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Jack Tietjen

Interested in becoming an EMT student directly after high school.

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Hey everyone!
Glad I found you all, from what I've gathered from some brief browsing, this seems like a good place to get advice on the world of EMS!

So, I'd thought I'd just directly ask this community some on my questions, as I'm a little on the fence about pursuing EMT and Paramedic

Should I become an EMS student and eventually an EMT?

Also, will my age hinder me greatly?
What are the challenges of studying to be an EMT that I should be aware of?
If you're concerned about the emotional and mental strain of the job, but know it is a challenge you want to try and overcome, should you think twice?

Sorry for all the big questions, any answers or advice you could give me would really be appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

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Should I become an EMS student and eventually an EMT? You, grasshopper, are the only one capable of answering this question. It is not for total strangers to tell you yes or no.

My question for you would be: Why do you want to get into EMS?

Also, will my age hinder me greatly? Depends...what is your age? :)

What are the challenges of studying to be an EMT that I should be aware of? Should you begin the course, remember always that what your are learning is the MINIMUM amount of information you need to enter the field of EMS. EMS is an ever changing field and you will never learn it and should always be open to learning from trusted sources....textbooks are still screaming "high flow oxygen" for everything despite the fact that this can be detrimental....don't take one person or one sources word on anything...research and become knowledgeable....

If you're concerned about the emotional and mental strain of the job, but know it is a challenge you want to try and overcome, should you think twice? ?? Not sure I understand this question completely. The job can be emotional, we see things people were never meant to see and we are sometimes thrown into the middle of complete chaos and expected to come out the other side with a smile on our faces but if you have a support system and a healthy view of life, you can and will get thru most anything this profession throws at you. It's best to always remember that "It's their emergency, not yours" and although some calls will stay with you a lifetime, they are not your life. You have to have a balance....

Advice:

Not sure of your age but human to human relationships and a willingness to help people and understanding them will get you a long way in EMS. If you cannot relate to people face to face then you are going to have a tough time in EMS. We are with people in what they consider to be the worst moment of their lives and if we cannot interact with them on their level then we are already behind the eight ball. I've seen EMT's and Medics that can recite the Brady book backwards and forwards without missing a procedure. I've seen EMT's and Medics that can rattle off all the algorithms for every cardiac case or medical case thrown at them that can't look a person in the eye and connect with them on a human level that are out of the field in less than two years.....sometimes (well maybe even 85% of the time) EMS is not saving lives and being the hero...it's just plain being human and drawing on some knowledge and nifty toys and medicine to lower a blood pressure, calm a frantic asthma patient, or splint a broken leg and then just letting that patient know that you are there........

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Hey everyone!

Glad I found you all, from what I've gathered from some brief browsing, this seems like a good place to get advice on the world of EMS!

Welcome.

So, I'd thought I'd just directly ask this community some on my questions, as I'm a little on the fence about pursuing EMT and Paramedic

Direct questions are some of the best questions to ask. Why beat around the bush?

Should I become an EMS student and eventually an EMT?

I don't know. Should you? What do you think? Are you up for it? Do you want it?

As Clutzy said the only person who can answer this is you.

Also, will my age hinder me greatly?

How old are you?

What are the challenges of studying to be an EMT that I should be aware of?

The challenges are different for everybody. They largely depend on you, who you are, your background and your motivations.

If you're concerned about the emotional and mental strain of the job, but know it is a challenge you want to try and overcome, should you think twice?

Do you second guess other decisions in your life based on similar concerns? EMT class and being an EMT or paramedic isn't the only challenge people face that brings with it emotional or mental strain. How do you face these other challenges? Your answer to how you face those challenges will help you decide if you're up to this challenge.

Thanks in advance!

You're welcome.

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I just finished my EMT course after graduating HS. As far as learning the information, the tests were a piece of cake( at least the ones my teacher gave us) but I still studied my butt off because I knew that all the information will count at some point. I don't know how long your course will be but they cram in a lot if info in a short amount of time and most of the people there would just study what they needed to pass the test, we didn't even go through the whole book. I made sure that I read the whole book and researched EVERY thing that was discussed in class. I was one of the youngest in the class but by the end of the semester people were asking me to run their scenarios and quiz them (teaching someone else something is the best way to learn and remember it!) I still have to take the written exam but I have a good bit experience on an ambulance and I don't find that my age hinders me much. As long as you are willing to learn and ask question no one really cares how old you are. If you decide to go for it, make some connections with the older more experienced people in the class. Demonstrate to your instructors that you really want to learn and always volunteer to do things and they will see that and help you more than the kids playing on their phone in the corner. I was lucky enough to know someone that has been in EMS for a while so I keep in touch with him discuss everything I am confused with. Hope that helps :)

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It depends on the services in your area. Are they welcome to your age?

My 19 year old daughter got her certification last Tuesday.

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Thank you all for responding! To answer your questions, I'm turning 18 next month, and graduating high school this June.

