Nurse and Firefighter
- 0Apr 6, '09 by mfisher6Is anyone a nurse and a firegfighter? I really would love to try both. I am about to enter nursing school, but I have been riding along with the fire dept. and I love it. If anyone does both, I would love to hear about their experiences.
- 2Apr 7, '09 by Honnête et SérieuxI was a paramedic and a firefighter, and worked at the fire department (and as a flight paramedic) while completing nursing school.
I can't see any situation where I would ever go back; I can't stand fire dept. politics and the senseless waste of resources made me ill.
In the five years I worked there, I only had to pull someone from a burning building one time, and as I carried her out of the building, she was hitting me and using language toward me that would make truckers blush. Then I had to go back in and find her equally ungrateful husband.
I resigned the week I graduated from nursing school. Never looked back and don't miss it a bit.
- 1Apr 7, '09 by mcknisI am currently both a firefighter and an RN and love it! There are several of us on here that do both and there are two that are Cheifs in their department. I love doing what I do and would not change it for the world. I have been in burning buildings, pulled people from wreckage, pulled crispy, dead bodies from cars, and have been hit (in the heat of the moment things happen). I think the benefit of having both realms of knowledge have helped tremendously. I am not an ER RN, but have looked at going. I work closely with the EMT/Paramedics at the hospital and it really helps knowing the people you are working with if you are out on a scene. When I am outside of the hospital, i cant't do anything that I do as an RN except basic first aid, unless i go get my CFR or EMT license...good luck though!
- 2Apr 7, '09 by Medic2RN Senior ModeratorI was a firefighter/ paramedic while I went to nursing school. I started working as a nurse about 11 months after passing the NCLEX. I had to change positions due to the family schedule. I earned my RN solely for backup.
Unlike Honnete, I loved working for the fire department and sorely miss it. I would go back to it in a heartbeat if I could!
I still carry my structural and aircraft firefighting certs.
I remember thinking..."Wow, I can't believe I get paid to do this." I've never had a job like that previously or since.
- 1Apr 7, '09 by getoveritI am both as well. I work full time as an ICU RN and part time as a firefighter/paramedic. It's great! I love it and wouldn't change it for anything. Critical care nursing is my main passion, but working at a fire dept you have a lot of benefits. 1) it's a great part time job that isn't nursing so you don't have the burn-out potential, 2) you generally work with a great bunch of people who are willing to drop whatever they're doing 24 hrs/day to go out and help anyone that needs it, 3) on EMS calls, you almost get to practice field medicine and it can make your assessment skills much sharper. For example, the other day a home health nurse called 911 to check out her patient. Long story short, turns out the lady had coughed so hard she had a spontaneous pneumothorax. It wasn't a tension and it certainly wasn't a "glory call" as some people would call it, but we really did make a difference in a potentially life-threatening situation. and the home health nurse thought she was having an "allergy attack", I'm not downing on her AT ALL so please don't think I am, but we were able to arrive, assess and implement a plan quickly that got her the help she needed. Of course there are plenty of terrible situations you get into, car wrecks, violence, fires, etc that really put you to the test of what you're made of.
AS for politics, I try to stay out of it and it depends on the department. Our chief is one of the best guys I've ever worked for.
So I say to go for it. volunteer first and see what you think of it. If nothing else, you'll get a feeling of satisfaction and community service that rarely can be found elsewhere. AND...some cool stories to tell your nursing co-workers!!
- 1Apr 7, '09 by nerdtonurse?I know two folks who are RNs and EMTs, and they have some of the sharpest skills I've ever seen.
They can also start an IV in veins I can't even palp -- I guess it comes from starting IVs in people while going 70 mph down country roads....Last edit by nerdtonurse? on Apr 7, '09 : Reason: sorry for the double post....
- 2Apr 7, '09 by nerdtonurse?We've got two at our place who are both RNs and FD/EMTs, and they have some of the sharpest skills I've ever seen.
They can also start IVs in veins I can't even palp. I guess that comes from starting IVs in ambulances doing 70 mph down curvy country roads. Me, I'd because I get motion sickness on an elevator....