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your opinion on a manditory 2 year degree for paramedic


2 year degree, good or bad?  

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It is not the amount of time.. it is the amount learned. Medical school could be taught in less than 2 yrs too.. would we want that ? Again, it is not the time, but the content that is taught.. sure you can perform your job.. but, how well & how in-depth. The point that most of us are try to coven is that the standards also need to be changed to make it more in-depth. The current standards are way below what is needed to perform emergency medical care adequately.

More clinical rotations along with associated bio-science is essential to perform clinical judgement. Whenever clinical time can be counted in hrs... then it is too short of time. Let us try months or years..

Be safe,

Ridryder 911

Just FWIW: Johns Hopkins turns out a very adequate Master MD in 6 years [at least they used to a few years ago when I was looking at that]. They tend to cut the 'extra stuff' - like the extra credits most programs require in fine arts.

If I want to be an MD, I want to spend my time/money being an MD. If I want to be an EMT-P, that's where I want my money to go. not having to retake a med term class because the program says I have to [and mine is less than five years old] or spend hard earned $$ on two PE classes [personal health and a random 5 credit PE] because someone somewhere thinks I need them and "X" number of credits over all.

Take the credits and classes I've already got and apply them. Make me take a competency test for A&P and med term and if I can pass them, don't make me take them again.

What folks aren't picking up from my posts is I don't want to spend my time and money taking 'class room' classes just to make a two year degree. I want to take classes that build on what I already know [RN/LPN, EMT-B, OR Tech, RT, combat medic, etc] to give me the specific skills to use in the EMS field. Make the degree equal ="X" number of specific credits in the skill field of choice and let me be a big girl and learn the side bar stuff outside of the program where I won't be wasting valuable time on it. Yeah, a bit of background in things like speech, etc. is good for those fresh out of High School and who may not have a clue about that sort of stuff, but I've taken Speech 101 twice already, just for example. I'm 53 years old and I think I can probably talk to just about anyone I need to, give any in-service I need to, etc.

Make the program skill and education driven, not just credit and number of years driven. I've never begrudged necessary training in the field: both manual skills and the education background needed to understand why you're doing it that way. What I do argue against is requiring 'years' just for the sake of years. Give me a projected class schedule and curriculum - than I can discuss things more intelligently.

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Just FWIW: Johns Hopkins turns out a very adequate Master MD in 6 years [at least they used to a few years ago when I was looking at that]. They tend to cut the 'extra stuff' - like the extra credits most programs require in fine arts.

What's a "Master MD"? Do you mean a physician who holds both a doctorate and a master's degree completed at the same time? There are lots of medical schools (nearly all of the older schools) that offer MD/MS, MD/PhD, MD/MBA, MD/etc combination courses in 6-7 years. It's usually referred to as a "medical scientist training program". They cut out all the "fine arts" (again assuming you mean liberal arts education) because that's never a part of medical school to begin with. You have to have the basic education (including some exposure to a broad background in most cases) to gain admission to medical school in the first place, so the comparison of the training an MD goes through, even with the additional research work required for a MD/MS or MD/PhD combo, to the increased educational requirements we are suggesting for medics is not an adequate one, at least not in the way you are implying. Rid simply meant it in the sense that just because we can crank out an MD in two years doesn't mean that it's a good idea. Just as cranking out undereducated EMT's and paramedics after 150hrs and 1 year respectively is not a truly appropriate course of action. I hope you did learn a lot from your training, at least for your patients' sake, and I hope that you don't take it that we are maligning everyone for the sad state of EMS education simply because we are not. We are attempting to improve the quality of care and improve the quality of the EMT's. You can't write the educational requirements with an eye to the best and brightest in the field- you make the courses difficult and challenging so that you weed out the idiots, the wannabes, the thrillseekers. Seperating the wheat from the chaf is all we are talking about. Nothing more, nothing less.

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All I'm advocating is that training programs are geared to the end product: people who are clinically competent to work in the field *not* the number of hours/years you have to put in to meet someone else's requirements. if a program can do that in "X" number of quarters/semesters, that's good. Great, in fact. But [and here's the 'but' I keep making] I don't see where the extra credits/hours that get tacked on in some programs [speech, PE, etc] need to be requirements. Or that someone should have to retake classes they already have on record with another program/school if they can pass the 'final' where they are taking their EMT-P.

And that's all I ever said. Not once did I say 'lower the standard' on what's coming out of programs. Never that. I've only advocated not setting a mandatory number of 'years' if the program requirements can be met in less.

And let's face it - the only true adjudicators in the end are the written and practical finals. There's no way to say 'Make they take 2 years or 3 years because they'll come out a better paramedic'. Each and every person will come out differently. Some may benefit from additional class room hours. Some may already have those. Some may need to augment what they've already got in skills, etc.

