EMT in place of Critical Care

  1. Hey all,

    I have decided OHN is for me, a perfect married of my BS in Exercise Science and nursing. Problem: most employers want RN with acute care experience. I am doing the LPN-to-RN, but won't be able to start for another year - Fall 07. Question: I was wondering if I took the EMT course and volunteered for two years prior to getting my RN if most employers would accept that as my acute care experience?

    I know I can get the jobs w/o the acute care experience as I was recently offered an OHN job without the experience. I had to turn it down though, the drive was over an hour, and would be at 0100. So bummed to have turned it down too. It was with Tyson foods and would have been a wonderful experience. I would have gained so much.

    I feel if I get the acute care experience I would be more marketable. What do you guys think?


    PS Any suggestions on how to fatten my creditials while I wait to start LPN-to-RN? Certifications, other volunteering, etc. Anything is helpful.
  2. Visit volsfan profile page

    About volsfan

    Joined: Oct '05; Posts: 39; Likes: 5
    Hospice Case Manager (RN)
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in Hospice, Pediatric, OB/GYN


  3. by   traumaRUs
    Will bump this for you. I have no experience with OHN but wanted to wish you luck.
  4. by   EricJRN
    No experience with OHN here either and I'm not from your area, but in my own job search, my EMS training and experience have been points in my favor, but not substitutes for any required nursing experience.

    In other words, an ER that requires two years of ER nursing experience generally doesn't care how long I've been a medic, but I will have an advantage in an ER that hires new nursing grads.

    Then again, every employer is probably a little different and I think you would have fun in EMS training. I know I enjoyed it.

    One thing you might consider is trying to get some LPN acute care experience. I think an employer might be more likely to accept that as opposed to prehospital/EMS experience.
  5. by   volsfan
    Thank you for your response. Sometimes when you're in the forest you can't see the trees and feel lost! Unfortunate for me the hospitals in my area rarely hire LPNs. There are not any acute care facilities, but I will continue to search for something that will give me the skills necessary. Whether it be as an LPN or getting the EMT and volunteering.

    My thinking is that as an OHN your job is to keep a critical person stable while waiting for the ambulance. So, the EMT training would help with that, as I feel least confidence in that arena. As far as the everyday first aid, overuse injuries, and the like I am very confident.

  6. by   NurseFeelGood
    Yongue- I am not in your area but I work for the company you mentioned as an OHN and I do love it. We play many roles and see many issues. Mostly work comp issues but often you feel like a school nurse only with adults. Team members will come to you with everything from heart trouble to a mosquito bite and of course you have those that you know "fake" to go home although of course we can not judge but must "assume" they are telling the truth. I love this line of work and have found it is the only job that I could see myself actually retiring doing. Good luck to you.
  7. by   volsfan
    Thanks Sweet Home Alabama! I actually moved to Illinois from Daphne, AL almost a year ago. My husband got transferred up here. I have to say we just got back from visiting and we miss it so much. We are planning on returning, hopefully sooner than later! Where in AL are you?

  8. by   CharlieRN
    This old news, many years old, but I got my emt before my RN. I thought I would be able to earn more as an emt than as an orderly. In fact my emt and $1.50 would get me a cup of coffee. Police and fiefighters with EMTs earn a good wage, because they are police or firefighteers.

    The fact is the EMT was a great course that has been a resource through years of nursing. Nursing school teaches poor emergency care.
  9. by   jackiemc08
    I was an EMT in the emergency room before I became a nurse. It helped me to get my first job in OH, 12 years ago. If working in industry, they want someone who can handle an emergency and a variety of situations.

    I now have an MSN and manage an occupational health clinic at a hospital. I would hire someone with EMT experience.
  10. by   jthewood
    I too am/was an EMT, and a CPR/1st Aid instructor, and a CNA, and a medic in the Army. Oh yeah, I also have a BS degree in Health Science/Emergency Medical Services. All that and $1.50 get me a cup of coffee..........at 7-11, not Starbucks.

    Seroiusly, if you want good pre-hospital acute-care experience, EMT is a great place to start. You could, however, get the same type of experience in a hospital by getting an orderly-type job in an ER. EMT is a lot of training and I wouldn't waste the time if I didn't have to. I agree with jackiemc08 that my experience helped me get my current job, (Safety Officer), but I also think that EMT is not the only way to get experience and not everyone is cut-out for pre-hospital care.

    I'm returning to school for an Occ Safety and Health degree or BSN. I'm choosing BSN because I think it will offer me greater variation in job opportunities in the future. I've found many Occ health jobs in my area that require RN in addition to Occ health training to get the job.