I really appreciate all the advice!

Thank you by the way, Clutzy, for mentioning the human aspect. It's reassuring to hear that what makes the most difference to the patients is being able to connect with them

Few more questions if you all could answer them,

What's the Brady Book?

What can I get a head start on that will help me through tough classes like A&P?

Thanks again everyone!!

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Should I become an EMS student and eventually an EMT? As many discussed, what are your intentions? If you have to ask.. probably not. This is really tying to be a profession. My advice is to go to academic studies and obtain your general education. You will need them no matter what you decide to do.

Also, will my age hinder me greatly? Yes!.. Most professional services require minimum of 21 years of age for insurance (unless self insured) .. I have seen many of requiring up to the age of 23. Again, this is a profession.

What are the challenges of studying to be an EMT that I should be aware of? It is nothing like you see on television. Usually, there are several hours of boredom with few minutes of terror! Studying basic EMT is simple, it is set at at a 10-12'th grade reading level. Repetitive practice will allow you to master the basic skills. Again, as you master other academic courses such as anatomy, chemistry, English, Psychology, EMT course will be a breeze.

If you're concerned about the emotional and mental strain of the job, but know it is a challenge you want to try and overcome, should you think twice? There is an emotional factor that we are now seeing more than ever. Not everyone is emotionally stable enough to handle the hum-drum of EMS and the abuse calls. If your looking for a high adrenaline job, chances are EMS is not what your looking for.

I used to say age is not a factor, but I regret saying that. I believe the nature of our business is being able to understand the whole business of EMS. That we are there for patients (not vice/versa) and the 3' o-clock for grandma being lonely is just as important as that truama call... grieving parents or the new widow of the spouse of 65 years.... and yes, it's also a business. To provide care but also make money....

It's not that younger members can't but research has proven that many do not mature until early twentys.

I ask you... What's the hurry? Really.... EMS will be there for you, if you do make a rational and educated answer. It's much better than entering only to never really enter it or leave it in 3-4 years, before one has obtained true experience

Good luck,

R/r 911

Edited by Ridryder 911
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Should I become an EMS student and eventually an EMT?

This is totally up to you. I took my EMT-Basic class when I was a senior in High School (not part of school but rather a class through the fire department). It was tough. I started the class at 17 and graduated at 18. Was it tough for a 17 year old kid? Yes. I enjoyed the class but you better make sure that EMS is what you want to do. I knew I wanted to eventually be a medic. It took me 12 years to eventually hit that goal. Was it worth it? Yes. I was grateful that I had the experience I did when I was in medic school. I think it helped me alot. I suggest taking a basic class and then getting your feet wet. This way you can decide if EMS is truly what you want to do. I have seen students come and go and I have seen many of them brand new EMTs with no experience that quit because they realized it isn't all daiseys and roses. Just being honest.

Also, will my age hinder me greatly? It can. I was 18, but as stated before, more and more services are requiring you to be 21 because of insurance purposes. You should look into your area.

What are the challenges of studying to be an EMT that I should be aware of? You learn really fast that this is real life. What you see in the Hollywood is not what EMS is. Many times you run a code, the person dies. I have had one save in my career. The rest have died. Thats how life is. Diseases are VERY real. HIV, Hep-c, Hep-B, all of that.....yes it is real and yes you could be exposed. Get an accidental needle poke and you suddenly realize how scary it can be waiting test results. Class is serious. Yes, we all goof and have fun but you are learning how to save someone or help them when they are in need. If you use improper skills you that can be the difference between life or death. Don't think you can just breeze through it. You need to study and you need to know your stuff. Do NOT get cocky!!! You may think you know it all but there is a difference between book smarts and street smarts. It is my personal pet peeve to have students come in that think they know it all. You are there to LEARN, not to prove how much you know. Sorry if it sounds harsh but I don't sugar coat it. EMS is not a sugar coated profession.

If you're concerned about the emotional and mental strain of the job, but know it is a challenge you want to try and overcome, should you think twice?

If you question your personal abilities you need to really put thought into this profession. Yes, there have been calls that have gotten to me. It happens. As I said above it is not all roses and daiseys. But also know that there are services that are available to help you deal with some of the stress. I have found that talking with the person on the call with me helps me if I doubt something I did. If I am with a basic, we discuss the call or even go talk to the doctor to get some input. You need to be able to have positive coping skills. Going to the bar and getting drunk it not healthy. Make sure to have a hobby that you enjoy. I found that my photography is a great way of coping with the stress of work at times. If you find that you can't handle the consistant stress then you should get out.

I am not trying to be mean so don't take what is above personally. I had someone tell me pretty much what I told you when I was wondering about getting into EMS. I am glad she did. I walked into this profession knowing that it was going to be tough. I love what I do and I am very happy in EMS. There are some lessons that you have to learn the hard way but they can make you a good EMT or medic if you learn from your mistakes.

Ash

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