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Unread 09-28-2013, 05:20 PM   #16
ReDinTX
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...the medics working for fire departments out here seem a BUNCH happier with their jobs and don't show the burn out as much as the privates seem to.
Having worked both sides of it, private ambulance services (not EMS "911" but non emergent transports) sucks and its usually all about the bottom dollar.

fire based EMS and even third city service EMS, as a general rule, have better pay, benefits, equipment, training, and overall better working conditions (as far as coming back to a station between calls as opposed to being posted in a unit all day and living off of fast food and ER snacks.)

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Unread 09-28-2013, 10:46 PM   #17
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^^^Exactly^^^
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Unread 10-06-2013, 11:34 AM   #18
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Word of advice from a 14 year Fire/EMS veteran:

RUN. Do not pass go, do no collect $200. I was full-time EMS (911 and Transfer) for seven years at the Intermediate and Medic level. Worst time of my life, never made more than 17.50/hr with crappy benefits, had to work long shifts (14's, 24's, 48's), routinely stay late, and miss out on family/friends/etc. Working 60+ hours a week was the norm, and there was no such thing as retirement. I was looking at working on an ambulance until I was well past retirement age.

I got out, thankfully, before it ruined my home life and relationships completely. Granted I was burned out and jaded pretty bad (I still am, and always will be because of EMS) the job really changes your perspective about humanity and the United States after you've been out there for a bit. I've seen the worst humanity has to offer, and at times seen the best but that was very rare. You'll see a lot of system abuse, fraud, wasted medicare/medicaid dollars, and lying cheating POS people out there.

Now I work for a Sheriff's Office as their Chief Electronics/Communications Technician. I build police cruisers, maintain electronic equipment, and am in charge of the second largest two-way radio system in my state. I make more an hour there than I ever did in EMS, get state retirement benefits, work 7-3 Monday-Friday, holidays/weekends off, and more time off than I can shake a stick at.

But that's the opinion of a burned out, jaded paramedic.......if you're bent to getting into EMS, join your local Fire Department/EMS squad as a volunteer. Get your EMT-Basic (now just called EMT), and then step up to the EMT-Intermediate (Now called Advanced EMT), depending of course how your state EMS system works, and if they are National Registry and recognize all the levels. If you get to the Advanced level you'll at least be able to read a cardiac monitor, administer IV's/medications, and will give you a little taste of what being a Medic is like. Those two courses will only take 6-8 months to complete, and is really cheap compared to medic school. Then spend a few years as an Advanced and figure out if you REALLY want to do this as a medic, it takes $$ and two years of your life (meaning nothing other than work or school) to get it done. Then you'll get your nice $1 or $2/hr pay raise even though you have so much more responsibility and ability to do something. And get some professional liability insurance for yourself.....be prepared that if someone comes after you for something you did or did not do that your service will drop their support for you like a hot potato. They can, and will, take your car/house/everything from you if they can, so if you have a wife make sure it's all in her name so you'll still have a roof over your head just in case.

If you can, try to stay out of Private EMS unless they are a 911 only system, stay away from transfers because you'll be bringing grandma to dialysis and nursing homes all day even as a medic. And the only thing private EMS cares about is money and their contracts.....it's NEVER about the patient, only about the almighty dollar.

If you want some more advice please feel free to PM me. I'll do what I can to help.
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Unread 10-10-2013, 12:22 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by jmfirefighter20 View Post
Word of advice from a 14 year Fire/EMS veteran:

RUN. Do not pass go, do no collect $200. I was full-time EMS (911 and Transfer) for seven years at the Intermediate and Medic level. Worst time of my life, never made more than 17.50/hr with crappy benefits, had to work long shifts (14's, 24's, 48's), routinely stay late, and miss out on family/friends/etc. Working 60+ hours a week was the norm, and there was no such thing as retirement. I was looking at working on an ambulance until I was well past retirement age.