That's all I'm saying. Just make sure there's something in place so we folks who already have a list of 'expanded skills' and education behind us can find our way into the system. In my case, being a broke-down retired vet on a pension, two years+ of school/classroom is pretty pricey. But I've got 30-some odd years of emergency/critical care skills I can bring to the field, the system and to the patient. You bet I'm going to try and find ways that I can put my background to use while saving as much time and funds in the process as I can.

'Significant life experience'. Gotta love it. :wink:

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As a Basic I am disheartened that few overzealous medics dont want EMTBs or 1st Responders around. What some people fail to understand is that you are a Basic BEFORE you are a paramedic. You cannot have good ALS without excellent BLS. I have yet to meet a medic that wasnt "saved" by a basic administering oxygen while the medic was doing all of the advanced skills. 1st responders are a big help on-scene. They are able to give us detailed information about the condition of the patient, and geez, most of these folks just want to help their fellow man more than anything.

I dont necessarily think that longer classes are the answer but perhaps should go more in depth. Also in most cases the student third rider is either pushed to the side or used to fetch, honestly, this is where we need to be getting EMTBs ready for the street. Allow them to take vital signs, and administer oxygen, even CPR.

If not so many medics would forget what it is like to be a basic new to the street, then perhaps we can help these new basics get a better handle on the job easier.

More education as well as more training is the answer. If you want changes, you must be willing to teach.

dr_vfib 8)

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As a Basic I am disheartened that few overzealous medics dont want EMTBs or 1st Responders around. What some people fail to understand is that you are a Basic BEFORE you are a paramedic. You cannot have good ALS without excellent BLS. I have yet to meet a medic that wasnt "saved" by a basic administering oxygen while the medic was doing all of the advanced skills. 1st responders are a big help on-scene. They are able to give us detailed information about the condition of the patient, and geez, most of these folks just want to help their fellow man more than anything.

I dont necessarily think that longer classes are the answer but perhaps should go more in depth. Also in most cases the student third rider is either pushed to the side or used to fetch, honestly, this is where we need to be getting EMTBs ready for the street. Allow them to take vital signs, and administer oxygen, even CPR.

If not so many medics would forget what it is like to be a basic new to the street, then perhaps we can help these new basics get a better handle on the job easier.

More education as well as more training is the answer. If you want changes, you must be willing to teach.

dr_vfib 8)

Most right! Some folks around where I live tend to think of EMT-P's as 'ER Doc Extenders'. Perhaps well and good. But we EMT-B's are 'Paramedic Extenders'. It's our job and it's where we not only hone and keep our own skills sharp, but where we get the exposure that let's us figure out is we want to 'move up the ladder'.

No where in all my years in medicine have I ever run across a book that said on the front page' This book is to be read by an MD only.' There's nothing keeping EMT-B's and FR/ER from reading and broadening our personal/professional information level.

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Wasn't the original intent of this thread to poll those who think that a two yr degree is needed to become a paramedic? Its turned into a "if you don't have any education, you are worthless" thread.

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No, it hasn't. It's always been a thread regarding whether you think we should stay as the voc-tech trained cot jockies everyone thinks we are and with an open door policy to people entering the field just wanting to get their jollies off, or do you think we should require people to be able to have a lot more depth in their education and a little more stringent requirements before allowing any yahoo off the street to earn his credentials.

We can't do anything about people who are already certed, but we can do something about those who are coming into the field and that is exactly our intention. Lead, follow or step aside.

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I agree with you that as a paramedic there should be more stringent requirements. At least two yrs on the street as a basic, and a two yr program to become a paramedic.

My point about this thread becoming a hate fest, were some of the comments from other people. I got my medic education after a yr in school, and years worth of weekends away from my family. Does this make me a good/great paramedic, far from it, but don't make me out to be some vo-ed trained medic, who doesn't have any education.

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I agree with you that as a paramedic there should be more stringent requirements. At least two yrs on the street as a basic, and a two yr program to become a paramedic.

My point about this thread becoming a hate fest, were some of the comments from other people. I got my medic education after a yr in school, and years worth of weekends away from my family. Does this make me a good/great paramedic, far from it, but don't make me out to be some vo-ed trained medic, who doesn't have any education.

And you should be rightfully proud of what you have accomplished, but I hope that you would stand with us in an attempt to raise the bar even further. If we don't try to advance, we don't even stay where we are. It's a theory in evolution that is called the Red Queen theory, that you have to run in place as fast as you can just to stay where you are. It applies in biology, it applies in Wonderland, and it certainly applies in medicine.

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