Hey everyone

Hey everyone, I’m new and thought I’d do the intro. thing. I’m 29 y/o and I have a chemical engineering degree from 1994. I really can’t put into words how much I hated being an engineer. Anyhow, I’ve been an EMT for the past two years. Originally, I wanted to become a paramedic. Then, about three months ago I realized I’d get a lot more tubes if became an anesthesiologist. biggrin.gif Or, should I become an ER doc…or a cardiologist?? I love thinking about the endless possibilities…of course, I have to get into med school first. I’m taking Bio for the first time right now, and re-taking Physics. They’re both kinda boring right now, but, I will get my A’s. I can’t wait until I get to take gross anatomy or pathophysiology. Has anyone ever went to a bookstore, gotten a mocha, and then sat down and happily read Robbins, or the USMLE review books? ph34r.gif Please, help me. Well, I think I better study for my first bio exam.
Btw, are there any other EMT’s or paramedics around here?

Welcome Niko,
You've come to the right place. It is good to hear one with such confidence about getting 'A's in physics and chemistry! BTW: I said that as well, but chemistry humbled me.
I’m an EMT too, as are many in this group.
Welcome again - it is always nice to have 'young-ins'' join in :wink:

Ha, ha…this isn't funny…actually bacmedic, I may be the only chemical engineer in the world to have failed general chemistry. That's what happens when you go to college when your 16 and get away from your very over-protective mother for the first time. So, I certainly didn't mean to sound like a cocky, brainiac. But, I will get my A's (this time). I have to. My mom, btw, is very happy over the pre-med thing (of course). Thanks for responding.

Welcome! Your enthusiasm with serve you well.


Hi Niko, another EMT here. I have a mom who's very happy with the pre-med thing, too. Just gotta pass o-chem lab…

Welcome! I am another ‘young’n’ at only 29 years old too. So don’t feel like you are stuck with a bunch of old farts! I’m kidding all of you wonderful loving elder people! Don’t kick my butt now! Next year I will be th----thi----th----thir–tee…ick! hate even saying it! Anyway welcome, I am an ICU RN so I can relate to the craziness you feel as an EMT and so many others on this board feel, but it is fun isn’t it? Yeah, I can relate to reading the USMLE exam books, they are fun! Then I flog myself some more with MENSA books. LOL. Just attempting to be the brainiac, succeeding? Well, no. Maybe. blink.gif Anyway, take care and welcome and please stay out of the gene pool! It is getting messy in there and is taking a lot of time to clean up the crap in it.

I'm 29, too! I wonder if it's something about the impending 3-0 that impels us to reevaluate life direction and what not.
I've never done the mocha thing that you talk about (sounds like fun!), but I have gotten a CD-ROM based emergency physician boards review and CME credit program and played it like a video game, does that count??? LOL
Good luck in your classes and everything else,

Welcome, Niko!

Hey there, another EMT here!!!!!!! My father-in-law was a chemical engineer and was well on his way to becoming tops in his field (he worked for procter and gamble and came up with Foldiers Crystals). He came home one day and told my mother-in-law, who had just given birth of my brother-in-law that he quit his job and is going to medical school.
He became a very good Ear,Nose, and throat doctor.
Good luck

Welcome Niko! BTW, I’ve felt absolutely deprived these past few days. I think it’s been a record 4-5 days since I’ve posted on OPM. That whole hurricane thing kinda got in the way. I’m 28 years old so maybe I’m the baby of OPM?? tongue.gif I’m not a paramedic, EMT, or even remotely as cool as the others but I’m glad you’re here. Stick around. Lots of people are in your shoes.
Isn’t it always the way: The classes we think we’re going to ace turn out to be insanely hard and the classes that are insanely hard, we ace. Oh, wait, maybe that’s just me. blink.gif

Hey Niko,
Yeah, there's plenty of EMT/Paramedics-turned-med students around here, and I'm privileged to say I'm among them. Welcome to OPM. This place is truly a wealth of experience, advice, support and encouragement. Stay focused, study hard and do some deep soul-searching to make sure medicine is REALLY what you want to do with your life. If the answer is yes, and you'll know, then nothing will stand in your way.
Again, welcome to OPM.
Univ. of Tx. Health Science Center - San Antonio

