hey all… i’ve been reading that some on here are EMT-B’s or even paramedics… my question is this:
will volunteering in this capacity be a boon to my portfolio?
in general, how many hours a week would one volunteer while taking the prereq courses?? are volunteer ambulance corps flexible in letting someone volunteer?? i won’t be starting the prereqs until this summer or next fall - so i wont have to be worried about the EMT stuff getting in the way of that… but once i am taking my science course, is it a good idea to NOT volunteer and just save that for the breaks?
also, i am taking two online classes at my grad school right now (health informatics and HR info systems) just so i can stave off the loan hounds… do you think taking two graduate courses plus what is required to become an EMT-B is too much?
thanks for the input in advance…
hey all… i’ve been reading that some on here are EMT-B’s or even paramedics… my question is this:
There are a few EMTs on this board. A lot of the questions you have asked can probably only be answered after you’ve experienced EMT training and a course workload at the same time. Some people can handle it while maintaining the grades and some people need to prioritize.
I decided to do volunteering through my schools hospital since I can do it in 3 hour blocks per week. There is also a wide variety of areas that offer volunteer programs.
Emergency! and Pi, look for me in the black scrub top sometime! PS, I don’t really look like an owl beast with horns.
Honestly I don’t think it’s worth it to do EMT-B simply to “look good” for adcoms or to help improve your chances to get into medical school. Given the amount of time that it takes to go through the class, get certified, get a job or volunteer gig that works for you, etc. it’s just not an efficient use of your time.
It would be a lot easier to find any variety of volunteer opportunities that don’t require you to do 110+ hours of training plus certification testing and lots of money out of your wallet.
Also, most of your volunteering opportunities will be 4 hours once a week. EMT shifts are typically 12 hours or 24 hours long and I would imagine most volunteer places want you to do a certain amount of shifts with them to allow you to volunteer in the first place. Not only that, but in most EMT programs, there are more people who want to do it than there are available seats so you’re taking a seat away from someone else who may actually want to go out and pursue a career in EMS.
While none of these facts by themselves are meant to discourage you, they are meant to show how inefficient this is for purposes of boosting your “portfolio” for med school.
Out of pure curiousity Tim, where did you obtain this information:
Not only that, but in most EMT programs, there are more people who want to do it than there are available seats
Just curious, becuase at least here in Michigan, there are more than plenitful seats for our EMT programs.
being an EMT is not impressive for AdComs any more as just about every applicant is an EMT. This is especially true if you became an EMT just a few months before applying.
Concentrate on your classes. If you do not have a decent GPA, being an EMT will not compensate. Find volunteer opportunities in through your school organizations or even on hospital web sites.
I hope the only reasons anyone here wants to be a physician are altruistic in natureâ€¦ Becoming an EMT-B, while done so partly because it helps bump up my competitiveness, is done because I want to volunteer in a capacity that directly impacts lives. I desire something more than the mundane that is experienced by the preponderance of hospital volunteers and I feel I have more to offer my community than just that.
My GPA from my BA is 3.88 (honors program), My GPA for my first masters (MPA) is 3.76 (honors program), and my GPA for my second masters (MSHSA) is 3.57 (done entirely online through SUNY â€“ toughest kind of learning, all done on your own with no lectures or instruction). Up until this year, I have worked full-time, 40 to 65 hour weeks throughout the entire process. So I am inclined to think that my GPA thus far is great and will only get better once I buckle down with my prereqs (not having to work a FT job).
Every bit of advice I have read on here says - “make sure you get the volunteer/practical/paid experience that shows you really know what the medical field is all about;” accordingly, I looked up the various programs here in NJ and found that they only cost about 110 bucks to take and that can be waived if you promise to work as a volunteer (that’s me). There are two courses, each running two days a week, that are either 7.5 weeks or 15 weeks (one is an 8 hour day, the other a 4 hour day â€“ the longer program requires 1 weekend each month and the shorter requires 2 weekends each month). Since I am not starting my post-baccalaureate this semester, it doesnâ€™t seem like that much of an investment of time for the return it could give. Additionally, I am not applying to medical school for another year and a half (or even two years); leaving April 2009 (when I become EMT-B certified) to June 2011 (when I matriculate into a medical school) open for volunteering as an EMT.
