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Starting first shift as an EMT

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Im starting my very first shift as an EMT-B with a ground transport in Odessa Texas. Im nervous and yet excited to what the EMS gods have in store for me ("or lack of" as ive learned in my clinicals) ive noticed that some of you ladies and gentleman on this forum have been in EMS for 20+ years and I would like to ask for your words of wisdom of what I can do to prepare myself to be the best EMT I can be but prepeare myself for whatever this world wants to throw at me. Also I would like to point out Im also the youngest emt-B's in the company and perhaps this region of texas being only 18 and not turning 19 till april. So not only am I short on EMS experience im also short on life experience.

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Not that I have much room to give advice being fairly new to EMS myself, but I would definitely just say to relax and don't let the age thing frighten you. I know how you feel. Being only 20, I know how it feels to be the youngest in your area. Even during schooling and clinicals I was always the youngest one, but that doesn't mean that you are less qualified or able than whoever you are working with. And don't worry about being new! There will always be someone with you that knows more than you do that will help you out! You obviously know your stuff because you passed the NREMT, so just relax and remember what you were taught in school and you will be fine! They showed you the right way to do things (or so I would hope) so just remember what they taught you and also take each day as a learning experience. Just because you are done with school, doesn't mean you are done learning.

Good luck!

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You are too young to do this job. But seriously, don't let the age thing get to you, one of my best partners was 18. Lack of life experiences allows you to grow with every single call so don't waste this opportunit.

Sent from my SPH-D700 using Tapatalk

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I started out as an 18 y/o EMT. I was very nervous! One of the most important things in the beginning is to be eager to work. Don't let the small stuf get to you. There will probably be some teasing but you just have to roll with it. Another thing is if you arent sure of how to do something ask. It is really annoying to get on a call and realize your partner doesn't know how to work the stretcher or some other issue. Mots of all just relax. Everything will be fine. EMS is, for the most part, a big family and your fellow employees will help you as much as they can. Good luck!

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37 years ago, when I started, I was in a newly started up Volunteer Ambulance Corps. We were all greenhorns/newbies/newjacks, and I was, at 19, most of the time, the youngest on the ambulance.

Simple considerations are, treat each patient as if they were the rich relative, about to rewrite their will, but don't be condecending in doing it. If it seems dangerous, request Law Enforcement Officers back you up, as they'd rather be requested and not be needed, then having to rush to drag anybody's ass out of the figurative fire. Learn where the dangerous areas are, but don't be fearful. Also, learn that fear is a good defence mechanism, as when to stay, walk away, or run away.

Self defence skills are nice, but you're supposed to be helping, not injuring.

Also, if your agency uses soft body armor, remember it doesn't stop some type bullets or knives; "Bullet-Proof" vests are NOT bullet-proof, just bullet resistant. Remember that you are not Kal-El, better known as Superman. Just this last week, an EMT working a nice upper-class neighborhood in Long Island, NY, got shot by the person in a car crash he was trying to help (he survived, Nassau County, NY PD killed the patient/gunman).

Another thing on the vests you should remember, it might stop the bullet, but the impact is going to be akin to being hit by a Seagrave Ladder Company. You can be shot, not have bullet penetration, but come away with fractured ribs.

Show respect, even if they don't seem worthy of it. Call them "Sir', "Ma-am", or even ask them how they'd like to be addressed. The only patient I ever called "Grandma" asked me to call her that, and due to my training, I was in some discomfort calling her that. However, it was what she wanted.

You'll pick up on other tips as you go, but the often overlooked "Golden Rule" usually applies (NO, not the one that "Them with the gold makes the rules), "Treat others as you would ask to be treated by them".

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As other people have said, one of the most important things you can do is to not be afraid/ to proud to ask questions! Find the person who likes their job, is competent, treats others well, and wants to teach, and stick to them. It might not be your FTO (hopefully you should have an FTO time), but having a good mentor when you start this job is essential.

Look at it this way, there always has to be a youngest at the company. In your post it seems you recognize that you will be lacking some of the life skills others have, simply from experience, and honestly I would rather work with someone who recognizes their short comings than someone who thinks they know everything and are Gods gift to the world. I am the youngest at my company, but no one usually believes me when I tell them my age, because I don't behave irresponsibly like many 21 year olds. If you do go and party and such, don't brag about it at work, it will not get you respect from your coworkers.

Someone said that your coworkers will be like a large family. In some companies they are, but honestly in some they are not. People can be mean, especially when you work together in a stressful environment like EMS. There will be people who have nothing better to do then hate you because you are new/ young. There is not much you can do about it, just try not to take it personally. Always take the high road if someone is being petty. Remember if you say something about someone else, chances are it will get back to them, so watch what you are saying and whom you are saying it to.

One last thing. If you ever get that "gut feeling" on a call, trust it. It could be telling you the call isn't safe to go in without police backup, you need ALS even though nothing obvious is off, anything. Although you may not have a concrete reason for what your gut is telling you, you need to be aware of it, as it will keep you from getting into a bad situation more then once.

Sorry for such a long comment.

Good Luck! Let us know how your first week is going

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Sorry for such a long wait. I had a really good first three days at work. I got to also be lead medic on a 1 1/2 hour transfer. Although I do wonder when will this anxiousness subside and when I will feel comfortable in what im doing because their are times i'm somewhat squeamish in doing things such as checking a things for blood in stools with a female patients (thank god I had another medic who wasnt), Its not like I wont do it if no one else will but I dont want to be like that. I also got to do my first report and narrative with ALL the info (my clinicals would not allow me to fill out things such as patient name,rig number,code priority, time dispatched, etc, etc.)

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Sorry for such a long wait. I had a really good first three days at work. I got to also be lead medic on a 1 1/2 hour transfer. Although I do wonder when will this anxiousness subside and when I will feel comfortable in what im doing because their are times i'm somewhat squeamish in doing things such as checking a things for blood in stools with a female patients (thank god I had another medic who wasnt), Its not like I wont do it if no one else will but I dont want to be like that. I also got to do my first report and narrative with ALL the info (my clinicals would not allow me to fill out things such as patient name,rig number,code priority, time dispatched, etc, etc.)

Glad your first three shifts in the business went well and you managed to not shit your pants.

Do yourself a favor and stop referring to yourself as the "lead medic". You are a one week EMT BASIC working on a transfer truck.

Note to the hecklers: This is not an attack on Basic EMT's.

Also got to wonder why you were checking a female patient for blood in stools, what would you do if you were able to find some?

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Also got to wonder why you were checking a female patient for blood in stools, what would you do if you were able to find some?

When I started, I used to ask about discolorations in stool, but stopped when almost all I asked responded with some variant of "why would I be looking at THAT for anything?"

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