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J306

Personal Dilemma- Urban or Rural service?

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Hello everybody,

I have a few tough decisions to make regarding my EMS career and I was hoping to get some advice for those of you who have been in some similar situations. Yesterday I decided on a whim that I would re-apply for the EMS service in my home town is a busy urban service.

The service I work for right now runs about 2-3 calls a day on average and I've been there 3 months. I've learned a lot here so far, but it's just not as busy as I'd like.

The last time I tried out for the urban service was 2 years ago, and I was competing with Medics and EMT's with much more experience than I had. That and I messed up one of the exams where they required you to use you're written and verbal multitasking skills from a dispatcher exam.. My ADHD got the best of me on that one and unfortunately I was unsuccessful.

This decision is difficult for a number of reasons.. At the rural service I currently work for, the general attitude is very positive and proactive and I'm starting to get settled in. If I stayed here I would probably stick it out until summer and possibly go back to school for the Advanced Care Paramedic course I got accepted to in the fall.

If I got on with the Urban EMS service in my home town, they would want me to defer school for atleast a year and start out as a casual position with the opportunity to get full time hours. One thing I noticed during my ride along was that the attitude was significantly different.. It seemed very tense and the crew I was with didn't seem interested in discussing calls afterwards and lacked the compassion and patience that I find to be so important to maintain in EMS.

I've been reading quite a bit of forums and posts since I've started and decided to express my opinion on only a few occasions. I've seen a collection of very experienced and intelligent people on this site and I'd love to hear some thoughts and suggestions!

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What do you want to do? Where do you see yourself in a year? Five years? Ten? How badly do you want to go back to school?

Knowing what your longer term goals are will help you with this decision.

It sounds, though, as if your run in with the big city service left a bad taste in your mouth.

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I want to work EMS for sure. In one year, I see myself either in school, or using the next year to save up and travel for a few months to Central/South America to volunteer at hospitals and clinics. Five years I see my self completed ACP and working for a proactive service which shares the same vision and values as I have. Ten years I would love to start working towards becoming a full time instructor or in a team leader/management position.

I feel as though the BLS level is not challenging me enough and that I am truly ready for a new challenge and to return to school.

You're right about that it left kind of a bad taste in my mouth.. I did my student time there and being on car again reminded me of all the "holier than thou" attitude.

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Ok. At this point you've had two generally negative experiences. Why do you want to work there? Will it play into, or interfere, with your long term plans?

No. Your current service may not be as busy as you'd like. But it doesn't sound like the city service is going to be very productive for you.

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I would stay rural and get my education. A positive work place and professionals you can respect will teach you a lot more than the turn and burn environment where you don't get a chance to learn from those calls. Believe me, high call volume and lots of grinders gets old real fast.

Do you plan to work while in school? even part-time? If you need to combine work and school, the low volume shop is a no brainer, leaving you the time and energy to pursue your studies.

Good luck to you.

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Well, I guess I might just want to work their for the wrong reasons, possibly to satisfy my ego, but I guess the main reason is because a part of me really needs to be "kept on my toes" and challenged to keep me sharp, keep my skills fresh, and maintain my thirst for knowledge.

The thought that I had was that in the past I have worked in a very toxic isolated work environment and was able to block out the negativity and stay positive and proactive. Maintaining this attitude got me promoted to Senior Staff and be incharge of my own shift after only being there for 4 months.

Having said that, I was thinking that if I could take the same approach, that I would become a stronger EMT.

Edited by J306

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... but I guess the main reason is because a part of me really needs to be "kept on my toes" and challenged to keep me sharp, keep my skills fresh, and maintain my thirst for knowledge.

Don't underestimate the value of a solid education in pursuing these reasons.You know... since you're considering school and all.

edit: This new page for quoting someone's post is really, exceptionally awkward.

Edited by paramedicmike

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You can always transfer to an urban setting later on down the line, and you'll have more bargaining power with more education. I'd say to stick it out rural and go for your education first, man.

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And you know what man? The energy that it takes to stay positive, and remain the kind of provider that you want to be can be enormous when you get in a bad environment.

I too kind of wish that I'd done some time at Denver General, despite their not being very well respected prehospitally any more, just to say that I worked the 'knife and gun club' and survived. But, now I've survived a lot of other shit, so it doesn't seem so important.

For me, though I'm getting a little older now, I choose to try and pick places that help be stay mentally and emotionally healthy for me and for my family. It's just too friggin' exhausing to work with negative yahoos every day..

I work with a major prick now. Fat, grumpy, dumb as a brick, and I'll tell you, it gets old fast. Someday I'll have to transfer off of these one man sites... :-)

Plus you said that this is a casual position? I'm guessing then that you don't need to work at this point? (Truly asking, not sniping) What if the casual doesn't pay the bills?

Any way to stay where you're at and run PRN at the urban service now and then?

Either way that you jump...good luck.

Dwayne

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You have all the advice you need here. I will just point out a few things as I know of the urban company you are talking about.

1) You sure you want to be available all the time just to keep your seniority?

2) The "big-boys" only applies to Sask. By that I mean, when you are in Sask, that city is viewed as a coveted job that only the best can do.... cough, choke. Leave the province for a weekend and that theory dissolves pretty fast.

3) If you want to truly be educated to a ACP level, you should broaden your borders. Sk just will not give you the education that other provinces will. Perhaps if urban experience is what you want, you should look west?

4) You know damn well the burnout rate on the west side, just where do you think noOb's start out?

Good luck

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