I got out, thankfully, before it ruined my home life and relationships completely. Granted I was burned out and jaded pretty bad (I still am, and always will be because of EMS) the job really changes your perspective about humanity and the United States after you've been out there for a bit. I've seen the worst humanity has to offer, and at times seen the best but that was very rare. You'll see a lot of system abuse, fraud, wasted medicare/medicaid dollars, and lying cheating POS people out there.

Now I work for a Sheriff's Office as their Chief Electronics/Communications Technician. I build police cruisers, maintain electronic equipment, and am in charge of the second largest two-way radio system in my state. I make more an hour there than I ever did in EMS, get state retirement benefits, work 7-3 Monday-Friday, holidays/weekends off, and more time off than I can shake a stick at.

But that's the opinion of a burned out, jaded paramedic.......if you're bent to getting into EMS, join your local Fire Department/EMS squad as a volunteer. Get your EMT-Basic (now just called EMT), and then step up to the EMT-Intermediate (Now called Advanced EMT), depending of course how your state EMS system works, and if they are National Registry and recognize all the levels. If you get to the Advanced level you'll at least be able to read a cardiac monitor, administer IV's/medications, and will give you a little taste of what being a Medic is like. Those two courses will only take 6-8 months to complete, and is really cheap compared to medic school. Then spend a few years as an Advanced and figure out if you REALLY want to do this as a medic, it takes $$ and two years of your life (meaning nothing other than work or school) to get it done. Then you'll get your nice $1 or $2/hr pay raise even though you have so much more responsibility and ability to do something. And get some professional liability insurance for yourself.....be prepared that if someone comes after you for something you did or did not do that your service will drop their support for you like a hot potato. They can, and will, take your car/house/everything from you if they can, so if you have a wife make sure it's all in her name so you'll still have a roof over your head just in case.

If you can, try to stay out of Private EMS unless they are a 911 only system, stay away from transfers because you'll be bringing grandma to dialysis and nursing homes all day even as a medic. And the only thing private EMS cares about is money and their contracts.....it's NEVER about the patient, only about the almighty dollar.

If you want some more advice please feel free to PM me. I'll do what I can to help.
Well said sir i was in the same boat and now work for Sprint. (cell)
Depends on were you are located as well. Only thing that pays here in WI is a flight for life medic. Otherwise plan to stay around $20/HR max
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Unread 10-10-2013, 02:18 PM   #20
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If you are simply interested in emergency medicine or healthcare, I also recommend a nursing degree over working as an EMT-B or -P. You only need an Associates Degree to test for your license and then the real education begins. There are no limitations on what you can do with it. I'm currently working on my Master's in Nursing and have spent the last seven years as a criminal investigator for Medicaid Fraud and Adult Abuse/Neglect/Exploitation. Granted, there are very few of these positions (only one in my state), but it gives you an idea of what nurses can do that have nothing to do with working in a hospital. You will need to invest some time building experience in the patient care setting though.

I've been in the fire service for 15 years and can offer two simple bits of advice for anyone looking to start a career in EMS - don't look to get rich and TAKE CARE OF YOUR BACK. (not watch your six, but literally take care of your back, you WILL hurt it at some point)
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Unread 10-10-2013, 02:51 PM   #21
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IVe been a fire fighter for over 15 yrs with 10 of those being a medic. I can tell you I would not want to work as a non emergency unit. Pay is horrible but the responsibilities are a lot less. You show up at a health care facility and pick up a "stable Pt" then transport them to another facility that will continue to care for them. All you have to do is make sure they dont die during the drive. Then theres agencies that are not related to the fire department but do emergency calls and scene work. Again Id rather have my fire engine. The next type of ems personnel here are Fire/EMT or Fire Medic. we do the same job as the rest of the medics/emt's we respond to scene and provide immediate stabilization. This is the job that I do. We work 24 on 48 off which in thoery sounds like a great gig.. only work 10 days a month but in reality I will miss a minimum of 8.3 years of my families life. I have no complaints about my current assignment Lieutenant/PM on a fire engine that runs average of 2 calls a day, but the area I cover people only call if they are close to dead. For the FF/EMT's and box medics they will tell you that LT pm's really dont do much other then supervise so our medic skills tend to suffer but I Also work the fourth type of medic job. Private agency, theme park or hospital medic. My part time job (other then my jeep) is as a PRN (as needed/part no bennies) Paramedic at the busiest hospital in my county we see an average of 300 people a day. We are also becoming a level 1 trauma center so to say I see my share of **** and get my hands dirty quite a bit. Here in FL you can also be employed as a medic at the theme parks. As for pay scales.

