RN's challenging the Paramedic and/or EMT-Intermediate Exam in MA - page 2

I know people have a lot of varying opinion on this subject, but since I just found out about this a few days ago, I thought I'd share it with people anyways (that is to say, anyone who is at all... Read More

  1. by   edogs334
    You bring up an interesting point. Maybe paramedics would get more money and more respect if they had a degree (and a license) instead of a certification. I don't know if some states issue paramedic licenses, but here in MA the state issues certifications to people who pass the state paramedic exam.

  2. by   heavyj
    Thanks for the info regarding RN to Paramedic.
    One of the reasons I have for becoming a Paramedic is for the extra training related to emergency preparedness and disaster management.
    Also, I'd like to be able to volunteer for national emergencies like Katrina or '9-11', but all the nursing slots are full....they're looking for everything other than RN's.
  3. by   DavidNurseEMT
    ...There are nurses (that are not Paramedics) that intubate patients.

    Just an FYI...
  4. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    hi all,

    I loved being a paramedic, unfortunatly it doesn't pay the bills... Since I didn't want to have to live wiht my mother for the rest of my life I had to go into nursing, I dont mind being a nurse, but none the less my heart belongs to EMS.

  5. by   edogs334
    Reading my initial posts from 3.5 years ago kind of makes me want to put my tail between my legs. I have since graduated from my first school, worked as an ER Tech for a while, and am now in a BSN program. Boy has my perspective on nursing (and the RN-->EMTP issue) changed. When I worked on an ambulance, I thought I knew a lot about the health care system at large, how it worked, and how all the different professionals fit into the picture. I thought I knew a fair amount about illnesses and injury and how to treat them. Working in an ER really made me realize that my prehospital training barely scratched the very tip of the iceberg of medical and scientific knowledge; it made me very aware of how much I didn't know. I had no idea about how complex the process of diagnosis and treatment could be, and how much nurses had to know about subject such as pharmacology and phathophysiology. I can't believe that some EMS providers look at nurses and say "oh, that's easy, I could do everything that they do with only 1 or 2 more classes." Yeah, try and take a whole semester of pharmacology with a textbook that's 1283 pages long, let alone sticking it out in a degree program that’s 2-4 years long. Part of the reason why nurses make more $ than medics is that they have a degree, not just a certificate = much more education. Contrary to what some medics (and a few nurses) have said, more education doesn’t just add up to “useless, pointless credit hours.” Rather, education equates to more intellectual tools that are needed to see the bigger picture in health care and to think beyond one’s individual, day-to-day situation.
    As much as I say that some EMS providers are ignorant about what nurses do, there are just as many nurses that are ignorant about what EMS people do. A lot of nurses don’t know about the value of the services EMS provide outside of the hospital. Most EMS providers may only have a “certificate” level education, but they still possess a unique body of knowledge which encompasses the intricate workings of medicine outside the inpatient setting. Many nurses (even ER nurses) have yet to appreciate this unique knowledge and say “well, I could do all that after a 2-week class.” I’ve worked with some super-sharp nurses who have so much critical care/ER experience that they would have no problem functioning in the field under standing orders (with a some extra training). However, there are more than a few nurses that I’ve worked with who would be lost in the prehospital environment, because they need a doctor to give them definitive orders all the time. Therefore, I think that it’s kind of irresponsible for states like MA to let all RN’s challenge the EMT-I or EMT-P without a lot of extra training (regardless of specialty or experience). Shouldn’t RN’s have a least a few years of ER or critical care experience and go through some sort of formal training course before they challenge the exam?

    Here's the link to Hartford Hospital's RN to EMT-P program- it would be nice if there was a similar program in MA:


    Who knows. If and when I become an RN in 2 years and start to practice, maybe I’ll have yet another perspective on this topic. I guess that’s how people evolve throughout there lives. After all, there’s no challenge exam for life experience.
    Last edit by edogs334 on Dec 13, '07
  6. by   EwwThat'sNasty
    Interesting topic. I started three years ago in Med-Surg, then went to a major tertiary care hospital on fast track in the Adult ICU. One day my blood pressure hit 210/105--the next day I gave notice, and have not missed it. My training was finished--it's just oddly stressful.

    Since then I've been an Occupational Health Nurse in Industry. I will say that a couple of years in at least some ICU's does not give an RN the base that they need (usually) for EMT work. (the same amount of time in an ED may) Yes, I can run 12 infusion pumps and do this and that, but that is a world of difference from dealing with a person who just crushed his forearm through two calender rolls. Yes, I have good skills, and can triage well, and assess well, but practice makes perfect. I think that all RN's ought to start with an EMT-B. Just my two cents.

    In ICU and in Med-Surg the (what I say is a self-induced nursing shortage by working RN's to death) is creating odd nurses. In my entire career I have transfused blood products only once! (What happens is you know that -- so do that! there is simply not enough time to be trained in everything because people come
    and go so fast.)

    That being said--I'm taking a new job in the Attleboro, MA area in a factory and thought about doing an EMT-B course. One problem is, yes I can lift and carry 125lbs, but not twisting around tight stairwells--am I therefore doomed? (Low back trauma from tweny + years ago as a volunteer fireman). Should I give up the thought? Consider that I could care less about income as an EMT-B, I'd rather volunteer hours--is that possible? I want to "see," and experience how people deal with "one the scene trauma and illness." What I want to know is the practical stuff since there are times when I'm the only responder.

    It just seems to me that an EMT-B exposes one to a lot more blood and guts of the practical range of injuries in an industrial situation. Yes, I've had patients massively bleed out, (survived) and one patient whose brain matter shot out where his nose was. (no survival there.) But those experiences don't prepare me for an amputated four fingers, or partially severed wrist, or crushed foot. Yes, I know what to do, but to be good at anything one has to do it, at least for a certain amount of time, or that's what I think. Thus I'm a seasoned RN thinking that it would be very good for me to spend some time as an EMT. Thoughts anyone?

    Anyone know of a training course/center near Attleboro, (I know there is one--is it good?) Where's a good place to go to understand what being an EMT is like, what is expected, etc.?

    Oh, by the way--for any of you like Edogs334--if you've gotten or are working on an ADN or a BSN, consider working in a hospital for a few years and research the Nurse Reinvestment Act. Almost all hospitals are ok -- wipe out something like 66% of debt in three years. And for any of you getting a degree -- READ THIS:

    Get at least ONE semester of financing away from who financed the rest of your education. Most go with the Financial Aid Office and loans are through the State agency. Do NOT get all your loans from this source--Only one loan is needed from another lender--any one, all banks, other state agencies will give you the same loan, same terms, same everything except: If all loans are from ONE lender--you can ONLY refinance from that lender (and that is very, very Baaaad)

    To give you an idea of the magnitude of this scenario: My ex-wife and I have the same amount of college loans (parallel study) My interest rate is a whopping 1.6%! Hers is 7.6%. I pay $156@ month, she pays $600+. You must have two lenders to be able to refi in thebig market i.e. the competitive market. By doing one semester loans at my local bank (remember--it's the same loan, same rate, same everything, except the servicer, (who will promptly sell it to Sallie Mae anyway, I could refi from the 7.6 to a current 1.6. My ex got all her loans from the state agency and that agency will not refinance--she is stuck, and now pays almost 4x what I pay! Little know fact that will save me about $30k! Ask your financial aid office...if they even know. Thanks
    Last edit by EwwThat'sNasty on Dec 19, '07 : Reason: Why does this thing squish six paragraphs together?