Paramedic to RN: Where do I belong?!

  1. I am a Paramedic with seven years experience plus 3 years as a tech on a HEAVY-DUTY med-surg floor; I am currently in Excelsior program and will do my CPNE next week.

    If I pass and pass NCLEX....WHERE DO I GO?

    I like-
    1. Labor and Delivery-very similar to an ER environment, but with more pt. teaching and, obviously, a much happier place.
    2. ICU- REALLY sick people, limited whining. Just no trauma.
    3. ER- hey, go with what you know...but am I limited to just this area of the hospital? Plus, whining is a big component here, ie "My ear started buzzing about three weeks ago...take me to the hospital in the big ambulance so I don't have to sit in the waiting area." Also: Really Dumb Trauma, ala Jackass-like stunts, usually involving alcohol.
    4. Cardiac- I am a ACLS freak. LOVE meds and ECG's.
    5. Transplants- Something good comes out of the bad things in life.

    I DETEST-

    1. Orthopedics-SHOCKER! I HATE TRAUMA! I can manage it, but I hate broken bones and hip replacements. My partner, luckily, lives for trauma.
    2. OR-Cold, lots of standing, and well,...sterile.
    3. Psych- don't care for it, but I swear, the crazies love me. They recognize their own kind I suppose.
    :hatparty:
    So, there you have it. Voices of experience, give me your wisdom!!!
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   Dinith88
    I vote for ER.
  4. by   Torachan
    Great question. I want to go the opposit direction (RN - Paramedic). I do like your take on the different area's. I'd go for delivery. ICU sounds a bit to messy (after all they are very sick and can not look after themselves)
  5. by   Torachan
    Actually thinking about ER... as a paramedic you had the opportunity to drop them off and letting someone else deal with them. If you go with the ER option then you would become that someone. Also I take it you wanted a change but staying within the health care field. ER would be more of the same. The more I think about it the more delivery sounds like the go. a bit of drama but with a happy ending being predominate.
  6. by   LadyBugLass
    Quote from Torachan
    Actually thinking about ER... as a paramedic you had the opportunity to drop them off and letting someone else deal with them. If you go with the ER option then you would become that someone. Also I take it you wanted a change but staying within the health care field. ER would be more of the same. The more I think about it the more delivery sounds like the go. a bit of drama but with a happy ending being predominate.
    Well, therein lies the dilema...I don't necessarily WANT to stay with some of the people that I drop off at the ER. Some of these pt.s, quite frankly, really DO NOT need to be in the "emergency" room period, let alone call an ambulance. It never stops amazing me what some folks call an emergency! I have had people call because....

    1. They are in the middle of a domestic dispute and just want to get out of the house.
    2. Their primary doc won't see them anymore, usually because of unpaid bills, so they go to the ER because they know that they cannot be refused treatment.
    3. Had one lady call us because, "my varicose veins itch somethin' awful" at 0300. Try as I might, I couldn't even pass it off as a possible DVT. When I ask her to sign our form that states that she will be responsible if medicare doesn't ante up, she told us,"Never mind, I'll just keep a-
    scratchin' em."


    Now, don't get me wrong. A great many people seek emergency care who either truly have an emergency, or it really is the best place to go for care. If you are in doubt, DO go to the ER!!! I feel so awful when someone is suffering from a major AMI and keeps saying, "Gosh I hate to be such a bother" or "I don't know how I'm going to pay for this" when their child has an asthma attack on a Saturday night. But abuse of emergency resources is a MAJOR cause of burnout, not to mention a big reason healthcare and insurance is so expensive now.
  7. by   Torachan
    It sounds like ER wouldn't be the place for you. I am an aspiring Paramedic and I have been for several ride alongs. I have been told about their worst cases.

    A guy called an ambulance because he cut his face shaving - when the intensive care paramedic asked what he should do about it the guy responds "i thought you guys knew all about this stuff?"

    another guy has complained about non-specific pain and when taken to hospital "escapes" to the nearby pub district.