The minimum age requirement of an EMT-B is 16 (nationally I believe, but this is what NJ has to say) - so if they can do it while in HS, I can do it now too. And if EMT-B isnâ€™t essentially a cakewalk, in terms of material, I have a serious problem if I think I can hack it at medical school; thusly, it should be no problem.
No one would take an EMT class simply to volunteer and consider that a career, as most careers are paid. Even if they need to volunteer first before being paid, what problem is that of mine? Are the services I will provide to my underserved community over the next two years any less than what they would provide? Would being an EMT provide me added perspective of the health care system, especially being the low man on the totem pole?
While I totally understand how I could be taking away from someone else by doing this if the town or city didn’t have 12 million people residing in the immediate area… but it is not the case. A quick search of the job boards yields 9 jobs with the keyword “EMT-B,” and about 65 with just “EMT” (repeats removed automatically by indeed, RN requirements removed from list). Believe me, there are not enough people in the NYC/NJ metropolitan area to fill all the PAID EMT positions - let alone the volunteer ones. My pursuit of this obviously goes beyond just beefing up my resume - the question is, will this help me or hurt me. I don’t plan on taking one of those paid jobs â€“ I actually plan on working one of the college campuses out here (where shifts range from 4 to 24 hours).
I just saw a genuine chance to help people while getting something to look great for me… having stories the admissions committee could talk to me about… I mean, I could work in NYC or Newark (each just 10 miles from me) - both of which will provide such a robust experience beyond simple transport duty (it can and does resemble a warzone at times). It seems that every time I read the news or police blotter that there are stabbings, shootings, drug overdoses, myocardial infarctions, and everything else under the sun (or moon, depending on the shift). I do not see how being an EMT-B in this large metropolitan area could NOT be a boon.
I would be interested to see the source of the statistics you reference gabelermanâ€¦ that is a pretty bold leap to say just about every applicant to medical school is an EMT and working in an urban warzone like NYC, Newark, or the Oranges is not impressive to them.
Letâ€™s line up two people. Both of us have a 4.0 in our sciences from a university. Both of us score a 33 on the MCAT. One of us volunteered 4 hours a week running packages, greeting people, sweeping floors, and the like â€“ oh and they shadowed a doctor one summer too; while, the other of us saved hundreds of lives in the course of their volunteeringâ€¦ Again, I really would love to know how saving lives does not equate to a quintessential component of an applicationâ€¦
While it sounds like I have my mind made up already… I don’t. And even though it might seem like I do not agree with what advice you all have to offer, its not about accepting your advice as gospel but taking it in as an important component to my decision making process (without it, I feel like whatever decision I make would be considerably less robust). I appreciate your input and help everyone, it really helps!!
Maddux, I should have put the disclaimer that it does depend on area. In California, at least in the Sacramento area, we have such a massive amount of people in this area who want to do EMS that spots usually fill up for every EMT-B class offered at a CC. Even the private institutes like NCTI have their classes fill up, and they charge $1800 for EMT, which amazes me since 2 grand is a lot to pay for something where you’ll barely make above minimum wage.
As far as taking up a seat goes, you are correct truth, if you plan to actually get out there and use your EMT-B cert then it makes no difference who got that seat. The reason for that statement, which I probably should have mentioned, is that a lot of pre-meds seem to like to get their EMT-B cert just to “look good” and then they never use it. If you can use your EMT-B cert in a volunteer capacity for at least a year, then I think it would be worth it for your situation, yes.
Unfortunately, and I know this may seem fair, adcoms doesn’t really care if your volunteering experience was meaningful (IE saving lives) or if you swept the floor, etc. when it comes to being accepted…at least not to my knowledge anyway. I haven’t gone through the process so obviously take this with a grain of salt.