Thanks for the welcome everyone. smile.gif There aren’t any non-trads where I’m taking classes, so this is a very good thing. Kevin: Thanks…very good advice. I’m very sure that I want to be in medicine, although, sometimes I question the doc thing. But, that’s more because of tuition, I’m married, etc. Of course, those are all good reasons. Ultimately though I know I want to be a doc and my husband is very supportive. I do love medicine enough that if I don’t get into med school in the next couple years, I’ll become a nurse, or RT and try again.
Since I’m going to have to do a year of grad school (to prove I can handle full-time courses), I wish I could do the MS program in Anesthesiology Assisting at Case Western. That’s a two year program that’s six hours away though. If I didn’t get accepted to med school right away, I would be able to put some money away for med school (because eventually I’ll get in). Has anyone heard of someone that’s done that? The Emory program has had some AA’s go straight to med school, but I don’t know about Case Western’s program. Whether I would do that over one of the specialized one year MS to MD programs will probably depend on how close it seems I am to being accepted. Well, thanks again for the welcome everyone. I need to start writing my lab report now.

hi niko
i’m not an EMT-but I do agree with the mocha+med licensing book. never done it actually so you gave me a great idea.i’m just happy someone else out there disliked chem eng as much as I did and is switching to medicine as i am (and is in their 20s like me! i’m 28). I’ve had a hell of a time trying to put the endless “why didn’t you stay with it” questions to rest. i got my b.s. in 1998 and finished all my coursework for an m.s. and wanted to switch my thesis to a biomedical topic but was told unless i committed to a Ph.D., i wouldn’t be considered. so i quit(burnout from doing something i didn’t care about) and will do what i want now and you will too!! best of luck!!!

Not only is being 30 not the end-of-the-world…life actually gets better afterwards :slight_smile:

Is there a FAQ out there about EMT-related stuff? I'm clueless about it and I'd really like to learn more. For example, I always thought that an EMT was the same thing as a paramedic. From the sound of the OP, it's not. Also, someone in another thread mentioned an EMT-B… what's that?

This may be better as a PM, but oh well…here goes. I hope you didn’t expect a short answer…and I hope I don’t make it confusing. smile.gif By the way, I have met both nurses and doctors on calls who didn’t seem to understand the different levels of EMT’s.
EMT-B stands for EMT Basic which is the easiest level of EMT to attain. EMT-P, paramedic, is the hardest. Many states also have EMT-I’s, intermediates. There is also a First Responder level in EMS, but they are not emergency medical technicians. If you go to the National Registry of EMT’s page at http://www.nremt.org/about/ems_learn.asp there’s an overview of EMS in general. For a more specific job description for EMT’s go to http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos101.htm. The hours for EMT-B training (per NREMT) is 110 hrs vs. 1000+ for paramedics. EMT basics and intermediates get certificates and Paramedics can get a certificate or an associate’s degree.
The levels of EMS providers, their length of training, etc. depends on the state you live in. For example, Colorado has EMT-basics, intermediates, and paramedics. Indiana has basics, advanced EMT’s, and paramedics. The advanced EMT’s in Indiana are not the same as an EMT-I. There is something called the National DOT curriculum, which is what all the curriculums are based on. However, some states add to their curriculum. Colorado followed straight DOT curriculum for Basics. Indiana includes additional geriatric, SIDS, aspirin, and IV maintenance skills in the EMT-B curriculum. So, in Indiana EMT basics can maintain IV’s and give aspirin straight out of class. In Colorado, I took an extra IV/MAST course that allowed me to START and maintain IV’s and apply anti-shock trousers. I was also allowed to give aspirin thru a special Metro Denver protocol obtained by the ambulance agency I worked for. In general, EMT-basics can assess the patient, take a patient history, perform a physical exam, obtain vitals, and perform certain interventions. Per DOT curriculum, basics can give oxygen, activated charcoal, and oral glucose without calling a doc. Basics can assist the patient with their epi-pen, nitroglycerin, or asthma inhaler if it’s their prescription, indicated, and the doc gives the ok over the phone. Additional skills can be obtained by taking additional classes or thru additional protocols given to specific agencies. In Metro Denver I could start an IV on an unresponsive patient and administer Dextrose 50 without calling a doc. In the small town where I lived in Colorado, I could start an IV, but couldn’t give D50 period. In Indiana, I can’t even start the IV anymore. mad.gif Of course, Basic’s also bandage, splint, spinal immobilize, use the AED, etc. Assisting a mother to give birth is also an EMT-Basic skill blink.gif (haven’t been there, not sure I want to do that…). Larger bookstores (Barnes&Noble, etc) usually have an EMT basic text that you could look thru. Intermediates can do all that plus give a few more drugs, intubate, hook the patient to the EKG (varies by state). Paramedics can give all sorts of drugs (many without calling a doc), intubate, defibrillate, do needle decompressions, etc. (varies by state…).

