Volunteer as a EMT?

  1. I'm thinking about volunteering for my local Fire/EMS Squad. I have been in Nursing for 11yrs and want to experience new things! This squad gives you free training as an EMT-Basic. Just wanted to know if any other nurses have done this. What was your experience like? Was it hard to separate the 2 roles EMT vs RN? Thanks in advance!
  2. Visit FINDURPASSION profile page

    About FINDURPASSION

    Joined: Aug '05; Posts: 35; Likes: 1

    11 Comments

  3. by   911fltrn
    When i first attended Emt school i was an adult critical care r.n. Most of what you learn in EMT school you will find you already know. While most are studying you will find it isnt necessary. Some interesting things you will learn are immobilization and extrication skills. I would encourage you to volunteer. Your skills will be greatly appreciated. Also you never know what you going to get when you go out on a call. SOme states will allow you to practice as an EMS-RN (nevada has a special liscense for this) Depending on what your experience and skills are. Good luck what i ever you choose to do. I greatly enjoyed the 5yrs i worked as a flight nurse.
  4. by   sirI
    Quote from FINDURPASSION
    I'm thinking about volunteering for my local Fire/EMS Squad. I have been in Nursing for 11yrs and want to experience new things! This squad gives you free training as an EMT-Basic. Just wanted to know if any other nurses have done this. What was your experience like? Was it hard to separate the 2 roles EMT vs RN? Thanks in advance!
    Hello, FINDURPASSION,

    I, too, did this. I am an OB-GYN and family practice nurse practitioner and decided to do the EMT course at the local community college a few years back. This was great. I loved going on the calls, the extrication. Not at all difficult to seperate the two professions. It really helped me when I did ER call as the sole healthcare provider, too.

    I also, was asked to lecture the EMT students on how to deliver a baby.
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 26, '05
  5. by   edogs334
    Three words: GO FOR IT.

    Especially because you live in the suburbs of DC- there are some excellent Volunteer fire departments that you can volunteer with. I suggest that you ask your local volunteer FD if you can do a ride-along as a 3rd/4th person on their ambulance (if you haven't done that already). I'm from the Boston area, and work as an EMT for a private ambulance service that does mostly transfers (read: boring), so I envy your position. Hence, I am seriously thinking about going to nursing school (hopefully next year) in MD or northern VA. Are you from Maryland or Virginia? Either way, you will probably have your pick of departments that would be willing to take you on and train you as long as you committed to being a member.
  6. by   FINDURPASSION
    Thanks everyone for your replies. I will definitely do a ride along soon. I too am a OB/GYN NP, but looking into pursuing FNP or ACNP. I would like to work in the ER or OR perhaps.
    Are there any other states that utilize RN-EMTs?
    Edoggs, I am in Maryland and good luck in your endeavors!
  7. by   edogs334
    I don't think Maryland utilizes RN-EMT's, although you can try to contact MIEMSS (Maryland Institute for EMS Systems) about challenging the Cardiac Rescue Tech or Paramedic Exam (once you become an EMT-Basic):

    http://miemss.umaryland.edu/

    I believe Virginia has an RN-to-Paramedic bridge course:

    http://www.vdh.state.va.us/OEMS/Training/tprog.asp

    One caveat, though. I'd recommend getting at least 6 months-1 year (depending on your comfort level) of experience before training for and/or challenging any of the Advanced Life Support certifications. Given your credentials as an OB-GYN NP, however, I'd say take at least 6 months to get used to the pre-hospital environment before jumping into ALS training. Like I said, it really depends on how quickly your confidence develops (in terms of working on an ambulance). Just like in nursing, there are a lot of little things that one must get used to while working on an ambulance.
  8. by   FINDURPASSION
    Quote from edogs334
    I don't think Maryland utilizes RN-EMT's, although you can try to contact MIEMSS (Maryland Institute for EMS Systems) about challenging the Cardiac Rescue Tech or Paramedic Exam (once you become an EMT-Basic):

