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MedicalIAmA EMT working the Christmas holiday, AMA!

Dec 25th 2016 by runforestrun00 • 36 Questions • 800 Points

Q:

Can you chose to not work this weekend? Do you get paid extra?

A:

Personally I volunteered, I don't have any family engagements until next week and I wanted to give people a chance to be with their families. And yes, on calendar holidays we get paid time and a half.


Q:

HTx for reply. Is this a govt job or private? Are you unionised?

A:

I am a private service contracted by a county.

No we are not unionized. No need to be in my area.


Q:

What's the most common call out for this holiday?

A:

Unfortunately we see a large amount of cardiac arrests and mental health calls.


Q:

Another one. Do you think the nature of your job brings abnormal stress to your "normal" life? Has it been a problem? How do you handle work/life balance? Stress releivers?

A:

Everyone has a different way of dealing with stress, in EMS we tend to joke around a lot, and as providers we tend to have a crude sense of humor that many find repugnant. It's our way of compensating for the stress of the job. Of course we need our outlets, mine is range shooting. But the most important part of the job is leaving work at work, my girlfriend has the understanding that I'll talk about my day if I want to and she doesn't ask about it if I don't bring it up.


Q:

Is that show Nightwatch?? I hope it is. I like Nightwatch.

A:

Yes!


Q:

How many times have you heard the Q word already?

From our rig to yours, Merry Christmas and enjoy the psych calls!

A:

Not today! But it was a "silent night"


Q:

Granny dumping - is it something you see?

Allegedly in the U.K. some families feel they just can't cope with their very frail elderly relatives and due to a lack of social care over Christmas find ways to get them admitted to hospital for a day or two of respite enabling them to enjoy their or go away on holiday?

A:

I've never seen it nope!


Q:

Will you wish people a Merry Christmas tonight? And, do you carry candy with you en route? What kind?

A:

I will!

I do not. :( (Service policy)

If I did it would be Take5 candy bars!

Merry Christmas ambiguous username!


Q:

I'm sorry, us pilots just seem to rub off on them!

A:

Hey I love the pilots, guys we call for transfers are some crazy m**fers, they fly in the worst weather to get a PT delivered fast.


Q:

What is a flight medic?

A:

Someone who is trained in critical care, often with the equivalent training of a nurse, that flies in a rotary and fixed wing transport. They often take critical patients from hospital to hospital or field to hospital depending on the severity.


Q:

With a van as your office, where do you take your restroom breaks? And what happens when you get a call when you're in the middle of a stubborn deuce?

A:

Fortunately I work out of a hospital as a base! However this is a double edge sword, while bathroom opportunities abound, we are asked to help the ER when they are busy (which is often).

But if the tones go off while dropping off the kids at the pool, pinch it off, wet wipes the shit outta that shit and get in the truck.


Q:

Do you carry a sweet switchblade or anything? IIRC EMT's are one of the few people that can carry a spring assisted knife on them...cuz of job stuffs. In my state, even with a concealed weapons permit, you still aren't authorized to have that kind of knife. I know benchmade [for instance] makes a special line of knives like that.

thanks for doin what you do.

A:

My service allows no weapons to be carried, if we feel we need protection Police are authorized to ride in the back with us. However I do carry a window punch seat belt cutter that could be used in an emergency I guess.

Merry Christmas!


Q:

I have not once, in 10 years as an EMT, used either of those things. Even though they're always around. I always wondered why everyone had a seatbelt cutter, when almost everyone had shears in their pockets.

A:

I've actually been in a situation where sheers couldn't get the job done on a seatbelt. Glad I had my cutter with me.


Q:

Have you ever been unable to remove a patient from the home due to their weight?

A:

Yes, it required 3 police officers, our backup rig, and the fire department. (Around 700 lbs)


Q:

Paramedic here, but not on a truck today. I hope you stay safe and have a lot of station time.

Did y'all make your own Christmas feast at the station?

A:

Chili, sandwiches, cinnamon rolls, etc!!


Q:

Have you ever worked on Xmas day in previous years? If so, what was the weirdest holiday-related incident you've encountered?

A:

Foreign object stuck well...erm...up a chimney...the culprit? A Christmas ornament.


Q:

What's your all time favorite soup??

A:

Cheesy potato from Outback Steakhouse


Q:

How many tacos can you eat?

A:

Ask your mom.


Q:

With the opiate epidemic what it is in this country do you have to use narcan more often around the holidays? Do you think that police and fireman should carry narcan with them while on the clock?