Most EMT’s work for ambulances or fire departments (paid or volunteer). Although, you could work in the hospital (ER Tech). As far as ambulances go every agency seems to have different ways of doing things. There is a saying in EMS that if you know one agency…you know one agency. I’ll mostly use Metro Denver as an example. In Denver, there are BLS and ALS ambulance crews. BLS stands for Basic Life Support (EMT-B’s) and ALS stands for Advanced Life Support (Paramedics). Intermediates (in Colorado) can be classified as either BLS or ALS (I believe) depending on the population of the area they work in. Metro Denver doesn’t recognize EMT-I’s. However, in the little town I lived in, if an ambulance responded with a basic and an intermediate it was considered an ALS crew. So, BLS crews are usually two basics and ALS crews are usually a basic and a paramedic. Some agencies run double paramedic rigs. Depending on the nature of the call either the emt or the paramedic attends the patient and the other drives. As an EMT the calls you attend on depend on your agencies protocols and your paramedic. I’ve had paramedics that let me attend calls that were paged as ALS and others who took everything but psych calls (control freak).
You can truly get a lot of awesome, invaluable experience. You learn the language of medicine, how to assess patients, take histories, write proper reports, give verbal reports, learn pharmacology (above and beyond what’s taught in basic class), and you really get to understand our (horrible) healthcare system. Oh, and you get to run lights and sirens (how could I forget that laugh.gif ). Seriously, I had no idea how valuable the experience was until I read “White Coat: Becoming a Doctor at Harvard…” and realized that a lot of third year med students haven’t been in situations that are normal for EMT’s (having to get the IV on the cardiac arrest patient with the entire family watching in their living room, etc.) You can also get a lot of free training, because your expected to perform continuing education to maintain your cert., and a lot of large ambulance companies provide free CE. I got to take basic and advanced EKG courses and BTLS (basic trauma life support) for free. The fire department I volunteered with paid for my IV/MAST course. All those courses are 2-3 days, but cost around $500 each. I’ve also attended numerous conferences (trauma,etc.), and other classes (meth lab first responder) for free through the fire department. If you become affiliated with a volunteer agency you may also get your EMT-B course for free.
Some downsides are the pay is terrible, it can be pretty hard on your back, getting a bad partner sucks, working night shift also sucks, certain calls really suck for all sorts of reasons, and true reciprocity seems non-existent if you move (you generally have to get permission to take the state written and practical test and pay to re-take them). I started at $8.77/hr in Denver as a unionized employee. However, you can pick up tons of overtime rather easily in the right company.
I hope that wasn’t too long and that it helped. Hopefully, everything is generally correct…other EMT’s/medics please feel free to correct, and add…EMS is different everywhere. I really think it’s great experience to have and I think there are a few admissions committees that agree (I hope smile.gif ).
Thanks for giving me a way to further procrastinate before writing my physics lab report…

Welcome, Niko!!
Woah we might be on to something here. I too am 29!! I've been battling with this decision for this entire decade but got a new sense of urgency once I turned 29. I think that I subconsciously told myself that I had to make up my mind either way before my next gulp birthday. Though I won't be anywhere near MD for my 30th I will at least be officially on the way. Finally.
Best wishes to you!