December 15, 2010

Moving Beyond EMS?

The short time I've been involved in it, I have loved EMS. I love the freedom that it entails. The ability, that as a Paramedic, I make my own decisions on patient care in the field. The fact that I am actually OUTSIDE dealing with the public.

But, ever since I started medic school, I have had countless people tell me the same thing: That I am "too smart" to just stop in EMS.

My two instructors in medic school told me that I should continue on to medical school. I thought nothing of it really at the time. However the past couple of weeks at my new agencies academy, it was brought up several more times by people.

Not only did the academy instructor, a CVICU RN / Trauma RN and a flight medic for longer then I've been alive, told me that he didn't see me staying "just a Paramedic" but continuing on for my CRNA, PA or MD, but most of the people in my academy, Paramedics with over 150years combined experience, said it as well. The instructor even said "I've known many medics, and just from meeting you I can tell with a year or so of experience, you're going to be one helluva medic". I didn't know how to respond, so I smirked like an idiot.

My reputation proceeded me as well, to my FTO. I get to my new station on my first day (more on my first day later) and one of the first things he says to me is "So I've been told you're some kind of genius", and proceeds to quiz me. After the quizing, he states "Yeah, you've definitely got the knowledge, now you just need the experience to be a great medic".

Ever since I neared the end of medic school, I had toyed with the idea of getting my PA. It interested me somewhat to be a mid-level provider, and actually make a pretty decent living, and I could specialize in emergency medicine. I had also thought of doing a bridge to get my RN (no reason a medic needs to spend 2 years to get their RN...). I never even considered MD or DO, because quite honestly, I suck at, and hate, math, and going that route would be just too much math. Funny thing is, science and biology just click with me, but math is a no go.

I know I eessentially HAVE to branch off in to something else, as physically I can't be a Paramedic for 40 years, and if something happens where I can't work in the field, I'd be SOL. I'm 22, so I've got time on my side still, but before I can even think about PA school, I need to finish my degrees. I stopped halfway through my CJ degree to do Paramedicine. I still need to go back and finish my EMS associates. After that, I was toying with a BA in Emergency Management, as many PA schools I know require a BA minimum. Then, and possibly only then, would I be able to go to apply to PA school.

But like I said, need to finish my degree first, so I've been looking at colleges that offer life credit for my Paramedic (since I didn't go to a college for my Paramedic program). Hopefully I should have my EMS degree within a year of finding said school.

But beyond getting my associates in EMS, I'm lost as to what's next. RT? RN? PA? Or heck, even medic school? I guess only time will tell.

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