So Mr. Medic surprised me the other day. Mr. Medic, Van and I were having a chat after class, cleaning up the room, washing coffee cups, etc. We were discussing the potential lack of ALS support in the area. One long-time paramedic passed nursing exams and turned in notice. An EMT-I is retiring. Last year we had a summer season paramedic on staff, this year not.
So here's the stats for our area:
~1,000 square miles covered (500 road miles)
3 ambulances (plus 2 local volunteer)
5 AEMT (2 don't go on calls much)
~20 EMT (maybe 10 are actively responding to calls)
I brought up the question, "Since our EMS service is largely law enforcement based is there a precedent for someone who works in another department, say, making maps, who also was an ALS provider..."
"Funny you bringing that up." said Mr. Medic, stretching his arms up behind his head, "But I've been meaning to talk to the Pit Boss about that very thing. There's an AEMT class supposed to be scheduled next winter and I want to get you in it."
"I'm sorry, what did you say?"
I mean, I'm not the smartest kid in class. I'm (relatively) old. And loud. Out of shape. And a pain in the ass. I constantly feel dwarfed by my fellow EMT students' skills and total recall of inane crap out of the book.
I have to read, and read again, and research when there's not enough information given.
I need to know why something is happening, and why what we're doing is fixing it.
My original plan consisted of finishing up EMT class, getting through exams, hitting my graduate school classes hard (while working and running with EMS) then re-evaluate in two years when my comps and thesis are behind me. Should I then go on to Paramedic, at least I wouldn't be trying to do that along with grad school.
I never considered the middle ground.
According to the new scope of practice, AEMT is 150 more classroom hours, and 100 or so clinical/field Doesn't seem like much, but it's double what I've just gone through.
Now my original plan is pushed to the back burner. I could do a 6 week AEMT course all in one go. Plus clinical/field hours. I'd have to take leave from my job, travel 1000 miles out of state, but it wouldn't cost me any tuition.
So what's the down side? It's not being a paramedic. But at this stage there's no class close enough to my home anyway.
What's the next step? Convincing my boss that me being out of the office for 6 weeks will work. Gulp!