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RN to Paramedic

Nurses   (1,506 Views 8 Comments)
by blueskedoo blueskedoo (New Member) New Member

549 Profile Views; 2 Posts

Does anyone know how to go about challenging the EMT/Paramedic exam? I have wanted to also work in the trauma setting and would love to do this. I have been told in the past that all I had to do is challenge the exam, but I do not know where to accomplish this. Thanks!

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21 Posts; 857 Profile Views

Your best bet would be to contact the state EMS office; each state has different requirements and procedures. At a minimum, you should have BLS-HCP, ACLS, PALS and ITLS certifications. An EMT-basic course may also be required.

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74 Posts; 1,607 Profile Views

We had an ER nurse in my paramedic program back when I went through. My state (NC) does not allow a nurse to challenge the exam. You have to do the complete program, including EMS ride time. In my opinion, that is the correct approach because the two disciplines are so different. I am very glad to have done both, because it give me a rather unique perspective (and a lot of respect) for both nurses and paramedics.

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1 Article; 1,905 Posts; 15,762 Profile Views

Each state has different requirements; however, many require some kind of formal education prior to obtaining paramedic credentials. In addition, I understand some states have a pre-hospital RN credential.

I would be very careful about simply trying to challenge and test out as a paramedic. (If your state even allows this.) EMS is a very unique animal and you must utilize many skills and modalities that are foreign to nurses who do not have a strong EMS background. Scene management, advanced airway management, communications, extrication, and general EMS operations are some examples. I would strongly urge you to consider some kind of transition course or actual paramedic program prior to acually working as a medic.

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Neveranurseagain has 26 years experience as a RN.

866 Posts; 13,768 Profile Views

I used to be a paramedic/RN. I had to go thru the entire paramedic program as the state did not allow challenges. There are some things to think about--at that time the state nursing board did not like dual certifications in the health care field--if you are working as a paramedic you can only perform procedures allowed as a medic--when working as an RN you can only do things that an RN is trained to do.There is no "crossing over" of skills and drugs to be administered. One time I was working as a medic and had an unstable chest pain pt to transport 3 hrs away as it was snowing and a chopper couldn't fly. The pt had a nitro drip and after we loaded him in the ambulance I realized I had crossed over--as a medic I couldn't take a nitro drip as that was an RN skill--you can't work as a medic and RN at the same time. So we unloaded the pt, went back to the ER where we had to get an RN to go with us--even the rural hospital had a hard time understanding that crossing over was not allowed. Another thing--are you independent enough to work without direct medical direction--that can be a difficult hurdle. When all hell breaks loose on the scene, it's up to you to rein in chaos. I Also. the working conditions are different--stopping 3 times to put the chain back on the ambulance in the snow gets you all wet and you stay wet for hours. Hanging upside down in a car when it is 100 degrees starting an IV on a trapped pt can be difficult. The other thing a medic program teaches you is to work with anyone--you have to depend on them for you life sometimes. Yes, I was held at gunpoint and watched a pt kill himself, then had to try to resuscitate him as I was the only medic. The medic program taught me to perform under extreme stress not found in a hospital. Would I do it again? Yes--being a medic isn't a job--it's an adventure. Final advice--ride with your local EMS provider for many shifts before you make the plunge--I have had RN's want to be medics but after a few shifts they back out.

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bigsyis has 24 years experience and specializes in ER, Occupational Health, Cardiology.

519 Posts; 5,062 Profile Views

I live in a very remote mountainous area. Even with a good tail wind, it takes an ambulance >20 minutes to get up here. For several years when I was a CEN and working ER, I was also a Volunteer Firefighter/First Responder, state certified in both, as well as in vehicle extrication. I was also on our Search and Rescue Team. Because we had no PMs on our department, but did have several EMTs (I precepted most of them during their ER rotation), our County EMS director allowed me to work as a Paramedic within our County. When we got an AED, I was the only one allowed into the lock-box of ACLS drugs, if they were needed. If the AED was used when I wasn't able to be onthe call, it was not even taken off the rescue truck. We did not have an intubation kit, but I was allowed to use an EOA, and did. Our Station was, and is, one of the highest-ranked in our state for both fire and EMS, for its size. When my husband (who was also a dept. member) became disabled, I had to be at home w/him, and couldn't respond to calls or even go to training. Ultimately, I had to resign from the department. It was one of the saddest days of my life.:o

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83 Posts; 3,035 Profile Views

If your state is anylike like Iowa insofar as the rules governing nurse exceptions you need to complete and certify as an EMT-Basic before you can proceed to function as a Paramedic-equivalant. And that is up to the service medical director. They make the rules as far as how far into the realm of Paramedic-equivalancy you are allowed to practice.

As others have stated check your state's EMS office's web site.

Ayrman

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