The only thing I would warn you is to not just volunteer on a college campus because your calls are going to be very skewed in one direction. In EMS it seems like a very wide majority of calls are for shortness of breath, chest pain, etc. whereas on a college campus a lot of your calls will probably be for minor trauma, altered level of consciousness due to alcohol or drugs, etc. I’m sure you’ll get lucky with a few diabetic emergencies but you can see where the calls just won’t be the same. Granted, on a large campus maybe it would be similar, who knows, but I doubt a lot of young, healthy adults are going to have SOB or CP which is where you really get good experience moving your ass in a hurry because you have no choice.
Gabelerman is probably correct in a certain way. Almost every applicant probably is a certified EMT, however, I make a distinction between someone who is certified as an EMT and someone who worked as an EMT; the latter is an actual EMT as far as I’m concerned. Hell, there’s a good amount of people in my paramedic class who are certified as EMTs but never actually worked as one which I disagree with but there are a lot of people out there who just have the cert but no experience. When two applicants apply, one just got the cert to look good and did nothing with it, and the other actually used it, I think the one who actually used it will stand out.
As far as the rigor, trust me if you kept above a 3.5 GPA in college, EMT-B is going to be embarrassingly easy.
Lastly, and this deserves its own paragraph, in a large metro area like that if you choose to do this, regardless of whether you work on a college campus or somewhere else, be vigilant at every call. What I mean by that is never blow off scene safety even if the scene looks safe. EMS professionals get attacked every day and sometimes seriously injured. I’m not saying you need to carry around body armor under your uniform, but pay close attention when they talk about scene safety even though it may seem like it’s not a big deal. A long time friend of mine used to work as an EMT in LA and he’s been shot at before. So basically I’m just saying if you do decide to do this, be careful out there.
I have been an EMT in NJ for 17 years as a volunteer and have logged in over 5000 calls. I know what and where you are taking about.
At the same time, I am always talking to Admissions People about what they look for in a competitive applicant that they would like to admit to their program.
At one time, decades ago, being an EMT was impressive. Not many people did it and many people did it because they have been volunteering since high school and are now applying to medical school. This was also a time, when if you tell them that you have wanted to be a doctor since time immemorial and that you want to help people, that was good enough. Things have changed now a days.
I cannot give you hard statistics on how many applicants are EMTs but I can tell you that about 30% of my class are EMTs. That is about 30 people/108. Statistically, this is significant. When speaking to admissions people, they have said that they have seen applicants put down that they trained as EMTs and they have also been in urban areas. But if you look at when they became EMTs, it is within the last 1-2 years before they applied. This is not impressive because then the question comes, if you wanted to volunteer and help people then why did you not become an EMT earlier or started to volunteer earlier like in high school? This would be a question I would ask should I interview people next year.
In addition, you need to do something that will make your application stand out. My school received over 3500 applications for less than 150 spots, the committee will want to see something different. Imagine having to review 100 applications. All have good GPAs and MCAT scores. You 25% are EMTs. Of those 25% what makes each one different from each other or the other applications that the other committee members are reviewing? So you worked in Newark, Passaic, Paterson, Camden, etc. Other states have urban areas also.
But if on the other hand, you tell me that you are an EMT and have worked in Passaic for about a year and during that year you went into the community and gave a seminar about the importance of car seat use, then you have peaked the interest of the committee and that is what gets you an interview and maybe an acceptance.
It is like the question of why do you want to be a doctor? “Well I want to help people.” Of course you want to help people why else be a doctor? OK, make money. But that still does not tell me why do you want to dedicate your life to learning and open yourself up to legal problems.
Being an EMT is a great thing. I should know. And the state certainly needs EMTs both paid and volunteer. But make yourself stand out. Use your EMT skills other than putting someone in the back of an ambulance and stabilize them until you get to the hospital. Use your knowledge to reach out to the community you are serving and THAT is where being an EMT will be impressive to admissions.
Secondly, the information that you get taught as an EMT-B and what you get taught in medical school are very different. I am not talking about Anatomy (there are differences in the depth and breadth of the material but anatomy is anatomy). In the State of NJ, the EMT-B class consists of learning basic anatomy and how to stabilize the patient in order to get them to the hospital. You will learn about oxygen tanks, KEDs, Hare Traction Splints, Basic Splints, some lung sounds, etc. You will be taught how to use them and when you put them on and monitoring of vital signs and taking a patient history. The material in the EMT class is not any harder than the material you will learn in your basic biology class. The experience you gain as an EMT will become evident when you are with a patient and you are already comfortable taking a patient history and talking to the patient. But the material is in no way a predictor of how well you would do in a medical school class. Your college/grad school GPA and your MCAT scores are used to predict that.
