Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Advice Anyone?

Hello everyone. I was recently laid off from my job due to a budget cut. There, I was a Security Guard/EMT, but if you ask me, I was more of a secretary than anything else lol. I thankfully found a new job, but this time as a paid EMT. I'm a member of a volunteer first aid squad in my town but to go from volunteer to paid, well that's just a HUGE jump, at least in my eyes.

I joined the squad in my town a couple of years ago for reasons I'm not even sure of. Our squad, along with many other volunteer squads were struggling and dying for EMT's, so taking the EMT course was just kind of the next step. I wish I had some meaningful reason as to why I became an EMT but sorry guys, I don't.

Although I did well in the class and passed everything with flying colors, to this day I swear up and down that I shouldn't have even passed any of the tests and even the state test. My new job obviously will entail answering emergency calls and I feel like I'm no where near ready. I try to answer as many calls with my squad and even sign up for more than one duty crew night a week. Sometimes up to four. I feel like the effort is defiantly there but the lack of call volume and certainly the lack of confidence defiantly doesn't help my situation.

I will hopefully be starting at my new job next month and will have to either get over my fears and suck it up or be jobless. I know this blog was originally started has a place for EMS workers to tell their stories but I come to this blog looking for advice. With that.. advice anyone?

(Yes, I did do a similar post a month or so ago.. but did I mention I REALLY need advice?)


Bernice said...

Just remember to stick to your ABCs. If you have those three covered, they should arrive in no worse condition than when you found them. Also, never be afraid to refer to your protocol book (I do often) or check with med control. I'm pretty sure the doc would rather you ask him than to do harm. (Not that you would.)

Also, I am a fan of the phrase, Fake it till you make it. Trust me, feigned confidence will go a lot farther than you think.

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Morse said...

I used to worry about everything until I realized that nobody expects us to reattatch a severed arm, cure cancer or bring people back from the dead. Bernice is right, Airway, Breathing and Circulation; once you have that covered it is all just common sense from there. The protocol book is a big help. I've been doing this for a very long time yet every week I need to take a peek.

Good luck and stop worrying!

Michael Morse said...

There should be a protocol book in every ambulance. I don't know if your state requires it, but in RI the protocol book comes from the Department of Health and outlines exactly what is and is not expected of EMT's in the field. Our EMT licence is actually an extention of the state director of emergency medicine's licence, the protocols are what protects him from liability. He and his staff develop and update the protocols as needed, it is our job to follow them.

Bernice said...

I agree. There should be one in every rig. Ask you supervisor for one and just take a peek every now and then. If you run a call for syncope, when the call is done, look a the chapter on syncope and compare notes. You will be fine. And the fact that you are asking these questions and worrying makes me thing that you are going to be just fine. You just need a little faith in your skills.

Evil Transport Lady said...

You could also do some reviewing on the net, never know what advice you could find out there.

Good luck!

EMS Chick said...

I agree with Michael and Bernice. Also, if your state/county doesn't require a protocol book on the ambulance (mine just did about 3 years ago, we're slow) there are EMT-B pocket guides you can get with basic info. But again, it's all about ABC. EMS is common sense, if it's bleeding make it stop, if it's not breathing make it start, a BVM and a band aid go a long way!

brendan said...

...Are there EMTs graduating school without actually seeing the protocols they will be working under? Was the concept of protocols covered in your EMT class?

I don't mean to sound insulting to you personally, so please don't think that.

MedicThree said...

Like Bernice said... ABC. It is ALWAYS that simple.

Brendan--stateside we go to schools that are independant from ems organizations(usually). We are not tought specific protocols for a service till we are hired there--then we are given the protocols and sometimes tested on them.

The protocols vary greatly from service to service and state to state. EMT-B's in a neighboring state can start IVs, do nebs, etc, while EMT-Bs in my state can do very basic BLS. Only paramedics can do ALS skills in my state.

There are pros and cons to this system.

Remember a few simple things: if a patient doesn't LOOK sick, they often aren't. If a patient does LOOK sick, get your ass moving!