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TruckEMT

5 Months before my life ends (Medic School)

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In 5 short months I will be sitting in my first Paramedic class at our local Community College. One of the best programs in the area honestly, and they are developing a hell of a reputation for themselves locally. I have been an EMT for a year or so now, enabling me to have run enough CIty-ALS time to work with a medic quite a bit, run some decent calls, and learn a few things. Yet I have not been on the truck long enough to obtain bad habits.

I'm one for preparation. So my question for you so far, is what can I do to prepare? My EMT-B book explains the processess of ALS Assist with tubes, monitor's and lines, and the A&P of all that, and I have been going through that lightly, but its only 1 single small chapter in the back of the book. So I'm on the quest for a A&P book. Any ideas? Any suggestions? Maybe I'm looking at this wrong? Once Medic told me I should start learning my drugs, its a BIG thing I can know before school starts its one less thing I have to learn...

I'd rather refresh then learn, but I know if I Learn wrong now, that refresh is going to be a re-learn, which is twice as hard as learning it the first time.

Thank You

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Yet I have not been on the truck long enough to obtain bad habits.

Wanna bet?

I'm one for preparation. So my question for you so far, is what can I do to prepare? My EMT-B book explains the processess of ALS Assist with tubes, monitor's and lines, and the A&P of all that, and I have been going through that lightly, but its only 1 single small chapter in the back of the book. So I'm on the quest for a A&P book. Any ideas? Any suggestions? Maybe I'm looking at this wrong? Once Medic told me I should start learning my drugs, its a BIG thing I can know before school starts its one less thing I have to learn...

I'd rather refresh then learn, but I know if I Learn wrong now, that refresh is going to be a re-learn, which is twice as hard as learning it the first time.

Thank You

Does your program require a college level A&P course? If not, take one. In fact, you should take one no matter if the program requires it or not. This will prove to be valuable to you throughout your EMS career.

You say the program is developing a "hell of a reputation" for themselves. Without having any idea what you mean by this, when entering any educational program there has to be some level of trust on behalf of the student. If, as you imply with your comments about earning a reputation, the program is putting out quality providers, has excellent certification exam passing rates (a metric commonly and widely used in medical education programs)and by local industry opinion is the program of choice then you need to have a certain amount of trust in their process. This trust should be continuously verified as one moves through the program. But if everything is as good as you're implying then they're doing something right. Your job then becomes to play the game, learn as much as you can and dedicate yourself as a student to the goal of becoming the best paramedic you can become.

Honestly, though, the best advice I got prior to starting paramedic school (all those years ago... a college level program that awarded degrees to successful graduates) was to take some time off. Paramedic school is intense no matter how you slice it. Starting to burn your candle now isn't going to help when you get into school. And, as you mentioned, if you learn something wrong now learning it the right way later will be that much more difficult. So, take some time off. Clear your plate and your mind. Enter the program with as little stress as possible. Because once it starts you're going to get pretty busy pretty quickly.

And take an A&P class.

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A&P class at a college. Mike is right on... English composition wouldn't hurt you either in the long run. Everyone can benefit for a writing class where someone rips apart your writing.

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A&P and Pharm will get you through just about anything a paramedic class can throw your direction if you truly understand them. It really is that simple. All of the basic things like placing a patient in spinal precautions or basic wound management should have been covered off when you did your EMT program.

The truth is being a paramedic is much easier than it's made out to be. You need three things to be a great paramedic and only one of them comes from your paramedic class.

1) Education: Not just your intitial A&P, patho, pharm etc. but regular continuing education. Paramedicine is in a constant state of flux just like every other part of medicine and you had damn well better be prepared to spend the rest of your career re-educating yourself.

2) Compassion: Grandma doesn't give a shit that you slotted the tube into her dying husband first pass like a total rockstar. She cares that you took a moment to let her kiss her husband of 50 years goodbye before whistling him off to the hospital where he is unlikely to survive to discharge.

3) Adaptability: Murphy's Law is reality. If you want to be great at this job you have to have your wits about you well enough you can tell Murphy to stick it.

Anybody can take the education. Compassion and adaptability are things you either have or you don't. No amount of education will give you them.

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With five months before school starts and college courses that are likely to be transitioning into or out of midterm, I do not see the OP being able to realistically get into a traditional A&P course. Perhaps consider a summer course if possible or look at doing it concomitantly with the paramedic classes if your schedule permits.

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Mike: Thank you for the advice. As CHBARE stated, I really don't have a year or two to obtain a A&P course, or a Pharmacology college level course. Unless I can find one to take online over the summer, I don't think i will be able to swing it, although I will try to find one.

Rock_Shoes: Thank you. Your 100% right, and I see it in some medics and I don't in others. the compassion you need you should have from the beginning, the education is the school and your job, but the adaptability is something that may not be there in the beginning, but may be learned over time.

Thank you all for the advice. I suppose I better get looking for a AnP and/or Pharmacology course of any kind!

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If you don't have the time to attend a formal class, at least find out what text some of the classes use and buy/read it before you start medic class.

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