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Can a poorly training medic become a good medic?


donedeal

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As stated.... can a poorly run training mill put out students that eventually become good medics through experience? I enrolled and completed an accelerated, non-collegiate program that I felt left me well below the curve in terms of paramedic education. It was a poor decision, but it was the one I made. I have a BS elsewhere and have completed some of the hard science curriculum. I've always done very well in the classroom, but feel like i struggle on the streets. My skills are good, but my ability to run through a differential diagnosis in my head during an assessment is often blanking, I miss some things and in general sometimes feel like an idiot. I've been in a busy system full time now for 7 months now. There is a disconnect between my didactic classroom knowledge and recalling that knowledge in my head to put into action.

The didactic and skills portion of my paramedic class was okay, but the clinical ride times and hospital time was a joke. We were often let out early and functionally served as nothing more than an observer. I honestly feel like I completed my first patient assessment on the job. Thankfully I have strong partners that are always willing to teach and have my back.

I have been re-reading my protocols and offering to tech as much as possible to gain the experience. I'm hoping in time, the experience gained will offset the poor training.

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I feel that everybody can become a good paramedic no matter how they feel their experience in the class room was. One needs to want to learn and keep learning from reading and from listening to the long time paramedics. My instructor told me that it takes at least 5 years before you feel comfortable in being a paramedic. Not sure if that is true for everybody?

I did very well in the practicle side of things but not so well in the book work so I still read my text books especially when I come across a patient that I feel is a complex case. I think it takes time applying what you have learned while in class when doing a street call and figuring out a diagnoses for the patient. This is because what you learned in the class room I feel is always the text book scenario where out on the street it is never a text book scenario with all the classic signs and symptoms.

Not sure how long you have been working as a paramedic for? All I can say is trust your self when you make a decision and go with it, ask questions, and whe you get flustered step back and take a deep breath. You can always do what I do if I feel I have hit a road block. I told by one of my instructors that . " IF you are unsure of what is going on with the patient and feel like things are going down hill. D,A,B,C and take them to the Big Green H ".

I have had to do that before as I have felt like I was not fully understanding what was wrong with my patient so I made sure that C-spine was taken care of, airway was clear, breathing was good, circulation was good any # had been taken care of and then loaded them up and topk them to the hopital where they have alot more tools in their took kit.

I am sure you will do fine and as I stated I feel that anybody can be a good paramedic no matter what their class room experience was like. All they have to do is want to learn and have passion for the job!

All the best to you!

Brian

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Being in the field puts prehospital providers in a difficult spot. Once you are done with class, your learning is up to you. Even if you are an active learner, when you work by yourself in the field, there is no one there to tell you when you are doing something wrong. As others have said, be very mindful of the company you keep. Talk with people who stay on top of what is going on in the field and are willing to accept changes to procedures and protocols. Stay as far away from the people who say, "Why are we changing? We always do it this way."

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Lots of good advise on here, and the underlying message being, when you take any course, as an adult learner you put into it as much as you want.

Classroom training at the best of times is just that, classroom.

As for field precepting, that is where you can start putting the pieces together, but the disadvantage can rest on a few things. As a student it is overwhelming to know what to do, and just the sight, smell of a real life sick or injured person can put your brain in freeze mode. Another hitch is having a preceptor that will guide you through the practical world of EMS. Preceptors can play as big a role in developing critical thinking skills, they are not there to teach you the whole program, but to assit you in putting the "puzzle" together. Just take every expereince you encounter now and build on it, enjoy the journey of learning.

Really, it will take time, as well as your willingness to listen and learn, ask questions, and keep up with reviewing when the questions come up.

So can you be a good paramedic, why not? The best tool we carry is ourselves and the ability to critical think, keep developing that, and always do the best that you can do with what you know, as well utilize the resources you have avalible to assist you. Again, as previous posters have mentioned, keep in mind who you take advise from as well, and being new, that can be a tough one too.

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They call them fundamentals for a reason. I suppose it depends on how bad your educational experience really was, but there absolutely are some essential must-know concepts for paramedic instruction and practice. I think it is oftentimes easy to cover up a lack of fundamental knowledge with day-to-day proficiency, but that by no means should be the norm or an excuse. There seems to be a culture (sub culture?) in EMS who's mantra is that clinical "skills" can somehow make for a lack of education. It isn't the case.

OP if you are really serious about making sure your fundamentals are up to snuff, you're going to have to take some active effort. Figure out where you are weak and study up. Use books and real classes. You will probably "pick up" a good amount of it in your work, but that information is oftentimes unreliable and inconsistent. Do it right!

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Why not sign up for a paramedic refresher course put on by a university or community college. Do your homework and don't fall for a course run by some yahoo but ask around and find a course that actually makes you think.

You can sign up for the online versions but I'm pretty sure that you will get regurgiations of what you already know.

I'll bet there are many refreshers put on by quality instructors who don't make you recite random facts and EMS info, but make you really think and put what you know and what you are learning into real practice

ONe such instructor is Bob Page and another such instructor would be of the caliber of Mike Smith or Dr. Bledsoe if they do refreshers. Prolly not but you get my thought process here right?

One question to ask yourself, would you go back to your school and take a refresher with them? If the answer is a resounding NO then you need a new direction and a new school to learn from.

Books are one thing but seriously, a back to the basics class might just be what you need.

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Ruff-- since I moved away from the area where i was trained, going there is not an option... BUT I wouldnt go back to them anyways.

I will be taking a refresher course soon and will ask around for quality programs. Thanks everyone!

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Yes, any school, good or bad, is just the beginning step. Even if it is the best school, it cannot prepare you for every single patient you will ever treat. For instance, there are several disease processes that only became relevant or known about after I got out of school (ie.... Sarcoidosis, Lupus, Adult Cystic Fibrosis (most never made it to adulthood), HIV/AIDs). And about every 10 years there is a new event, disease, or pharmacological/technological advance that changes the way we do things; In the 80s PPE/Infection Control was born secondary to HIV and Hepatitis becoming more wide-spread, we all had to learn about WMD after 9/11, we all had to learn 12-lead, so on and so on.

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