There are, as you see, several perspectives on this matter. A couple of things I have learned in through the pre-med process regarding EMT/Paramedic experience. First, you are right that it is an EXCELLENT way to gain experience and exposure to patient care and the healthcare system. Second, Gabe is correct that adcoms are deluged with EMTs applying to medical school, so it doesn’t make anyone stand out as a special experience. Third, it seems that few physicians - especially those outside of emergency medicine - actually understand what EMS professionals do. Finally, unless you really want to work in some capacity as an EMT, the education requirements are extensive compared to any number of other valuable volunteer opportunities.
All that on the line, the fact is, while it varies locally, there is a massive personnel shortage across the country. Volunteer rescue journals have been lamenting the crisis for years, so if you do possess the motivation you could make a difference for your local agency while discerning whether or not patient care is really your bag.
so if you do possess the motivation you could make a difference for your local agency while discerning whether or not patient care is really your bag.
Very well put.
Well, I had a nice long reply typed up post meeting with our local EMS dept tonight for the first time, then my bouncing baby boy smacked the keyboard and I lost it all. Note to self, do not fill out applications with him on lap.
In a nutshell, I checked it out. I figured worste case scenareo I’d think it was horrid.
What I discovered is a very small team of individuals trying to cover the entire northern part of our county. They cover all public events to ensure there’s support there if needed, as well as actual 911 calls.
They have a philosophy that says if someone is willing to donate of their time and energy, they have a responsibility to provide them w/ the tools needed. All training, gear and uniforms are free of charge. It is what they do to make their unit work.
I got the feeling these people really cared about the community. I live on the same street as most of them. And I realized that I may have found a niche where I can fit in and give back to a community that has been very healing for me personally.
I don’t care what it looks like on applications. It’s my community and volunteering should start in my own back yard. There will be internships to wow them with from things required of the school I am attending. For now, it’s about my home, and my back yard and the people I see on a daily basis. And hey, I don’t have to lose money in the process.
man i don’t know where i would be without this forum, you guys really do help so much!
“I cannot give you hard statistics on how many applicants are EMTs but I can tell you that about 30% of my class are EMTs. That is about 30 people/108” - that is pure insanity!!! at first i am thinking, “what the heck do i do then?” but then you gave me a golden nuget!! i can teach, i can use this training in more than one way… i can do what every other applicant does too, and figure other ways to make it unique…
i can log my volunteer hours but also get involved as a preceptor for the community… volunteer for CPR/AED courses, and the like… once i pass that EMT-B exam, i am going to look into the ways in which i can not only help the community via EMS but also through public education.
so this semester for me looks like this:
i am finishing my second master’s with an administrative position at a hospital and ambulatory surgery center - board meetings, budgeting, strategic planning, etc will be the focus… but i was lucky enough to get my advisor at school to allow me get in-depth with the operations of the facilities (shadowing the physician) so i am trying to kill two birds with one stone there… and on top of that, i will be doing the emt-b - so this semester is going to be really light for me, its exciting and a change of pace lol
what do you think of st mary’s in passaic and university hospital in newark (i believe the two have linkage in some form)? those are the two facilities i plan on finishing up my MSHSA at.
this semester will give me more time to focus on taking the free online courses via MIT in chemistry, biology, physics, A&P, and calc… just want to get a jump on this summer/fall semester for my prereqs…
btw if anyone wants to take free “full” courses that MIT students go through (and other schools too) - http://oedb.org/library/beginning-onl ine-learning/…
- The Truth Said:
"I cannot give you hard statistics on how many applicants are EMTs but I can tell you that about 30% of my class are EMTs. That is about 30 people/108" - that is pure insanity!!! at first i am thinking, "what the heck do i do then?" but then you gave me a golden nuget!! i can teach, i can use this training in more than one way... i can do what every other applicant does too, and figure other ways to make it unique...
