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4121 No. 4121 ID: a913d5
Hey guys, serious life advice needed here.

I'm working as an ER Tech right now (EMT-B Cert). My goal is to become a Physician Assistant. I have a family I need to support, and I don't make enough as an ER Tech to do that while I'm school (I get the Ch33 gi bill, but I would like I more stable income). I'm looking for an intermediate step while I work on Bachelors degree, but I'm kind of stumped. I'm mainly considering either becoming a Paramedic or an RN (with an AS). Trouble is, a lot of people have warned me neither of these options will make me much more income, and don't really look any better on a PA application.

I've also kinda kicked around getting my Bach. Science of Nursing, but that's a really serious time and money commitment. It might look better on the application for PA though.

So I'm just kind of looking for input. Is it worth taking a little step to paramedic or ASN? Should I just go whole hog and get my BSN? Or should I just tough it out as an ER Tech?
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>> No. 4122 ID: e28d25
>Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)
Your school should be pretty much covered and you should be getting BAH + your job income.

Find a way. Look at your expenses and trim everything non-essential and go for your BSN.

The difference in being a RN and or a Paramedic (regardless of cert) is that your body will hold up better, you will get paid a metric ton more, and you will be exposed to those little pesky things like needle sticks less.

The ends definitely justify the means for the RN path.
>> No. 4123 ID: a913d5

Well there's some other things going on. I've run afoul of state residency laws so I'm still paying out of state tuition, and might have to for another year. But I get your meaning, between work and BAH that's a pretty good paycheck.

But this is my biggest concern. I'm 27. And being an RN is not what I want to do forever. I want to be a PA. And while I'm not old, I feel like the older I am when I apply, the smaller my chances of getting in are. Getting a BSN is gonna take time (although no longer than getting a BS), and move me in a different path.
>> No. 4124 ID: 5028d1
>The difference in being a RN and or a Paramedic (regardless of cert) is that your body will hold up better, you will get paid a metric ton more, and you will be exposed to those little pesky things like needle sticks less.
This. But it'll all cost you your freedom. If you do something somewhat questionable (non-protocol) as a nurse, a Doc will rip your head off for not checking with them first. If you do something somewhat questionable as a Medic, you walk into the ER and say, "yeah, that's what I did" and the Doc will nod in approval and brofist you, and say good job.

...no, really, in reality as a Medic the doc will just say "thanks" and you'll move along. But it's the freedom man, the freedom.
>> No. 4125 ID: 413bbc
This. On the one hand, being an RN or PA is better pay and better career opportunities. On the other, you've just added a metric shitton of accountability to yourself. Worst I've ever gotten as a medic for doing something Doc didn't approve of, or recommend was a "hey, I need you to do it this way from now on, k? Thanks," whereas I've seen RNs getting their ass chewed just for ordering a definitely necessary RX for a patient without confirming first.
>> No. 4126 ID: 81b22f
Not to hijack the thread, but does anyone have any advice at all to someone who is currently just about to start their Paramedic Science degree?
>> No. 4127 ID: 4a182c
The experience of being a PA/RN will differ where you are, based solely on what doctor you're under. Sort of like in the Army where the unit was awesome and then one change of command later it's fucking terrible. PA's have more autonomy though, especially in private practice.

One possible career path is... RN->NP. The difference between an NP and a PA is how they get there, but they essentially do the same thing and pay is similar. Basically it makes more sense to get the BSN, and then see where you want to go from there based on your experience since it is required for either, and gives the most flexibility.

As far as age, my father was a med lab tech at 30 when he went to PA school, and everyone in his classes were older people in the medical field just trying up their game.
>> No. 4128 ID: 5028d1
Worry about Pharmacology. Cardiac rhythms will come in time. It'll feel like you're drowning, but one day, heart junk will click and it will take you 2 seconds to look at a 12 lead and know what to do. Drugs on the other hand are just memorization.

Keep up on your clinicals. Keep in mind that it's the STREET way of doing things, not always the National Registry way of it.

