Emergency Med Dispatch???

  1. Hey everyone,
    Not too sure what to think of this... I saw an opening for an Emergency Medical Dispatcher at the police station thats half a block away, (I could walk across the street to go to work= no long commute), it's good pay + benefits (which we don't have any right now, family= 2parents +2yo son= need benefits!). I am currently a CNA but I will be starting the LPN program in August.

    Is the cert. for this tough/ too much to do during nursing school? (It says you must be certified w/in 6mo)
    Has anyone done this?

    Would it be too stressful w/ school? (I'll have to work part time anyway)

    My ultimate dream/ goal is to work in the ER sometime after I get my RN and experience, would this be helpful?


    Yay or nay?

    Thanks to all
  2. Visit SunRose7 profile page

    About SunRose7

    Joined: Aug '07; Posts: 54; Likes: 25
    Mommy,Nursing Student,CNA; from US
    Specialty: Med/Surg/Ortho/Uro/Rehab CNA

    9 Comments

  3. by   SunRose7
    Sorry, I'm bumping the thread up again because I need a job and advice please!
  4. by   Medic09
    It's likely folks here don't have any experience with EMD. I would find and ask on an EMS forum.
  5. by   SunRose7
    Yeah, ya never know what people do before/ during nursing school though. I've met a lot of nurses (mostly male) who could give me landscaping/ business/ etc. advice. Really random sorts of jobs and nursing was their 2nd profession. So I figured theres a ton of people on here, maybe someone would have an idea to two from their "past life" lol.

    Also I'm not sure how much their advice would help except finding out what their job duties are more in depth & stress level, because they might not even be considering nursing & not know what taking a job like that while in nursing school involves??
  6. by   Flare
    I'll be honest with you, most people choose dispatching as a career choice instead of a bridge job between schooling and a career. While I have never actually been a dispatcher, I have spent a great deal of time interacting with them and have a few friends that are dispatchers. The job is stressful and very busy. Don't think of it as a job where you get to spend a portion of the day studying during the slow time. It also requires a lot of focus. You will likely be fielding calls from harried people who are panicking and you must be able to remain calm and focused to get the information and make sure they got the information you are trying to give to them. I know that i'd be like "9-1-1, what is your emer.... oh look, a bird flew by the window!!"
    Assuming that your LPN program is going to be a full time gig - as most are - a monday to friday 8-4 type thing, it doesn't leave you a whole lot of time to work when you factor in study time. Plus i don't know too much about the certification process, i'd imagine that it has something to do with learning how to give instruction over the phone and learning about the different types of emergencies. I am not necessarily trying to talk you out of this, i am just letting you know that you may have to pick one and roll with it. But it could'nt hurt to contact the police station to get more info about the certification process of the job.
  7. by   Medic09
    I think those last comments are on the money.

    The exception would be if you're talking about a sleepy little town somewhere that does its own combined PD/VFD/EMS dispatch. I worked in an EMS service in an area like that. We got average 4 calls/day. PD got a few more than that. VFD often had days with no calls. So the dispatchers actually often could squeeze in some time for studying. BUT, even in a place like that, Murphy's Law still applies. The shift that you're counting on study time for the big final in XYZ will guaranteed be the shift that sets records for the most calls for help in one day in the last 50 years.
  8. by   SunRose7
    haha, that is very true about murphy's law. for that reason i have never depended in getting a job where i could study... no matter what they say the work load is like. and i do in fact live in a tiny town where the fire dept, police dept, justice center and library are just about in the same building lol. thanks for the advice guys, it's new, different and interesting to me!
  9. by   Neveranurseagain
    I too have experience as a paramedic and actually dispatched a few times when they were all at a class-it was scary and wierd being on the other end of the radio. It was pretty cool though, fun and demanding, requiring a lot of multitasking. You will probably be required to work rotating shifts, and this may interfere with school. I did see an opening once though, for an LPN to work in the jail prn, treat/assess city employees that were injured (first aid, mostly bandaids, BP checks, etc.) as well as do back up EMD. Being an LPN/RN could be an assest too, if they pay you extra for your skills.
  10. by   Crux1024
    i attended an ASN program with a guy who was a emer. med. dispatcher. He would roll into class 8am, after a full night shift, somehow make it through, and then go home to sleep. As the semesters passed, he put in more evening shift hours, rather than night shift hours, but he made it. He said when he had down time, he was allowed to study at work.

    I would think a desk job would help with thhe studying aspect, but a CNA job would give you some exposure. Its up to you. He did fine. I dont see why you wouldnt either.

    Good Luck.
  11. by   rngolfer53
    Quote from dandyandi06
    haha, that is very true about murphy's law. for that reason i have never depended in getting a job where i could study... no matter what they say the work load is like. and i do in fact live in a tiny town where the fire dept, police dept, justice center and library are just about in the same building lol. thanks for the advice guys, it's new, different and interesting to me!
    don't forget o'toole's commentary on murphy's law: murphy was an optimist. :spin:

    i've never dispatched, but i've been dispatched as a ff/emt, and i've sat in with dispatchers a couple times as part of training. you have to have amazing patience to do the job well, because quite a few calls come from absolute idiots.

    you also need the ability to problem solve over the phone, both with callers and responders, as something always goes wrong, as murphy so aptly noted.

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