$12 hour
Fire EMT 38grand a year 24 on 48 off (we have 7 shift Kelly days so we have an extra 17 days off a year)
Fire Medic 45 grand a year. Im using my dept current salaries.. depending on where you get hired it could be more or less. we're in the middle
Hospital paramedic 15-19 an hour
theme park 12-18 and hour.

Since you havent really committed to a job yet and seem to be willing to go back to school I would go for nursing. Here in Central florida the demand is high, pay is good and you only work 3 - 12 hour days a week IF I wasnt close to retirement I would go back to school for it.
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Unread 10-10-2013, 04:45 PM   #22
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If youre just about the money, go nursing. If you dont like being indoors, on your feet all day, and having to ask a DR for permission before you do anything to a patient, become a FF/Paramedic and find yourself a well paying city.
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Unread 10-10-2013, 07:49 PM   #23
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Beware of the nursing recommendations. The market is completely saturated and has been for a long time. You can easily find many stories of RN grads who spent a year after graduation competing with hundreds of applicants, and still have no entry level job.

Moreover, there is another trend in progress. The day of the RN as new hire is ending. Many hospitals will reject a prospective new hire unless the candidate either has a BSN or commits to pursuing it immediately with a solid action plan, not vague ideas. The trend won't end here. Eventually, the next requirement will be the MSN.

Nursing is NOT the same as it was 10 years ago. I strongly suggest that you attend a couple good orientation sessions for pre-nursing students to get an idea of how competitive the field is now. You are in for a big surprise.
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Unread 10-10-2013, 11:56 PM   #24
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Beware of the nursing recommendations. The market is completely saturated and has been for a long time. You can easily find many stories of RN grads who spent a year after graduation competing with hundreds of applicants, and still have no entry level job.

Moreover, there is another trend in progress. The day of the RN as new hire is ending. Many hospitals will reject a prospective new hire unless the candidate either has a BSN or commits to pursuing it immediately with a solid action plan, not vague ideas. The trend won't end here. Eventually, the next requirement will be the MSN.

Nursing is NOT the same as it was 10 years ago. I strongly suggest that you attend a couple good orientation sessions for pre-nursing students to get an idea of how competitive the field is now. You are in for a big surprise.
What is in red is not true, the rest is partially true. While the trend toward baccalaureate-prepared RNs being required in most larger hospitals is true, even current Magnate-certified hospitals VERY commonly hire new RNs with an Associate degree with a stipulation in their hiring contract that a BSN degree be obtained within two years of hire. The anticipated trend that RNs be required to obtain a MSN degree for employment won't happen in my lifetime. A strong move toward encouraging an MSN degree exists because it is anticipated that primary care physicians will no longer exist with any level of frequency and Nurse Practitioners are being looked to as a means of filling that void. This is because in most states, NPs are required to only be under contract with a MD, but do not require on-site MD supervision as Physician Assistants do currently. Nurse Educators are even further behind the current need than any other area of nursing.

In February 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their Employment Projection paper and it indicates that Registered Nurses are the top occupation in terms of job growth through 2020, with an increase of employed RNs numbering 2.74 million in 2010 to 3.45 million in 2020, or an increase of 26%.

If new RN graduates can't locate a position, it is because they are expecting to land those positions that require some experience. New grads need to do their time in the trenches for a year or so to actually learn the practice. Nursing school prepares one to obtain licensure, working the entry level positions actually teaches one the practice.