    http://miemss.umaryland.edu/

    I believe Virginia has an RN-to-Paramedic bridge course:

    http://www.vdh.state.va.us/OEMS/Training/tprog.asp

    One caveat, though. I'd recommend getting at least 6 months-1 year (depending on your comfort level) of experience before training for and/or challenging any of the Advanced Life Support certifications. Given your credentials as an OB-GYN NP, however, I'd say take at least 6 months to get used to the pre-hospital environment before jumping into ALS training. Like I said, it really depends on how quickly your confidence develops (in terms of working on an ambulance). Just like in nursing, there are a lot of little things that one must get used to while working on an ambulance.
    Thanks for the info! Can you tell me which certifications are needed? I would love the opportunity to advance to Paramedic!
  9. by   traumaRUs
    I live in Illinois and we have a Pre-hospital RN which is a license through the state. I have volunteered on my rural squad for six years now and absolutely love it...I wear bunker gear and do fire calls also! I love the extrication. The guys are really good - although I had to "prove" myself. However, I really love the volunteer aspect. I too echo the "go for it!"
  10. by   edogs334
    Quote from FINDURPASSION
    Thanks for the info! Can you tell me which certifications are needed? I would love the opportunity to advance to Paramedic!
    EMT-Basic is the rudimentary certification that everyone needs to start working on an ambulance. I'd say take the EMT-B class from your local Fire/EMS department first, and then look into challenging the Paramedic exam. If you can't challenge the medic exam in MD, one other option might be to contact the National Registry of EMT's directly (the national certifying body of all EMT's). I believe Maryland uses the National Registry exam for EMT-Intermediates and Paramedics. Also, there is a PDF file of all the Maryland state prehospital provider levels on the MIEMSS website that you might find useful (it's under "Licensure and Certification.").
  11. by   jensdandy
    Quote from FINDURPASSION
    I'm thinking about volunteering for my local Fire/EMS Squad. I have been in Nursing for 11yrs and want to experience new things! This squad gives you free training as an EMT-Basic. Just wanted to know if any other nurses have done this. What was your experience like? Was it hard to separate the 2 roles EMT vs RN? Thanks in advance!
    I did the opposite of what you are planning. I have been in EMS for the past 13 years. Because it was initially a volunteer service they paid for my education from basic all the way through paramedic. I love working on the ambulance but was also interested in the ER. I began working in the ER 4 years ago as a tech, loved what the nurses were able to do and started going to nursing school. I just finished and passed the NCLEX on 09-22-05. Coming from an EMS background as well as working as a tech in the ER, I found that I did not have to study much for nursing while others were struggling. I intend to keep working part time with the ambulance and full time in the ER. I think you will love it! Being out there and first on the scene is wonderful. The adrenaline rush you get just hearing the pager go off is something else. I think they would be happy to have you on the team....Good Luck!
  12. by   RN1999P
    Yep, going form Paramedic to RN isnt hard at all. I did the samething. I found that I didnt have to study at all to get my Nursing Degree, everything I needed to know, I basically learn in Paramedic class. I took a Bridge Program that took me less than a year. Now going from RN to Paramedic is harder because you will have to learn all the Trauma, procedures, and how to function without a MD in sight. Good Luck though, after you finish EMT, I would go into Paramedic and Learn some really cool stuff you would never do as a RN.
  13. by   ufmedic
    I didn't really have to study in nursing school either. I graduated second in my class for my BSN and only bought the pathophysiology and maternal-newborn text books. As a surgical intensive care nurse my assessment, critical thinking, and emergency skills that I learned in paramedic school have been more useful than anything I leaned in nursing school. Orem's self care deficet theory doesn't do anybody much good when your septic patient needs an epi drip and a plasmalyte infusion for a pressure in the 60's. EMS and nursing 2 completely different world but a lot of the skills and knowledge overlap. I think that you will enjoy EMS if you are looking for a little bit of a change. I still work part time as a paramedic for fun.

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