Jump to content

EMT student unable to lift


Recommended Posts

My husband has had 2 herniated disks in his back but after spinal decompression treatment is doing pretty well, and we want to keep it that way. We've got things worked out with our volunteer squad so that the rig won't roll unless there's enough people who can lift. (I know someone is going to go off about how he shouldn't be on a call if he can't lift, etc. That's not my question. Most EMTs I know can't lift a patient on a stretcher by themselves, they get another person. My husband just gets two other people.)

He just enrolled in an EMT course and they are giving him a hard time about it.

Are there any NJ state laws that say he can't be an EMT?

Is there anything under ADA that say they have to accomodate him?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Im not trying to be rude here but regardless if any laws exist for or against your husband becoming an emt, He will be a problem to himself and his department. What happens if he cannot get extra help on a call? Does he just sit there and wait on on extra help while some one dies because he cant lift?

Volunteers are short most place to begin with and people in your department will tire of doing the lifting for him on every call.

Your husband needs to gain some physical conditioning and over come this problem or move to something other than responding to EMS call in his department. This is a recipe for catastropy in so many ways.

I wish him all the best

Somedic

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway you take it to them, the ADA will probably try and fight to accommodate him.

But whom will that benefit? A possible legal battle for your squad? It's already a PITA to be a volunteer. If I had to go to court to defend the need for a quick response, I would. However, if I were forced by the long arm of the law to "work" under conditions that will only benefit a disabled EMT, rather than a patients life, or the community at large.. I'd quit. You may not see it that way, but it will cause problems. But you can't make people wait for an ambulance, so you don't offend one of your members. I'm all for disabled persons living freely, and doing as they please; but it stinks when people have to put themselves in a position that could possibly do harm for countless individuals. How many people would it affect if the service was sued by X organization that heard of the troubles if it went through ADA.. vs. how many if it was just one person walking away?

How would his disability affect his ability to perform other functions as an EMT? Not lifting, but bending, accessing a patient, kneeling to a patient, doing CPR, etc? Somethings cannot be avoided.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Im not trying to be rude here but regardless if any laws exist for or against your husband becoming an emt, He will be a problem to himself and his department. What happens if he cannot get extra help on a call? Does he just sit there and wait on on extra help while some one dies because he cant lift?

Volunteers are short most place to begin with and people in your department will tire of doing the lifting for him on every call.

Your husband needs to gain some physical conditioning and over come this problem or move to something other than responding to EMS call in his department. This is a recipe for catastropy in so many ways.

I wish him all the best

Somedic

Who are you and what did you do with somedic?!?

I've been watching your last several post (actually I see them all, it's just the last several that caught my attention)...they have been kind, insightful, insult free, and not a single hint that a person should simply kill themselves if they are not in the military...I'm becoming a little worried about you...

I'm also becoming a fan. Great posts man...I mean that...

Dwayne

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dwayneemtb: Im glad you approve! I just dont understand how some one could be of any real use on a ambulance if they always have to have two extra people to do thier lifting. This again points the need to eradicate volunteers in EMS and replace all systems with members that have passed a fitness test and can lift with out unusual problems.

Somedic

Link to post
Share on other sites
Who are you and what did you do with somedic?!?

I've been watching your last several post (actually I see them all, it's just the last several that caught my attention)...they have been kind, insightful, insult free, and not a single hint that a person should simply kill themselves if they are not in the military...I'm becoming a little worried about you...

Agreed DwayneEMTB !

Very seriously and back on topic an EMT that can't lift, your OFF my truck in a heart beat.

You are danger to yourself and other workers, or just like that 90 lbs RN that wrote her Paramedics exam with 94%.... nice.

Quote: if I can't lift I will just call the handsome Fire Fighters to help me.

Nice talking with you, find another partner NOT me.

EMT or EMT-P = Eds Moving and Transportation...period no exceptions.....think dispatcher.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't mean to be harsh or insult the OP, but here is how I see it. EMS is a profession. We don't have any volunteer services in Ontario that I know of which makes sense since the education requirement is still the same.... If you want to volunteer to provide EMS then that is fine but, and this is a big but, you should still be held to the same standards as a paid service.

Would a paid service hire your husband? I think that's all that needs to be said.

It's good that he is doing well and I hope he stays healthy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, good luck to your husband in overcoming the issues with his back.

And now on to the topic at hand. I have to agree with others. There's no reason that a service should have to make accomdations for someone who is not capable of doing the job itself. A requirement of this job is having the ability to lift and move patients. That's just to start. There are countless tasks that are physically demanding in the job as well. Ever been on a scene and had to move things to get to a patient? Ever carry a cardiac monitor and/or ALS pack (since they tend to be heavier than BLS packs)? CPR is demanding on the back when you're bent over for a prolonged period of time. What if a patient becomes combative and needs to be restrained? Is he going to sit there while his crew handles the situation? Is he going to be a liability to the service should he injure has back again on the job?

In a time where many volunteer services have a problem staffing a truck with two EMT's, it's difficult to ask them to wait until they can obtain a third rider for the call. This is especially true when the ambulance becomes legal with regard to staffing once there are two EMT's on board. I wouldn't want to be the one having to explain why the truck (which was staffed legally) didn't roll to the call because someone on the truck wasn't qualified to operate fully on the job.

Your husband's situation is unfortunate, but it's difficult at best to accomadate someone who can't perform all of the functions required for the job. It's not fair to the other members on the crew and more importantly, not fair to the patients who are waiting for help while a truck that's legally staffed is unable to respond. The lack of ability for your husband to meet the physical demands of the job would be enough for me to not want to work with him regardless of what kind of EMT he may be.

Just something else to think about, would you expect a fire department or police department to make the same accomodations that you're asking of EMS for your husband?

Shane

NREMT-P

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Reasonable accomodation" doesn't apply here.

It is entirely unreasonable to expect to be able to staff an emergency response unit with enough volunteers to allow your significant other and his partner(s) to function safely.

Before he enrolled in his class, he should have discussed this with his physician. Likely, he would have been dissuaded from trying. At some point, he will likely have to pass a job related physical, and not be able to.

It is admirable that he wants to help people. Kudos for that. If he wants to gain the knowledge that the information will grant, wonderful. He should not expect to be able to work as a field provider for very long, if at all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with the masses here.

Would a pilot be allowed to fly with a disability that prevented him/her from seeing properly?

EMS requires manual labour. Allied services may or may not be there to help when you need them. If you are only 2 people, your problem has just become the patients problem and that goes against the "first, do no harm" rule which should never be compromised.

In Ontario, we just heard that the minimum lift load for a 2 medic crew is going from 195 to 205lbs. (Stop eating people!). As an average sized male, this is not a big deal for me but for some of my classmates, this is going to be tough. ALL of my slight classmates (male and female) have been working their butts off to overcome their genetic disadvantage because they know that the patient really will rely on them to get the job done regardless of their size and there is just no excuse that will fly if the job doesn't get done.

My point is that is doesn't matter if your problem is genetic or created by other factors, certain realities must be faced, if you can't overcome them, then this profession (paid or not) is not for you. It seems that this gentleman really is interested in healthcare. Perhaps he should consider a role in dispatch or a non-lift profession (perhaps Respiratory Therapy) where he can bring his enthusiasm to bear in a way that keeps him and his patients safe.

Stay well.

Link to post
Share on other sites
×
×
  • Create New...