I do recommend to those exploring the nursing field to enter a baccalaureate program from the start, or plan on completing a BSN degree within the first five years of their career unless they are interested in working med-surg in a small hospital or long-term care. The current "crap" health care reform, baby boomer generation, and increase in lifespan has propelled the RN into a highly demanded role. Ten years ago, I left a RN leadership position paying a very lucrative salary and promised my wife I would have another job before the end of the week. I had one the next day.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 12:12 AM   #25
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If youre just about the money, go nursing. If you dont like being indoors, on your feet all day, and having to ask a DR for permission before you do anything to a patient, become a FF/Paramedic and find yourself a well paying city.
Nursing isn't just about the money at all. I've been a RN for 15 years and have held several positions that are not the traditional "in-hospital" position. Having also worked in the fire service for 15 years, I recognize this statement as those I've heard from many medic friends who have a little income envy. Understand that I have the utmost respect for all medics as I've treated patients laying upside down in ditches under a vehicle with them, so I don't ever enter those medic vs. nurse arguments. I was one of the few in my ER that pushed for medics practicing in the ER along side us.

Twenty years ago, your statement would have some validity, but currently, it doesn't have much at all. RNs are expected to practice with more autonomy than in the past as they typically lead the treatment team. I spent many years working trauma and if I had taken the position of asking the MD for permission before caring for my patient, I'd have been out on my ear in no time. Typically, in a lot of settings, the nurse is anticipated and expected to determine the path of care and the physician simply approves or adjusts before signing orders.

If one is interested in a solid income and tremendous opportunities that are limited only by one's imagination, there is no better degree to obtain in the health care arena. However, if you are totally interested in pre-hospital care and don't mind (unfairly in my opinion) a little less in the income department, then certainly work toward an EMT-P license. Both are very honorable positions and you can really help a lot of people in either.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 05:39 AM   #26
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In February 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their Employment Projection paper and it indicates that Registered Nurses are the top occupation in terms of job growth through 2020, with an increase of employed RNs numbering 2.74 million in 2010 to 3.45 million in 2020, or an increase of 26%.

If new RN graduates can't locate a position, it is because they are expecting to land those positions that require some experience. New grads need to do their time in the trenches for a year or so to actually learn the practice. Nursing school prepares one to obtain licensure, working the entry level positions actually teaches one the practice.

...
Ten years ago, I left a RN leadership position paying a very lucrative salary and promised my wife I would have another job before the end of the week. I had one the next day.
You are out of touch with the job market because you have been employed in the field for the long term. What I told you is what anyone will find if he/she looks on the web or talks with the Nursing department at their local college. Need more proof? Visit allnurses.com and ask. You will find out real quick just how saturated the market is for Nursing. CNN also published a story a few months ago too.

Job growth and percentages are fake numbers in Nursing like they are in IT. One can spend hours reading thousands of descriptions for "unfilled" positions. There is a good reason why these Nursing positions are unfilled. Just ask anyone in IT for a similar answer. Then you will understand why there are thousands of open positions, but yet supposedly no one available to fill the positions.

What the BLS numbers also don't tell the reader is that if the projected BLS growth rate for Nursing is 26%, the percentage of Nursing students will will 260%. Competition is so intense in pre-nursing degree programs that one better have an 'A' average or close to it. At some colleges demand is so high that GPA alone is not enough. One must wait as long as 3 years to get into the Nursing program AFTER the requirement classes are completed!
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Unread 10-11-2013, 02:59 PM   #27
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You are out of touch with the job market because you have been employed in the field for the long term. What I told you is what anyone will find if he/she looks on the web or talks with the Nursing department at their local college. Need more proof? Visit allnurses.com and ask. You will find out real quick just how saturated the market is for Nursing. CNN also published a story a few months ago too.

Job growth and percentages are fake numbers in Nursing like they are in IT. One can spend hours reading thousands of descriptions for "unfilled" positions. There is a good reason why these Nursing positions are unfilled. Just ask anyone in IT for a similar answer. Then you will understand why there are thousands of open positions, but yet supposedly no one available to fill the positions.