A:

Our county is one of the more progressive and already has officers that carry the Narcan that can be given nasally. However some of the new synthetic drugs that are around us now aren't even affected by the drug due to the chemical make up of the compound.

The more we try to find better ways to save people, the more some idiots find new ways to die.


Q:

Keeping it alive. In your profession, is there a contingent of people that are doing the job, but really want to be doing something else? I mean, "I'm dong this EMT stuff, just till I can be a ....."?

Its common in my industry that everyone wants to be a big show international CEO, but they are "just teasing" until they magically learn how to become tycoons.

Happen in your? Want to be doctors or something?

If so, how do you feel about these people?

A:

I guess a lot of people in my company aspire to become flight medics but for the most part the people I work with are working in this profession because it's what we love (it's certainly not for the pay).

Edit: We are all for these guys, we love the people that aspire to be better providers and want to learn more!


Q:

For me it seemed like 50% of the EMTs were waiting for a Firefighter position to open up.

A:

This is true, I will be applying for FF/EMT positions next year.


Q:

Any advice for someone starting a paramedic program in the fall?

Happy Holidays!

A:

I absolutely hate paramedic students that won't ask for help. If you don't know about something, ask. Your preceptor is willing to answer questions pick his brain about everything. If there are no calls ask for additional training or how you can help them.

Merry Christmas!!


Q:

Has anyone "shot their eye out" this year? Did you have this job back when "Jarts" were still a thing? Any other toy related injuries?

A:

No Red Ryder BB guns here, we've seen an uptick in drone related injuries in the ER.


Q:

How often do you get called out at night on Christmas? It's 1:30am where I am (in Australia so technically Christmas is over but anyway) and I can hear an Ambo, Cop or Fireman zoom past every 30 minutes. By contrast at this time on a regular day of the week we get one... I live near a main and busy road as well

A:

Where I'm from about once an hour


Q:

Any drunk santas?

A:

Not this year :(


Q:

How long have you been certified? I got my national license a few months back and have been working at stations with low call volumes. Any advice for a newbie? Wish I had something better to ask.

A:

Going on 3 years, for a station with low volume, get in the back of the rig and pull EVERYTHING out, learn where it all goes and put it back then to it again. Be able to know what your medic is asking for and get it. Learn what exactly your scope of practice entails (i.e. Spiking a bag, placing 12 & 4 leads, etc.) Ask your on duty medic to run you through some situations etc!


Q:

Why is it that the EMT/FF squad goes to the grocery store driving either the ambulance or the truck? Do you guys finish up a call and just decided to grocery shop for the station?

A:

Both are possible, we have all our gear on the truck at all times so if we need to get some food for the station we take the rigs so we can be dispatched at 100% strength if we get a call.


Q:

Am I the only one who read this as Christmas ent ?

A:

Yes.


Q:

I have a DNR certificate. Where would you first look for it if my neighbor would find me in a near death state. I was told to put it in plastic and in the freezer. Is that correct? Merry Christmas to you.

A:

Wear a med alert bracelet or necklace and have a copy of the DNR on or near your person.


Q:

How extensive is the paramedic training and do you think it would be worth it for someone who is just looking for more training and experience in the medical field? I'm currently a undergraduate student and trying to decide if I want to go to med school or not. I feel that going through the training would teach me a ton and also give me a better idea of what I want to do.

A:

EMT-B is more than enough, I used to be pre med and found out that I like the pre-hospital setting MUCH more than being stuck inside all the time. Feel free to PM me with any questions, it sounds like we are very similar.


Q:

EMT here. Thanks for volunteering to work today. I have many times in the past. How busy is your service (call volume per year) and do you ever expierence weirder calls during a full moon as rumors suggest?

A:

About 1500 a year for a rural county.

And no I see no correlation between the two, how about you, any crazy stories?


Q:

Do they give holiday pay/incentive?

A:

Time and a half pay.


Q:

Hey, me too! Do you and your partner try to meet up with any other trucks for a meal or anything like that?

A:

Our hospital sponsors a meal!


Q:

Any advice for someone looking to become an EMT? I'm starting out by getting an EMR certification; how did you get your start?

A:

I got my start through the Army but the EMR is a great place to see if you like Emergency Medicine


Q:

Do you ever actually look for ICE contacts on someone's phone? Or documents in the freezer?

A:

See another post in the thread about this thanks!


Q:

What qualifications do I need to be an EMT?

A:

About a semesters worth of schooling, BLS (CPR certification), mandatory reporter certificate, updated Vaccines, a chauffeurs drivers license, and whatever else your service requires.

Edit: more stuff