i can log my volunteer hours but also get involved as a preceptor for the community.. volunteer for CPR/AED courses, and the like... once i pass that EMT-B exam, i am going to look into the ways in which i can not only help the community via EMS but also through public education.
so this semester for me looks like this:
i am finishing my second master's with an administrative position at a hospital and ambulatory surgery center - board meetings, budgeting, strategic planning, etc will be the focus... but i was lucky enough to get my advisor at school to allow me get in-depth with the operations of the facilities (shadowing the physician) so i am trying to kill two birds with one stone there... and on top of that, i will be doing the emt-b - so this semester is going to be really light for me, its exciting and a change of pace lol
what do you think of st mary's in passaic and university hospital in newark (i believe the two have linkage in some form)? those are the two facilities i plan on finishing up my MSHSA at.
this semester will give me more time to focus on taking the free online courses via MIT in chemistry, biology, physics, A&P, and calc... just want to get a jump on this summer/fall semester for my prereqs..
btw if anyone wants to take free "full" courses that MIT students go through (and other schools too) - http://oedb.org/library/beginning-onl ine-learning/...
Truth, one thing you can try to do to set yourself apart from the pack is to do Search & Rescue as an EC. I don't think it's been mentioned so far and I'm going to look into it myself when I'm done with medic school...there's a lot of different types of S&R too for you to align your interests with depending on region such as swiftwater rescue, mountain S&R, etc.
Also, once you log a decent amount of hours, look into becoming a BCLS instructor for AHA. Not only will this be a unique opportunity to have some fun teaching but its also a great way to keep up on your CPR skills for obvious reasons since most people don't get to use them enough (hell I've done this over a year and never ran a code...not complaining either).
Lastly, you may or may not already know this but you need a certain amount of CEs to keep your cert up which must be renewed every 2 years. A lot of the college courses you will be taking will count towards renewing your cert...I know biology and chemistry count, physics probably does, I'm dead positive anatomy, physiology and microbiology count...you get the point.
that is a good idea too - in my previous life i worked as a legislative fellow for NYS Senator Michael Balboni, Chair of the Homeland Security Committee… we ran exercises simulating man-made and natural disasters - this could be something right up my alley, especially since these topoff exercises (as they’re called) are mostly run on long island and in the city.
i suppose its time to start using my network in politics to get some interesting experiences more geared towards medicine.
It seems you have the attitude that voluntering as an EMT is somehow superior to the type of volunteering that numerous other pre-meds are doing. I see no reason to rank someone who chooses to say… â€œquietly clean up rooms for families of pediatric cancer patients at Ronald McDonald Houseâ€, as being inferior to someone who wishes to display a bunch of alpha bravado supposedly â€œsaving livesâ€. I have a feeling adcomâ€™s are sophisticated enough to make the distinction as to which effort is more sincere and which applicant has a more developed conscientiousness.
I have worked as a paid EMT for several years and I am very fortunate to have worked with a lot of very classy Paramedics who would NEVER participate in any sort of machismo boosting about saving lives. Good paramedics are humble enough to realize that if you take credit for the saves you have to take credit for the non-saves. Good medics, from what I can see, have an unspoken understanding that they are doing a job in which the stakes are occasionally high, but they choose it and have a responsibility to perform well because their patient donâ€™t have a choice about them. I have personally seen some very heroic efforts by medics, but they would simply never look upon it that way. The paramedics and EMTâ€™s I work with realize they are not diagnosing, treating, or curing anything; they are simply performing interventions under doctors orders which may occasionally give the patient the opportunity to survive, if they have the will, by getting them to a surgeon quickly and with some intact function. This attitude pays dividends when it comes to the relationships we have with all the local ER staff from nurses on up. They respect us a great deal more because we show a tremendous humility and respect for them. You will find no one in our agency saying things like â€œnurses donâ€™t know shitâ€, or â€œI practically know as much as a doctor, but I just donâ€™t have the letters behind my nameâ€. Unbelievably, Iâ€™ve been around medics from other agencies who have such attitudes and itâ€™s no wonder adversarial relationships between EMS and ER staff are common. I guess, my point is Truth, donâ€™t get too gung-ho here. Being an EMT is a great experience, but itâ€™s not really a big deal. In fact when I took my EMT basic class I was shocked and concerned over how easy it is to get certified. I certainly would not want most of my class-mates treating or transporting anyone I cared about. Just look at the value the public places on EMTâ€™s â€“ minimum wage. You canâ€™t expect admissions to place much more. Paramedics are, of course, much more competent, but thatâ€™s not what were talking about here.
