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EMS ( Rescue ) Workers

  1. Dec 19, 2003 #1
    EMS ("Rescue") Workers

    I'm considering a job as an Emergency Medical Service worker (EMS). Just hoping to hear from anyone who has is (or has) done this type of work; knows someone who does ...any info would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. Dec 19, 2003 #2

    adrenaline

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    Re: EMS ("Rescue") Workers

    I was a paramedic for two years in New York City. It was exciting. Are you thinking of being a fire fighter, a basic EMT or paramedic? I was a EMT first but went on to become a paramedic since I preferred the advanced decision making challenge. If I had stuck with it I was thinking of entering the field of flight paramedic. Paramedic training takes at least a year of training including clinicals and classes. EMT takes about two months or so. Don't know about firefighters but most also have basic EMT training. If you have any specific questions lets me know. It was definately two years of my life that I would not have given up for anything.
     
  4. Dec 20, 2003 #3
    Thank you for responding. Glad you enjoyed your experience as an EMT and you found it meaningful. I never considered becoming a paramedic before you mentioned it just now, but it sounds intriguing.

    For example, Would you mind telling me a couple of things you most liked and disliked about the job? I have a strong psychology background and I've worked in medical settings with it. I greatly enjoy helping people and think I need to do that as my life's work. Mostly, I am wondering how physically and emotionally demanding you thought the work was? I appreciate it!
     
  5. Dec 20, 2003 #4

    adrenaline

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    It is a very technical field in that you are asked to extract a person from a crushed vehicle as quickly as possible, resuscicate a cardiac arrest victim using the armeterium of cardiac resuscitative drugs, defibrillator (if you are a paramedic) etc. etc. There are some mundane aspects such as transporting chest pain and ensuring stability until the hospital. I left it primarily because I wanted to do more than stabilise a patient only to be dropped off at the hospital. There are times you are called to a scene of overdoses or psychiatric emergencies but once again, not much verbal communication between yourself and the victim. However, there is alot of psycology to be practiced with the victim's family members or surrounding support group. Try doing CPR on a baby without someone working on the mother of the child in some emotional capacity!

    Hours were 24 hours on with 24 - 48 hours off. With paperwork, you end up staying more than 24 hours. In retrospect, with my hours now, they are not long, but they are long. It is a very macho, male field, but I still enjoyed myself and my collegues. Because our uniforms looked like police uniforms, sometimes we were shot at! That was also a negative. Remember, you are responding to shootings, domestic violence etc. The police don't always show up in time and people are bleeding to death.

    Physically you are lifting people onto the pram etc. but there is a team of you and I never felt that my slight size was an issue. I was crew chief at the time, so I mostly directed the care anyway.

    Emotionally, not as draining as other medical fields. If a person dies, it is in relative anonymity since you only knew the person for a few minutes rather than a long established patient. It is still hard seeing kids and children hurt though.
     
  6. Dec 20, 2003 #5

    Tsu

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    EMT's are being used more and more these days in ER settings, so the possibility of more regular hours and less inclimate settings exists. On the downside, the pay may be slightly less. Not too sure.
     
  7. Dec 20, 2003 #6
    Thanks to both of you. It seems there'd be some level of desensitization from taking on patients that you don't have to interact with too much or follow up on (less attachment?). I had read that you put your own life in danger.

    I appreciate hearing that your (Adrenaline's) slight size didn't seem to interfere. I am not exactly big myself. Don't think I'd mind working in a macho environment. If you are correct Tsunami, then regular hours sound encouraging. I have a condition that has led the doc to recommend I don't lose too much sleep ...and that I avoid constant irregular sleep patterns.

    Do either of you, or anyone else, know about the pay rate. I've heard that pay was low in this field to begin with, before it became more popular!

    Thanks again
     
  8. Dec 20, 2003 #7

    adrenaline

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    Pay is variable. I know a paramedic here who makes more than most RNs at our hospital. When I was in New York, (that was in 1990) I was making $45,000. Not bad if single. I think it is 60,000- 70,000 now. I don't know the EMT's salaries.
     
  9. Dec 20, 2003 #8

    Tsu

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    EMT's will probably make considerably less than a paramedic, but I'll try to contact some of my ER friends to see what they make. If you are interested in medicine, but you also like serious high-tech equipment, my field of Radiology is where it's at! With the advent of CT and MRI, medicine and technology have really come together to produce some fascinating imaging modalities. PET is another field of Imaging that is just now coming into it's own. It is more of a physiological than anatomical imaging device. VERY interesting!!!! And we also make fairly decent wages. Depending upon the modality that you specialize in and where you live, you can make between $20 and $50 per hour. Registry and traveling techs (short-term solutions to staffing shortages) can make even more with many fringe benefits.
     
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