EMT Course or EKG Course before applying to the RN program?

  1. Hi All,
    I hope you are having a fantastic holiday season! =)

    I am currently studying for the Teas exam and finishing up a few more pre-reqs but I looking for some advice/tips.

    I already looked into CNA courses in my area. Unfortunately, it's a first come first serve based on priority registration at my school. I don't have priority, obviously. So I looked at other CNA training nearby and it is very costly. I'm talking $2900 for 8 weeks. So heck no!!!!!--I just don't have the means to afford this!

    With that being said, I am now looking into taking an EMT course perhaps to get exposed to side by side patient care experience. My long-term goal is to work as an ER nurse so I'm not sure if this is a good idea.

    On the other hand, there is an EKG course offered at my school. I can take it but I am not sure if this benefits me for my nursing goals.

    Thank you in advance<3

    Happy Holidays!
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   thecareerchanger
    Hello! I am a current accelerated BSN student who took both phlebotomy and EKG prior to starting school. Honestly if I had to do it all over again I think I would have just saved my money. Unless you get a job while in school that look for those specific credentials (the per diem job I have currently does not require either training) I honestly feel its not necessary. EMT may be OK (several of my classmates are EMTs) but again if you are not going to actually use the certification while in school, it may not make sense either. Just my opinion. Also some hospitals hire nursing students with clinical experience to work as PCTs or aides so I would just focus on getting as much experience as possible from clinicals and save your money!
  4. by   Destined4Nursing 2019
    Thanks, Thecareerchanger,
    I appreciate your advice. Good luck to you on your adventure<3
  5. by   akulahawkRN
    Of the two, I might suggest the EKG course if the course is more than a simple "lead placement and STEMI recognition course. There's a LOT to being able to interpret the 12 lead and quite honestly, the average EM Physician is OK at it but it takes a Cardiologist or someone that's really into studying the art of 12 lead interpretation to really pull subtle details out of it. In a previous life I was a Paramedic and the module we had in class was more than a STEMI recognition course but it wasn't super in-depth either.

    Notice I said I was (actually still am) a Paramedic. I did my EMT training 20 years ago and Paramedic shortly thereafter. I started nursing school 6 years ago. Did the experience of doing EMS for 7 years and having a very public-interactive job help me with nursing school? Yes. Did it help me much after about 3rd semester? No. I got a lot out of having that experience but for the first couple of semesters but that simply allowed me to concentrate on the didactics and not have to worry as much about the clinical stuff. Most of my classmates had very little, if any, prior medical experience before starting nursing school.

    Furthermore, I would actually recommend saving your money and not do either program/course. EMT isn't going to be all that helpful unless you actually work as an EMT during school and I wouldn't recommend that. You're not going to learn to apply stuff and make it useful to you in a relatively short ~150 hour program otherwise. I would highly suggest that if you are going to take one of those courses, wait until after you've had all the cardiology education in nursing school before starting the 12 lead course. You'll understand the material presented in that course far better at that time.

    So... do neither for now. That's my advice.
  6. by   Destined4Nursing 2019
    Thank you for your advice. I'm really thinking about saving my money now. I appreciate your time and efforts!

    Happy Holidays!
  7. by   Wannabenurseneko
    2900 for a CNA course ! , now that's crazy if CNA courses cost that much where I live I would just save my money and go straight to nursing school .
  8. by   emmjayy
    Yeah, save your money. Your instructors aren't going to expect you to be the most amazing nurse in the whole wide world from day one on clinical. I started nursing school with exactly zero medical experience and have excelled so far. They teach you what you need to know, and skills-wise, they expect from you only what you've been taught to perform.
  9. by   Destined4Nursing 2019
    Lol trust me I agree with you. I'm like that's insane. Haha ������
  10. by   Destined4Nursing 2019
    Thank you. This is very helpful !
  11. by   elijahvegas
    Both are going to teach you a very minimal amount of whats involved with nursing to be quite honest. Not alot of emergency medicine translates over to nursing school--in fact i found i got more confused tryibg to switch my brain from emergency to the basic nursing stuff you get taught.

    And as far as ekg classes go, that will help you maybe through the cardio section of schoolx which is like 3 chapters and maybe 4 tests throughout the program. And then the nclex will ask you maybe 2 or 3 ekg questions and theyre going to be basic as all heck.. like identify vfib, ideintify vtach and identify asystole

    If youre trying to pretty up your application maybe emt but only if it wobt delay you from applying. I find both of these options to be minimal yield in terms of payoff
  12. by   Destined4Nursing 2019
    Thank you very much for your feedback!!!

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