Find a good group of people to study with. Tell your family and friends that you're basically disappearing for 2 years. Prepare them for that. You'll have Friday nights on shift or studying instead of going out with the guys for a beer. It'll suck but you'll all get past it.
>> No. 4129 ID: 9eaa48
>I'm mainly considering either becoming a Paramedic or an RN (with an AS). Trouble is, a lot of people have warned me neither of these options will make me much more income

How much do you make as an ER tech? My wife and my sister are both RNs and they each make over $30 an hour. I have a feeling you make less than $20 (no offense). I think the people you have been talking to are miss informed.
>> No. 4130 ID: 38dc41
my gf just got into PA school and shit is very difficult/competitive to get into
thats all i know
my advice would be to research every step you plan on taking
>> No. 4131 ID: 81b22f
Fantastic, thanks a lot.
Any particular internet resources/reading material you'd recommend for someone begining their course? Ive been reading like hell to ensure im a little bit ahead already when I begin the course, but if theres anything you'd particularly recommend, it would be especially useful to me.
>> No. 4132 ID: a59057
You'll make more as an RN, starting pay around here for them is about $25 an hour, and none of them have any trouble finding a job.

Most if the universities and schools around here also offer a one year long RN to BSN program. So you'll be able to obtain the BSN fairly quickly after becoming an RN. It's also supposed to make it easier to get I to an NP program from there since you'll already have at least a year or two of clinical experience.
>> No. 4133 ID: e86397
The gigantic textbook that you'll need to buy for Medic school. Read that then once you have the basics, ACLS, PALS, PHTLS, etc materials.
>> No. 4134 ID: 4a4256

Why sir, are you by any chance aware where a gentleman would be able to acquire a cool beverage around here? perhaps a mint julep?
>> No. 4135 ID: 5028d1
hello old friend, glad to hear that you are alive (and assuming well). I've been offline for a while now. Kind of just lurking in the background. Too many outside things demanding my time. I miss the days when Opchan was a priority.

But I'm doing alright. Tons of work, school and just moved in with my girlfriend to a nice little house in the suburbs.
>> No. 4136 ID: 5028d1
This may come out of nowhere, but I just woke up from a near coma. I worked 6 13's, off a day, 2 13's, now I'm on another off day before I go back for more tomorrow.

This job is bitter, and usually thankless. Granted I run in a heavy EMS System (Detroit). I'm sure things are different in the burbs. This job is only as hard as you make it. I'm an aggressive Paramedic. I crack my drug box, every patient gets an IV, 4 lead EKG and other appropriate care. I know some medics who's answer is a nasal cannula.

Poster with the ID of a913d5, the whole Paramedic game is set up to be able to undo anything you screw up. Push too much Fentanyl? Narcan that sucker. Give nitro to a right sided STEMI? 1,000mL bolus that bitch. Learn from your mistake and don't do it again.

In the field you will fight for every patient. You will work hard. 99% of them fucked themselves up somehow, and your job is to troubleshoot them. Like the classic "well I haven't had a seizure in 4 months so I stopped taking my meds for it."

But please, I'm begging you. Do not get jaded. Don't stop caring. When you start to, take some time off. Otherwise hang up your stethoscope and leave your truck keys at the door.

Find a partner who is smarter than you. I don't want to work with someone I can't depend on. Side note: I've been working as a make shift Field Training Officer because of the influx of new guys hitting the team. They are cleared for the road but not cleared to get put with another new guy yet. I don't really mind it, because I'm confident. But I like working with my regular partner.

I don't know where I'm going with this at this point. Good luck with school. Get excited for it. It's going to change your life. No matter what you do after you get your Medic License, your resume will never be looked at as average ever again. Even if you go outside the medical field. You'll show that you can critically think, work outside the box, work well as a leader and on a team, and handle high stress situations with ease. Oh, and the cliche "failure is not an option" line.
>> No. 4137 ID: 4a182c
  Also this.
>> No. 4138 ID: a237fa
Really appreciate your contribution, as a newbie its very useful to hear from someone who knows what theyre talking about. Are there any common mistakes carried out by new medics that I should be careful of?
>> No. 4139 ID: 038051
Jesus Christ, Bushwacker. You need to get your ass over to the PNW promised land and outta Detroit before Snake Plissken finally shows up. Move on over and join up with KC Medic One.
>> No. 4140 ID: abf330
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>> No. 4141 ID: a913d5
Thanks for the input guys. I think I've made up my mind to not go the RN route. It's too much a career option and I feel like it's gonna distract me from what I really want to do.