Something else you said got my attention. It was something like â€œI would hope anyoneâ€™s reasons for getting into medicine are altruisticâ€. I certainly donâ€™t mean to be critical, but I find it ironic that such a statement could be made in the same post in which the theme is concerned with getting volunteering experience. If we were all saints here we wouldnâ€™t have any trouble beefing up our resumes with volunteer experiences, they would already be there. Judging by the comments throughout the above posts, it appears that you assume the most important aspect of ones motivation to become a doctor is an unrelenting drive to help others. I donâ€™t disagree that doctors probably should enjoy helping people, but I have to ask you in paticular: If helping people is such an intrinsic part of your make-up, and if you really want your purpose in life to be about helping others, then arenâ€™t there much easier and more effective ways to do that? You could join the peace core, go on a mission, become an advocate for the poor, work at a charity, or become a desperately needed nurse.
Lets be realistic here. People want to become doctors for a variety of reasons and I doubt there is any evidence that those who are doing it for â€˜altruistic reasonsâ€, whatever that is, are more likely to make it through medical school and be more effective doctors than someone who has another reason. After careful consideration of my own motives I realize Iâ€™m in no position to try to analyze someone elseâ€™s, let alone pass judgment on others motives by using mine as some kind of holy benchmark. Iâ€™m guessing that many people want to be doctors because they simply want to be â€œrock starsâ€- at least to themselves - that is: they want to fulfill their highest potential, they are seeking to become what they respect most, and thus they are engaging in self-fulfilling behaviors and seeking self-satisfaction. Thatâ€™s not altruistic, but so what! Iâ€™m able to admit that I probably would not purse the medical profession if it was not well respected by my peers or if the pay was so low that it made simple needs difficult to fill. I also know that I have a deep interest in physiology, biology and any medical topic; and that the actual job of being a doctor â€“ physically performing the tasks of investigating illness and applying tools and technology necessary to make corrections â€“ is exciting to me. The fact that the pursuit of these interests may occasionally result in alieviation of some of the suffering of other humans is a tremendous bonus that I anticipate will be quite satisfying, but it is not what drives me to work so hard. The fact is: I want to be a doctorâ€¦ I want. Correct me if Iâ€™m wrong (if anyone is reading this has finished medical school), but if visions of smiling, gratuitous patients and recognition of your generosity to humankind, are what drive you to study 80 hrs a week, then you may be due for a big disappointment. A truly altruistic demonstration to me would be: someone who hates medicine, hates studying, has no desire to be needed by others, derives no feeling of pride from accomplishment, feels no satisfaction from helping; yet this person makes it through medical school anyway and then suffers through a lifetime of serving the community at a job they hate, donating their pay to charity. Me, Iâ€™m no hero: becoming a doctor is exactly what I want â€“ for me. Does this mean my motives are not â€œaltruisticâ€ enough? I donâ€™t get it.
While you make some good points, you also make some that are rather questionable. You state that I seem to have the attitude that being an EMT, or doing EMS in general, is superior to other kinds of volunteering. Let me examine this more closely. So one person goes out, becomes an EMT, and spends a year providing basic medical care, doing assessments, applying interventions, working in and around patients and actually treating them and they get used to a health care delivery system. The other person goes out and volunteers in a hospital for a year and folds sheets, escorts patients around, and maybe learns his/her way around one hospital a little bit. How on earth can you tell me that those are equal? By what measure? As far as strictly volunteering goes with no other motive, sure they’re equal because you’re just talking about volunteering, but the moment you put in the goal of getting clinical experience and learning about medicine, you have to throw the hospital volunteering straight out the window. Except in unusual circumstances, hospitals do not want volunteers getting to hands-on with patients (hell at the hospital I volunteered at they had a strict policy of not having any jobs where you even touched the patient or were in the same room during a procedure) and therefore you are not going to get used to patients. Getting used to patients and being comfortable treating them is one of the hardest things in health care for a lot of people. Do you mean to tell me that hospital volunteering prepares them just as well as being an EMT or another health care provider? Are you prepared to back such a statement up with proof? How about the thousands of pre-med applicants who do the hospital volunteering and then try to “beef it up” on their AMCAS because it was such a pointless experience for most of them that they feel they have to lie about it?
