Have any of you Emergency Medical Technicians had really bad experiences?!

Question: Have any of you Emergency Medical Technicians had really bad experiences.?
Hi there.

I am looking to enter the EMT program (basic) at saddleback college, CA. The reason for this is because I want to see what the experience is when you are dealing with people who are in need of immediate emergency health care.

You see, I plan to enter the Physician Assistant program that is offered at USC in 2010, but I felt that first I should do this to see if I have what it takes to help people in this way.

Have any of you EMTs been through rough horrifying experiences.? How about any diseases.? Have you met anyone working as an EMT who caught HIV or Hep-B.?

I'm looking for what to expect. Thanks!
Health Question & Answer

As a Paramedic/RN over 19 years I have seen my share of good and bad.

First of all being an EMT/Paramedic makes you able to do the best assessments on people. You get a real quick sense of "sick". This will help you as a PA.

For situations you see. It may not be the big ugly MVA or suicide that causes you to stress out. It may be a smaller situation that effect you. For most emergency workers it is a large event that is the "straw that broke the camal's back" Be aware of what your triggers are, spousal abuse, drunks, the regular customers, druggies. etc

As for catching HIV, HEP etc, it is lower risk. if you use the proper safety equipment. There is a risk in an career and the reported cases of infectious contamination is low. Sorry to say some people have tried and have hidden their lifestyle risky behaviour in their job. BUT, it is still a risk higher than a laypersons job.

It is a great job and I still enjoy what I do.. Watch the burnout and the triggers of what affects you. If you are bothered by something. TALK about it and seek the critical incident couselling. Many emergency worker crawl into substance abuse instead of saying they are human.

The best thing I say to myself is "It is not my fault an accident occured but I can do my best to provide excellent care and compassion.Health Question & Answer

First of in general being a Paramedic or EMT is nothing at all like being a physician's assistant.

Yes, I have been through rough horrifying experiences at work. I have seen car accident victims that are in 2 or more pieces, to seeing the result of a person putting a shotgun in their mouth and pulling the trigger. I have been peed, puked, and pooped on. Hit on, kicked, punched, and verbally assaulted. Exposed to multiple diseases; everything from Tuberculosis, to bacterial meningitis.
I have been called for everything from a child getting hit by a car while riding their bike, to the caller wanting me to change their freaking light bulb for them.
The thing about EMS is you have to love it. Becoming a paramedic, or emt is much like a person becoming a teacher. You do not do it for the money, you do it because you feel it is your calling in lifeHealth Question & Answer

If you are going to go through the EMT program and ambulance time is part of your program, you have to prepare yourself for the worst. You have to remember that as a PA you would not be seeing the worst of anything. Even the ER personal rarely see what the EMT sees. When the ambulance shows up they have to deal with the most extreme part of an accident.

Depending on what you feel comfortable with, I would check with the college and find out if that is part of the class.

As far as diseases they use the same universal precautions and are under the same risks as anyone in the medical field.

I hope that I haven't changed your mind, but if you think about it a Doctor and an EMT deal with very different situations.Health Question & Answer

You really can't prepare yourself for what happens.
You see the pictures and you go over the scenarios hundreds and thousands of times but when it is happening in front of you, all of that goes out the window. Its like you are seeing it for the first time. After a while of course you start doing the same grind over and over and it just seems normal to see people dying.

Don't get me wrong though, it definitely has it's perks.
You get to make a huge difference in people's lives.
Whether they are the patient or not you almost always make an impact on someone everyday.

It is most certainly a great career field that i encourage anyone interested in the Medical field to at least try.
Good luck with everything and I hope you have as much fun as I do.

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