    My solution is somewhat mean. I'd respond with concern.... a lot of concern. "this is bad" we had better get you seen to as soon as possible. Then race them off to a hospital far far away. say the next town? Hey you only have to get them to a Hospital. not the most convenient

    oh yeah. Our Ambulance was recently made free (well you pay a compulsory levy) and they are getting hammered. The firies are very angry that they have been made to go out to some of these calls

    Yeah. If you were to work in the ER it would be more of the same
  8. by   LadyBugLass
    The Shaving Guy is a hoot!! Are you sure that you want to be a Paramedic still...don't know about your neck of the woods, but over here, the pay stinks, and it is the same amount of schooling that an RN goes through. I really did love being a paramedic, but I am just ready for something new and, oh...I'm flat broke too.

    My favorite one? A guy gets liquored up, has a fight with his sister, and puts his hand through a window, and nearly cuts his hand off. Literally. I mean a true life and death arterial bleed, controlled as a last resort by a tourniquet and a fast ride to the nearest hospital. At the ER, he becomes hysterical and starts screaming rather loudly when the surgeon tells him he might lose the hand because that is "the hand that he MASTURBATES with". I was so proud that he was MY patient.:imbar


    Long story short, thanks to a trauma center, microsurgery, and state sponsored healthcare, our patient retained his hand and his ability to "please" himself.
  9. by   BBFRN
    Hi, Ladybug!!!!
  10. by   Altra
    Quote from LadyBugLass
    My favorite one? A guy gets liquored up, has a fight with his sister, and puts his hand through a window, and nearly cuts his hand off. Literally. I mean a true life and death arterial bleed, controlled as a last resort by a tourniquet and a fast ride to the nearest hospital. At the ER, he becomes hysterical and starts screaming rather loudly when the surgeon tells him he might lose the hand because that is "the hand that he MASTURBATES with". I was so proud that he was MY patient.:imbar

    OK, I just nearly spit my diet Coke when I read that!

    This is off topic, but ... as an aspiring ER nurse, can ya tell me how you keep from having to pick up your jaw from the floor when pts. say something like that? :chuckle
  11. by   smk1
    [QUOTE=LadyBugLass]
    My favorite one? A guy gets liquored up, has a fight with his sister, and puts his hand through a window, and nearly cuts his hand off. Literally. I mean a true life and death arterial bleed, controlled as a last resort by a tourniquet and a fast ride to the nearest hospital. At the ER, he becomes hysterical and starts screaming rather loudly when the surgeon tells him he might lose the hand because that is "the hand that he MASTURBATES with". I was so proud that he was MY patient.:imbar

  12. by   ladytraviler
    I was in the same boat not to many years ago. Paramedic with 10 years on the streets. I went for my first job and listed my pref as ER, ICU, & L&D. I ended up in L&D and I love it. You never know what will happen.
  13. by   LadyBugLass
    Quote from lgflamini
    Hi, Ladybug!!!!
    HEY YOU!! Are we still on for next week in Georgia? Maybe I should spend more time studying and less time on-line!
  14. by   LadyBugLass
    Quote from travilinglady
    I was in the same boat not to many years ago. Paramedic with 10 years on the streets. I went for my first job and listed my pref as ER, ICU, & L&D. I ended up in L&D and I love it. You never know what will happen.
    You understand then! All this talk about the goofiness of the ER DOES hold a certain appeal, mind you,( Memories...like corners of my mind), but I am just worried that because of my paramedic background, that is all anyone will expect of me. L&D is ALOT of fun, just like ER because...

    1. Sick Humor is a must. We are talking about human reproduction and whatnot.:blushkiss
    2. Working with the doc's as more of a team than "Just do what I want, I write the orders." Very hands-on stuff.
    3. Lots of excitement and plenty of the unexpected from the expectant.
    4. Everyone remembers a good Labor nurse!
    5. To work in L&D, you really have to be sharp; not a lot of lazy nurses make it in that department.

    Just an observation. Plus, babies are just too cute! (Yes, even the homely ones.)

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