The only thing that sucks about going the Paramedic route, is that in my area the EMS is run by the fire department. So that means I have to become a fire fighter, which opens up a whole 'nother set of job issues. But at least I'm on the path to do what I want to do.


Thanks for the input man. Thanks for what you do too.
>> No. 4142 ID: 5028d1
I'm never leavig Detroit. For the rest of my life I can say I was a Paramedic when Detroit was at it's lowest point. Plus Emergency Medicine isn't my carreer end game.
>> No. 4143 ID: a913d5

Are you a firefighter too, or is your EMS separate?
>> No. 4144 ID: f84db5
>The only thing that sucks about going the Paramedic route, is that in my area the EMS is run by the fire department. So that means I have to become a fire fighter, which opens up a whole 'nother set of job issues. But at least I'm on the path to do what I want to do.

So what? You don't necessarily have to work in the same area after you get your cert.

After I cert up (And finish the lolDegree) part of my education, I'm moving most of the way across the state so I can work in a podunk county first, where it's BLS by nature and the medics roll out for no-shit calls. It'll be easier for me that way, going out and having a year or more worth of field experience, to then come back across the state and get a job with a Metro area EMS service, and whoever's looking at your app knows that you're not some newbie fresh out of school, and that you must know your shit pretty well, because when you're out in the middle of nowhere, county, 90 miles from the colorado border YOU ARE IT. It's not like you're working in a big metro area and you're 15 minutes from a hospital, when you have to spend 40+ minutes to ride into the big medical center, or land a bird out in somebody's corn field so they can fly your patient into Denver or wherever. You really get to see those changes & trends in your patients that you wouldn't necessarily get to see with short runs.

Besides, cross-training as FD isn't a bad thing either. Some places, like KCKFD, ONLY hire medics, and all their medics have to cross-train as FD anyways. It's just another skill set to have, and something else that looks badass on the resume.
>> No. 4145 ID: a913d5

Moving is a little bit harder when you have a family. Plus, fire fighter jobs are just very hard to get in my area. But I know how the game works, take whatever you can find to get the experience to get the job you really want. Same as anything else.

Now I just need to figure out how to pay the out of state tuition fees for this coming semester...
>> No. 4146 ID: 5028d1
I work for a private company that does the primary backup for Detroit EMS and like 5 suburb cities. We back up a few other suburban cities as well. Last Tuesday Detroit EMS staffed 7 units from 8am to 7pm. It was a busy day for everyone.

No, I never went to fire school. I have no desire to. In my area every FD only hires medics. I'm going the Psychology route. My two old roommates are now on full time departments (but that was always their plan).
>> No. 4147 ID: a913d5

That's a big thing that stinks for me. I'm in a rather large metro area that's rich with fire departments. There's only a few private companies. I applied for a BLS truck with one of them, and when they called back to confirm they had my application they warned me that the private companies only get called in on really big accidents, or to do transports for some of the smaller outlying suburbs.
>> No. 4148 ID: 038051
That's close to my impression of things here. KCMO responds to every 911 callout. If it's bad, the patient is riding with the medics. If it's something pretty minor where time isn't an issue, an aid car responds, does their thing, then one of the private companies comes along and does transport so the aid car can go get turned around faster. So if you're with a private company here, you're not terribly likely to see most of the really "Oh shit" stuff.
>> No. 4149 ID: 5028d1
My company did that for a while for two of our smaller mutual aid cities. It turned out that the call volume was too high for the aid car. It was decided that my company would just run secondary response as a primary car. So if the local FD is out on a medical (they only have 1 ALS rig) and another one comes in, we take it.

In the beginning of that contract we did the generic, priority 3 bullshit. Now I'm taking some of the most critical STEMIs and other medical maladies that I've seen in my life out of that small city.
>> No. 4150 ID: c574bd
moving to archive
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