were have- we literally hold someone's life in our hands. That's pretty heady stuff for the average 18 year old.

Maturity definitely is vital to the business. Nothing worse than a bunch of old experienced medics laughing and carrying on in front of patient's and their families...

Life experience can be beneficial, but it is not everything when working on an ambulance. Most EMS folk I know have 'life experience' that exceeds mine, but I still would not trust them to work on my dog.

ANYONE can be trained in the nuts and bolts and book knowledge needed to perform skills, but knowing how and when to apply that knowledge comes from maturity and experience. I remember precepting students who came from an accelerated paramedic program who were supposed to have experience at the EMT B level before they started their advanced training.(That wasn't always enforced- as long as they had their tuition check)

By life experience, do you really mean EMT-B experience? I am confused on your point here. Maturity is not necessary to know when to push a drug or to perform an intervention. But I am sure that most intelligent providers are probably also mature. Just saying they are not dependent of one another.

Also, experience, in my opinion is not always necessary to know when to perform an intervention. I am a no0b paramedic and do no have the experience some providers have. Yet there are many interventions I perform that other paramedics would not even consider. Experience, I believe, helps a provider to be more comfortable with their intervention, and picking up on the very minute things that happen on a scene. Again, the point is that experience is not dependent upon a competent provider, as we have all seen providers with years upon years of experience, yet they suck as a provider.

She had no experience in speaking to patients, their families, bystanders, or hospital staff and this was probably her biggest problem. ...deleted text... She would have preferred to take her time and gain more experience before jumping in to ALS care but her situation prevented her from doing that.

She is probably a better provider today because she gained that skill after having a better education foundation than the average EMT-B. She did no learn the bad habits as an EMT-B, and then later have to break those bad habits when she became a paramedic.

Young EMT's and paramedics need proper guidance, teachers, and preceptors. Think about how much we change from age 18 to even 21 or 22. You need to have a good handle on yourself before you should be entrusted with someone's life. Partnering young and inexperienced people with senior members is vital, but I have also seen 2 relatively new people working together because of manpower issues. To me, that is a recipe for disaster, and not fair to the providers or the people they are serving.

I agree with the first three sentences. There definitely are changes in the mindset of someone 18 vs 22. I just do not like the idea that because someone is young, they are not capable. You can still be old and not experienced in the ways of EMS. Releasing anyone of any age to treat patients, when they are not capable, is a recipe for disaster. Releasing a dual medic truck, with two 22 year old providers who are capable would not be a recipe for disaster. This is being sensitive to the situation, not generalizing that young=inexperienced exclusively.

Obviously there are exceptions to any rule, but let's go with common sense here.

Good idea.

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I will be one of those "young paramedics". I'm currently 19 and almost halfway through my 2nd year at Uni. I will be 20 going on 21 when i qualify as an Advanced Care Paramedic. I will be able to administer morphine, adrenaline and other drugs and it is highly likely that after spending 12 weeks with another qualified paramedic I will have a student of my own to mentor. Like many others have said I believe it should not be based on age but on maturity level. There are paramedics out there in their mid-20s who do not deserve to be in uniform while there are younger people out there who put a lot of effort into ensuring they are becoming the best paramedic possible. I believe if you have your head in the right place, have good clinical skills and knowledge, are mature, and respect patients then there is no reason why you shouldn't be a paramedic at a young age. I can understand some people's arguments in regards to life experience but some young people do have solid life experience at a young age for one reason or another, thus basing argument on age alone is in my opinion wrong.

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I have no problem with young paramedics. however, oz_paramedic_chick, cn I pont out that this refers to Intensive Care Paramedics, not, as we are here, generic Paramedics.

There is no issue that younger Paramedics have a learning advantage of er oled, more mature people, however, the one thing the books will never teach is how to interact with people, how to talk to people.

Distraction through conversation, as well as positioning can be as effective in pain managment of trauma as morphine. This only comes with life experience. Not all are in this boat, however there is a lot to be said for not entering EMS straight from school, but getting some life experience first.

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Most paramedics under the age of 21 have a problem finding an employer's insurance that will cover them.

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aussiephil, my mistake I did not realise we were referring to the equivelant of our ICPs. However, even so in QLD if you went straight from school to uni, graduated after 3 years as an ACP, worked for 2 years as an ACP (which you have to do to be able to apply for the ICP program), worked for a year as an ICP student, then were a qualified ICP you're age would be at least around 24 with at least 2 years onroad experience so in my opinion by that time you would have sufficient life experience. But each person has their own view on the matter and the world would be a pretty boring place if we didn't :)

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I recall one girl- mid 20's- very book smart, but literally could not operate a stretcher or even turn on or change an O2 regulator when she came to me a a newly minted paramedic. She had a license(or certification at that time) but had zero street experience at any level. I had to teach her the very basics before we could even begin to address her clinical skills. Her maturity wasn't the issue, but her lack of experience was.

You don't learn how to change an O2 bottle or operate a gurney though life experience or maturity. Furthermore, those things should be able to be fixed in less than 10 minutes. Sure, shame on the school for not properly training its students, but I have a hard time buying arguments like those as a reason to set a higher age limit or require work as an EMT-B. There are plenty of EMT-Bs who can barely lift a stretcher or change an O2 tank.

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