As far as humility goes…if you have worked in EMS for any duration of time then I’m sorry but you must have your head in the sand if you don’t notice any incompetent nurses. The problem is not even with the curriculum of nursing school but the motivation of people going through now. A lot of people these days go to RN school simply because they know it pays well and they want the big paycheck; there’s no mention of wanting to help people or have patients or even do a good job.
When you introduce a person who could care less about the job, and just cares about the money, inevitably they’re only going to learn the material enough to pass the exam and they’re not going to make the extra effort to actually know the material. Combine that with the importation of nurses from third world countries such as the Philippines out of lack of choice due to the nursing shortage and you have a problem with incompetence. You can try to pretend these problems don’t exist, but again, that strikes me as the ostrich approach. Why should EMS personnel /have/ to have humility going into the hospital? Why should we be subservient like a lap dog to the nurses? What makes them better than us? How about equal? I don’t automatically assume all nurses are incompetent but my eyes and ears are open enough to know that they’re out there, and frankly, it disgusts me that some of these nurses may /not/ know more than the paramedic because they either came from a third world country and their education was terrible or they didn’t pay too much attention in school here and became a terrible nurse. I don’t exercise humility when I go into the hospital; I expect to be treated like a decent human being just like everyone else. Does that mean I beat down the door and come in acting like I’m more important than anything else is going on? No, but I don’t walk in and try to show a bunch of humility out of some misguided notion that I should. Nobody gets more respect than another person, and depending upon their behavior, may get less or more respect from me. What we’re /supposed/ to be when we walk into the ER is professional and competent health care providers.
I don’t even see where macho behavior factors into it. So you’re telling me if I say I saved someone’s life, instead of just saying I was just doing my job, it means I’m macho and I don’t have the right attitude? Do you think it’s right to say what is and is not macho behavior in EMS? In medicine? If a paramedic ran a code and got the person back, would you tell him/her they shouldn’t say they saved a life even though they did? Why?
Basically, it boils down to yes there are incompetent nurses (and incompetent EMTs and paramedics for that matter although I’m not going to comment on the demographics of which medics are most incompetent since that’s a personal opinion), yes EMTs and medics sometimes save lives and they shouldn’t be afraid to realize that as long as they can do their job in a professional manner, and EMS is superior to some other types of volunteering specifically in regards of what you learn from it. If the attitude in the ER is that we should be humble for whatever reason because it would make the nurses feel better then it’s a damn good thing I’m only in the ER for 10 minutes because that’s simply ridiculous.
wow that post seemed a bit unwarranted. since i was simply asking for advice on whether or not to do it (given all the other things i have to go through) and if it would even be of benefit to me.
am i going to volunteer hundreds of hours for an ambulance corp in NYC/Newark/Paterson/Passa ic area only because i want to look good? no! i can look good by doing other volunteer activities - like using my MSHSA pro bono at nursing homes strugling with compliance, budgetary, organizational issues, etc… if i were truly self-centered in my actions i would just ride out welfare or let my fiance pay for everything in life - as i spend everyday in the gym, on the slopes, or playing video games…
to say that the services an EMT-B/I/Para provide are on par with someone who folds sheets or runs errands is obsurd; and, i am incredibly thankful that you WILL NOT be on the admissions committee reviewing my application and delivering my interview.
your posting seemed rather confrontational and was delivered in an unabashed manner - hardly in line with the litany of helpful members and their posts on here…
i totally understand that you are trying to convey some points with your opine; nonetheless, i found your tone in some parts egregious, for example:
- In reply to:
as you stated in another portion of your post, you do not wish to pass judgment - but why continue to say the damning things you said, if those were not your intentions?