What the BLS numbers also don't tell the reader is that if the projected BLS growth rate for Nursing is 26%, the percentage of Nursing students will will 260%. Competition is so intense in pre-nursing degree programs that one better have an 'A' average or close to it. At some colleges demand is so high that GPA alone is not enough. One must wait as long as 3 years to get into the Nursing program AFTER the requirement classes are completed!
Not so much out of touch with the job market as you elude. The amount of research I've conducted over the past year on this subject in part as a contributory effort in both projects and two papers has left me well prepared to appreciate the state of nursing positions in the U.S. I also perform criminal investigations daily that are greatly affected by staffing levels. The discussions held on sites such as allnurses.com and the piece aired by CNN do not reflect the whole story. The issue you speak of concerning a high level of competition in nursing programs has existed for well over a decade. The waiting list was over 2 years in 1995 when I entered. The problem is, once the media began to pound the shortage issue into the ground, enrollment rose - 5.1% increase in BSN programs alone in 2011. However, the competition exists because of a tremendous shortage of nurse educators. The programs simply can't enroll as many as apply. Approximately 5 years ago, the AHCA reported over 19,000 RN shortages in LTC and an 8.1% vacancy rate overall in RN positions. Consider also in 2014, the market will see an influx of an estimated 32 million newly insured Americans, many of who did not seek routine healthcare in the past due to a lack of insurance coverage. Simply put, over the past decade, the number of nursing graduates has not outpaced the demand - now add another 32 million insured to that which drives demand.

I took your advice and read over several discussions at the AllNurses site. It seems those mentioning difficulty in locating jobs reveal a regional tie, and its not incredibly strong at that, with the exception of CA.

http://allnurses.com/first-year-afte...et-838905.html

Notice that many people mention plenty of available positions in their area and many elude to a competitive market in their area, but plenty of positions in LTC, Home Health, etc. Like I said previously, new grads should anticipate working in a "general" area of nursing when starting out to learn the basics beyond nursing school. The issue with CA graduates has been a long-standing issue as well as many programs in FL. Before nursing school, I worked for the Kentucky Board of Nursing for a short while. There were only two states that the Board required to see program transcripts from for those wishing to endorse licensure to the state of Ky - Florida and California. The reason was that those two states saw a huge influx in nursing programs at one time because of the larger demand related to retirees moving to both FL and CA. Many of those programs were noted to have less than stellar curricula and high rates of NCLEX-RN failure. Because of that, many other state's Boards of Nursing doubted the training of new FL and CA nurses - unwarranted, maybe, but who knows.

Maybe all of this discussion is useless. Seeing that both of the comments that were somewhat negative toward the nursing career path originated from TX residents, and there seems to be an issue with new grads locating jobs in TX, perhaps it is better that we just agree to disagree as opinions are certainly based on what we see in our area. Apologies to the OP for cluttering up the thread with ridiculously long posts. Hopefully there is some useful information in here somewhere.

Rubi, GREAT conversation and debate! I'd enjoy continuing it, but maybe we should do it via pm or another thread elsewhere so we don't continue to mess up this thread on EMS positions.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 05:26 PM   #28
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Rubi, GREAT conversation and debate! I'd enjoy continuing it, but maybe we should do it via pm or another thread elsewhere so we don't continue to mess up this thread on EMS positions.
Just as i was about to break out the popcorn lol

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Unread 10-11-2013, 06:43 PM   #29
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Just as i was about to break out the popcorn lol

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Sorry man, as much as I love educated debate and differing opinions, that is a long discussion that I probably shouldn't have initiated here. Apologies to the OP. I'm sure we can continue it elsewhere.
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Unread 10-12-2013, 12:51 AM   #30
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Not quoting the longer posts but supposedly nursing is a quickly growing field. With the recent changes it seems a lot of docs are heading out of the field and reliance on rn's is increasing.

Anyway i looked into nursing when i was getting out of le, i knew a lot of people in the field that got paid put the wazoo within a couple years of starting. My brother went into it, he had little issue getting a job and has moved upwards well.

On the flipside and back to the op, recently spoke with a guy i knew when he was an emt that has left the field. 24 hour shifts at 6.50/hour after several years. I think mcdonalds pays better.
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