Looking for EMT's who are now in nursing school - page 2

by sjparks 2,210 Views | 13 Comments

I'm a MSN student preparing to study the nursing school experience of students who have a background as emergency medical technicians. Are there many of you out there, and is the experience worth studying? I'd love some feedback... Read More


  1. 0
    I have been through EMT-B, EMT-I, and EMT-P school, ACLS and PALS, all about 20 years ago, now in ADN program.

    How is nursing the same or different from your expectations?

    About what I expected. Test questions in nursing require deeper thought.

    How is nursing educators different from EMT or paramedic training? ( Not length of training and requirements but more about attitudes, methods, expectations)

    Nursing is far more theory, paramedic training is theory with a greater focus towards hands on skills. Some nursing instructors have a bit of a snobby attitude which is almost never present in EMT instructors.

    Is your experience useful? Does it give your advantages or do you have to "unlearn"? Describe a situation where your prior experience helped you.

    Paramedic experience is VERY useful, I can still "see" patients (in my mind) that had problems I am now studying, ie diabetics where I pushed D-50. Sometimes I have to unlearn to push drugs on my own, and to intubate, defib and other things that I want to do, but I can't now. One time in CNA clinicals I ended up intubating a patient when the MD couldn't find the vocal chords, I wouldn't consider pulling that stunt while in nursing school. Sometimes I have to play dumb around certian clinical instructors.

    Do the teachers value your experience? How can nursing educators help you?

    Some do, I try not to advertise previous experience too much.
  2. 0
    Hello. I was an EMT and then a paramedic and now I am a nursing sudent. For the difference was that as a medic, it was more focused on what you will see in the field. And there was not as much of "In the real world we do this but on paper you need to know it this way." And our drug class was way more in depth and required so much more info. The other thing is the attitude. The RN instructors walk around like they are gods but when you sit there, the Paramedics in my class(there are three of us) look at each other and say to ourselves(of couse) I dont need a doctor to be there to tell me what to do. And I make life saving decisions by myself on the rig and so there is an attitude for some of us. I know it is bad but it is the way it is around here. In our town it is Paramedics vs the RNs. ( I dont chose sides because I want to be a field RN and need both licences to do that(here)) but there are feuds between us. And it is awkard learning the skills again. Some of our stuff is more practical than what our books say.(ex: starting an IV) We had to do 600 sticks to get our paramedics licence but for the RN we dont have to have any. They practice on a dummy arm and may graduate never having stuck a real person. And I dont think our RN program prepares us enough for emergencies. Some of the people in our class would just die if they saw what we see or went up against the things we have done. It is just my opinion and most of this is just about how it is where we are from. I by no means meant to offend anyone so please dont be angry. But overall, I dont think my experience has helped me in the theory portion of class as much as it has in the skills portion.
  3. 0
    I'd like to know:
    How is nursing the same or different from your expectations?
    Same: Good schedule, great benefits/salary, challenging
    Different: On the plus side, I have more autonomy
    (at least in critical care) than I expected, although still less than I enjoyed in the field. On the down side, there's definitely less camaraderie. Also, there doesn't seem to be the same emphasis on professional conduct in nursing as there is in EMS and Fire/Rescue.

    How is nursing educators different from EMT or paramedic training? ( Not length of training and requirements but more about attitudes, methods, expectations)
    EMT and Paramedic training was more in depth and geared towards preparing you for real world practice. Nursing education was a lot of fluff and nursing educators were too preoccupied with political correctness and teaching "cultural competence."

    Is your experience useful? Does it give your advantages or do you have to "unlearn"? Describe a situation where your prior experience helped you.
    I don't think I had to unlearn anything. The prior experience helped in that I was already good at managing stress, setting priorities, and multitasking. It also helped in that EMS taught me how to project confidence even when I don't feel it.

    Do the teachers value your experience? How can nursing educators help you?
    I didn't go out of my way to advertise my EMS experience. A lot of nurse educators and nurses seem threatened or put off by it. I was often met with either attempts to belittle my EMS experience or questioning of the motives that led me to nursing. The few educators who were accepting and supportive had... surprise... started as EMTs or paramedics themselves. I really don't understand the animosity towards students with EMS backgrounds, so I'm not sure what advice I'd offer to professors other than to keep an open mind and recognize that people who come to nursing as a second career (whatever their first career was) often bring experiences and skills to the table that transfer to nursing.

    Thanks for your interest!
  4. 0
    I totally agree with Mike Fungin. The teachers were so focused on why I changed fields and not that it matters but my husband is in the military and I needed something I could do in Alaska on base. There were times when I would be put on the spot and be asked what would I do and I dont really think it was fair, especally because we had students in our class (as second year students) that have never worked in medicine ever.(you didnt have to be a CNA to get into our program) My best suggestion for instructors is to realize that people from all over the world do things a little bit different and they still end up with the same result, so dont judge them because they think about things differently but still come up with the same answer.


Top