regardless, there are easier ways to help others; however, i have something more to offer than what can be done easily. rising to my best is not for myself, but it is for others; if lister did not rise to his best, we'd still be in the stone-age of medicine - never really getting the chance to study chronic diseases because humans die long before from infectious diseases.
the most palpable case of doing the best you possibly can for others is easily found in the example of your parents (i can only assume they chose to do his and her best). sure, they could have abstained from sex, used birth control, or even aborted conceived life; however, they chose not to! they decided to take the hard way in life and rise to the occaision as parents in order to - for better or worse - raise up another human being that would grow to impact this world in some way (hopefully positively).
i am sorry to hear that you have a difficult time understanding that there are people who wish to go through the hell of medical school (and the road to it) mostly because of the insatiable desire to help others.
but your cynicism in this case is contrived.
Your right Truth: perhaps I have highjacked your thoughtful, positive, and informative post to opine about my own skepticism. I simply read the thread and posted my thoughts, I was not intending to take an accusatory tone with you personally. You seem to possess a sincere enthusiasm that should take you far.
I was only trying to point out that volunteering in some capacity as a REQUIRED element to medical school is a situation that is contradictory in nature, that defeats the purpose, and does not lend itself to exposing an applicants true motives, intentions or moral compass; rather it is likely to confuse the matter by diluting anything genuine. â€“ a situation that is the same for all of us, one that medical schools are aware of and leads them to look for applicants who have unique and real experiences that define them. Working as an EMT can obviously fulfill the patient contact requirement, but there are a lot of EMTâ€™s out there (its not hard). Sorry if thatâ€™s offensive to EMTâ€™s - I am one too. And it may not be a particularly effective means to distinguish yourself as being altruistic (nor do I think becoming a doctor necessarily is or needs to be).
As far as the humility issue goes, of course those who donâ€™t understand it can misinterpret it as weakness. In my opinion, this basic human quality is the most profound expression of confidence, and itâ€™s a quality that I am guessing is rather important for a doctorâ€™s ability to perform compassionately. Not something to be brushed off.
One last thing, in the name of finishing up my rather intrusive point: Iâ€™ve learned that most people (including me) are inclined to engage in some kind of self-enhancement. As a result I have indeed become a bit skeptical, but not cynical, of any aspirations of altruism. I donâ€™t even know if this quality is humanly possible: even Mother Teresa was partly in it for herself â€“ and thatâ€™s fine with me. I believe itâ€™s the results that count not the intention. I should have made it clearer that my skepticism is directed at everyone. This attitude has not lead me to become negative or bitter, but rather liberated, and I think it will allow me to meet my patients where they are, as an equal with different circumstances, not a superior.
Anyway, Iâ€™m rambling now and getting off point. You simply were asking about EMT stuff, I know. I just have issues with the word altruism! Lol! good luck Truth, and I wish you lots of encouragement.
I think that finishing your second Master’s degree is enough. I’ve worked as a CNA, PCT, Monitor Tech, ER Tech, Phlebotomist, Unit Secretary, LPN, and RN. EVERY health care position not only requires training, but many take a couple of months to get used to. EMT-B is no different. It is valuable experience, but - for someone who has completed so many programs (one Bachelor’s degree and two Master’s), I think starting another one may not be the best idea.
This is just my two cents, but I see many similarities between your situation and mine.
- CrazyPremed Said:
This is just my two cents, but I see many similarities between your situation and mine.
Crazy, I would argue though that your jobs you held as a health care provider in those various positions probably were a great asset in helping you get used to patients, taking H&Ps, etc. and probably helped prepare you for medical school far better than another degree would.
Don't get me wrong, I /never/ think someone has too much education. An extra degree, a class here or there, it all helps in the end because anyone's knowledge is never static or "full" and it can always use more additions. I just think that for med school, you're going to get plenty of education as far as the bookwork goes, so it makes sense (at least to me, just my opinion obviously) to me to get experience in the other part with patient care since it reduces how much pain you'll endure during 3rd year because you'll already know some stuff and not be nervous to even approach the patient. My two cents.