Your stop for everything having to do with EMS. KIK: ouremssite
I’ve been going over a few ideas I have for improving EMS as a whole. I’m going to start a small series detailing some of my points. I will post a new part every Thursday for at least the next 5 weeks. Any ideas on my posts or your own ideas on what is needed would be greatly appreciated.
I’ve said it before, and I’m probably going to say it again many times before my career with EMS is done, we are a young field in the grand scheme of things. I believe some mistakes were made at the inception of EMS and now we are having growing pains.
The first thing I’m going to talk about is education.
We do more on a full arrest than nurses with 4 year diplomas and most of it is on our own without immediate supervision. I’m serious, depending on the service, you can do intraosseous establishment, intubations, ventilator use (something that requires a respiratory tech in most ERs), rhythm interpretation and appropriate treatment. Some systems have the ability to do rapid sequence intubation, tracheostomy, needle decompressions, and very potent narcotic use. Yet we are still not considered a profession.
I have been studying some online classes for my RN degree and have learned something. At the very inception of nurses there were groups of people that were thinking of the future. They were planning and they understood what was going to be needed for future growth as a profession.
Where EMS is still in many communities provided by the lowest bidder Nurses were organizing themselves to protect their investments. Where EMS grew out of direct profit and has for a long time been considered a step child to the fire department, nurses were developing guidelines to establish bare minimums in education. Some of their guidelines included:
Now I’m not saying this would instantly benefit all involved in EMS, I’m not even saying that it wouldn’t hurt some systems that have horrible paramedic retention. I am saying that we cannot be a 2 day a week class for 9 months field anymore. We are not fire fighters, we are not police officers. We are EMS and we have the potential to do things medically to people that have far reaching and long standing consequences.
(Dispatch was a little confused)
Dispatch: Scene is safe, shooter is not at the scene.
Me: ...are you sure the shooter has left the scene, is the police there?
Dispatch: Yes, pt has been disarmed by police....and well...he was shot by the police....So I guess you could say the shooter is still at the scene... but that’s all good, cause y’know.... it’s the police....”
Is anyone a full time paramedic that can tell me how much you make in an average year? Does your department require you to be a firefighter?
Unfortunately this is a hard question to answer because the answers vary depending on where you live and where your going to be working. Some services are starting at 28,000 a year up to over 60,000. In the services starting at 60,000 you will have to have advanced certifications such as flight certifications and critical care training for the most part. My service does not require firefighting cross training as we work alongside the fire department and not a direct component of it. A few cities to the east and they do have dual systems in place, so again it depends on where you want to work and if you want to work for a service that is going to be firefighting too.