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Saturday, April 7, 2007

Jumpin' from a "B" to an "I" to a "P"??

Funny how there are times when I just get so complacent with things as they are. It usually happens when I do a stretch without any "good" calls. I'll just kinda roll with things, and not really care to change much.

Then there are times when I just get so fired up about this EMS stuff. I want to do more! This usually comes off in my mind as "I WANNA INCREASE MY CERT LEVEL!"

I was chatting with Alex the other day about this and he made a good point. We started as EMT-B's and it wasn't long before we jumped into an "I" class to earn our EMT-Intermediate certification. It doesn't take too many calls spiking bags and doing vitals while someone else gets IV access and is talking to the Doc on the radio about meds before you start to think that being an I-tech would be cool. So Alex's point was that the jump from a B to an I was not that big. The class wasn't easy- a lot of study and a lot of time doing practicals. But running full time with other I's really helped, and 5 months later, boom, we're I-techs.

So the next logical step is to take the next level of training, which is Paramedic. But whoa there Nelly. First of all, if you've been following along with this journal, you know that there are no paramedics in our district. There's no medics in the next district near here, District 3 which encompasses Burlington and our only Level 1 Trauma Center, Fletcher Allen. So, you take a 1200 hour class, spend months at hospitals getting your clinicals in, spend 8 or 9 grand$$, work your ass off without letting the ball drop even once, lest you get too far behind to catch up, and then if you pass the exams, you can be a medic.

So, the big question is...Become a medic and then what?? I have this vision of a year of no sleep and complete focus on this training only to come to work and continue to do routine BLS transports.

The answer of course is once you taste paramedic level runs, (which you would because the training would likely take place in conjunction with an urban hospital/EMS system), it would be damn near impossible to stay where you can't legally use your cert level. Even if medic level were to come to the district, the amount of time you actually used it would be pretty slim, and now you're nationally certified as an EMT-Paramedic and you look in the back of JEMS and see that there are lots of big EMS businesses aching for medics. Paying real decent wages, paying relocation bonuses, offering very liberal standing orders and a great working relationship with the hospitals, located where it's sunny and warm, where there are LOTS of E-calls.....

Not sure where this ramble leads to, it just sort of spilled out. I'd love to hear some comments from anyone out there. Have a safe night everyone.

2 comments:

rookie bebe said...

I have to agree with you. I'm an EMT-I. The service I'm with will not let I's tech in the back. (Working on changing that.) I'm so frustrated. All I want to do is take care of people. Even if it's just two blocks away from nursing home to dialysis.

I'm jumping into medic school in three weeks. I'm scared to death.

But you said there are no medics in your service. Do they just not hire them? Would the service be wiling to pay or reimburse you for school. If you were to get medic, would they give you a pay raise and recognize your level?

DanVtEMT said...

First of all, if you've been following along with this journal, you know that there are no paramedics in our district. There's no medics in the next district near here, District 3 which encompasses Burlington and our only Level 1 Trauma Center, Fletcher Allen.

As I mentioned above (in the original post dated April 7, 2007), we don't have medics in our district, not because no one service wants it, but because our medical director thinks it is not necessary to have EMT-P's running in his district. It is a constant thorn in our side, not just the fact that we can never (at least as of now) advance beyond the I-Tech level even if we wanted to (which many of us do). It is so frustrating to not be able to provide the higher level of ALS care! Now I'm fired up, I suppose a new post on the topic is in order.

By the way, where do you practice?