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Should I get my EMT Basic?

Pre-Nursing   (6,408 Views 8 Comments)
by KeepCalmCarryOn KeepCalmCarryOn (New Member) New Member

1,758 Profile Views; 12 Posts

Hello everyone,

I am thinking about going through the EMT Basic program at my local community college while I finish up my last pre-req (physiology) in fall 2011. The program is a 5 hr lecture/lab course plus 1 hr clinical for one semester. Would this be too much to handle while also taking physiology and working part-time? I am mainly thinking about it because my current job is not in healthcare at all and I would like to get some basic training and experience before I am thrown like a dear in headlights into nursing school! I also have been thinking it might be a good part-time gig while I'm in nursing school? Anyone done this or know someone who has? Is it unrealistic? If so, I'm wondering what kind of other position (preferably paid) I can attain that will help me gain some experience while I'm waiting and after I get in. Now that I've made my decision I'm itching to get started on something...anything related to healthcare!

Thanks!

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29 Posts; 1,040 Profile Views

You could always be a CNA.

My best friend took an EMT-B class while doing our pre-reqs (this is years ago, and I took a few years off before actually putting forth the right effort in school). She ended up failing her pre-req classes, but loving the EMT class.

If you really fall in love with it, you could always become a paramedic. There were several EMT's in my A&P class, some wanting to be RN's some wanting to be Paramedics, but all wanting to do emergency care. I suppose there's something about it, that maybe it gets in your blood.

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212 Posts; 7,114 Profile Views

an EMT is a great choice if you want to do emergency medicine and want to start out and you can work as ER tech after you get some experience.. i took a EMT course at my local community college a year ago.. i would say taking physio and doing an EMT class is do able.. as long as you dont take anyother classes.. do you have study time at your work?

i dont know where you live but some places in the country are overwhelmed with EMT's and there is not enough jobs. (california mainly) so thats another thing to keep in mind...

another thing is the shifts are more rough when your an emt, usually we work 10,12 or 24 hour shifts (sometimes even 48 hour shifts) so you have to be able to handle long shifts..

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2,139 Posts; 16,479 Profile Views

It's easy to do. It wouldn't be too much for you. Most people that take it are full-time workers, and many of them are often taking something else in school as well. It's really not a difficult class. You'll enjoy it. I think you should do it, but of course I'm biased.

How will it help you with nursing?

You'll already have exposure to patients, and EMT preceptors are generally more casual than nursing preceptors. I've never met a clingy one. You'll know how to take vitals, and you'll already have pretty decent assessment skills. You'll think to yourself "scene safe, BSI, ABC's" when you do everything, lol.

When I went through basic EMT school we only had to do 24 hours in the ER. That was easy, and we could show up when we wanted, do what we wanted, and leave when we wanted. On top of that we only had to have four, emergency ambulance runs, and you didn't have so spend entire shifts with the ambulance crew. I never did. Paramedic school, on the other hand, had more clinicals than my nursing program does - not counting the ambulance component.

Most of the people that go through an EMT class (again in my area) never do it intending to become EMTs. Many often do pickup a part-time job somewhere. Some do it out of interest. Others do it to be prepared. Those are the two reasons I did it. Some get sent by area industry (plants, factories, etc.), and the remainders want to become paramedics or do something healthcare. Then you get a lot of police (which I later got into) and fire both professional and volunteer doing it as well.

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12 Posts; 1,758 Profile Views

Thanks for the advice everybody :) You are right about the hours MusicEMT...I'm not sure I would want to work 12 to 24 hr shifts while in school. Perhaps a CNA would be a better choice. In fact, I have already applied to many positions as a CNA, but without previous experience and no training, I'm sure I was quickly shifted to the bottom of the pile. I haven't had any calls or emails. But I'll keep trying! I'm sure it's easier to get a job as a CNA once you've already been accepted to nursing school. I have also met some CNAs who had no previous experience in healthcare and got the job purely based on recommendation and were trained by the hospital.

Btw, I would eventually like to become an OR nurse (I think!).

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224 Posts; 5,001 Profile Views

Another thing to keep in mind, if you currently live in or ever move to a rural community, you may be able to volunteer as an EMT and sometimes the city will pay for the training. My father is the coordinator of a Volunteer Ambulance and volunteers alongside a lot of nurses and other individuals who have other full time jobs. You do make a small bit of money, but its mostly about giving back to the community. I dont know how well that would work with a school schedule, but its something to think about after you graduate and settle down? Personally, I would obtain my CNA and try to work as one during school. You will probably have better options for hours, and you will be working alongside other nurses. Good luck in whatever you decide! : )

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382 Posts; 7,408 Profile Views

If you think you want to work in the ER I'd recommend it, but otherwise I think a CNA class would be a lot more helpful...There are a lot more CNA jobs available out there too, and CNA training is more relevant to nursing than EMT, unless you know you want to work in the ER. Around here CNA's can work as ER techs too, so if that is the case where you live the CNA might make more sense.

The CNA training would definitely help you land a CNA job...I don't know many employers that will hire CNA's that aren't certified.

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akulahawkRN has 3 years experience as a ADN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in Emergency Department.

3,435 Posts; 27,456 Profile Views

One very minor thing to consider is that if you eventually decide to get into transport nursing, being an EMT may be somewhat attractive to an employer as sometimes the local EMS agency may require two EMTs on an ambulance. An RN does not normally qualify as that 2nd EMT if the RN is not also certified as an EMT... At least that's how it is in California.

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