Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Giant Paramedic Education Misconception

Considering paramedic school? Already been through paramedic class and wondering what went wrong? Well, don't worry- your old pal Pedro the Paramedic is going to clear up a couple of things- maybe show you where you went off course. (pun intended)

First of all let me tell you in no uncertain terms- YOU WILL NOT LEARN HOW TO BE A PARAMEDIC IN PARAMEDIC CLASS. Sorry- paramedic class exists to give you the answers on the Registry exam. Period. You learn on the streets. You learn how to be a paramedic by paying attention to the human condition. Get it straight or get out.
Second- there is no magic checklist that some instructor is going to hand you to clear everything up. No mystical text or flip book or protocol. You have to use your head. Again- sorry, but it's all on you now.
Hey- here's a quick story. I had a medic student preceptee several years ago who just could not catch on. She was always flipping through her ALS pocket guide or screaming for the protocol book. She's one of the few paramedic students I have advised to give it up. She didn't- she went on and passed the medic test and got a job with a suburban EMS service- an ex-EMS service of the year. I ran into her in the ambulance bay of a local ER one day. She was shuffling through a big stack of hand-written note cards. She looked like she was going to cry. I asked what was wrong and she told me this- " Well, the guy we brought in was really bad. He was having a lot of trouble breathing and by the time I found the right note card he was dead." True story. Don't be like that.
That's it for today- hope that helped. See ya out there.

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