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  1. Pretty much everyone here covered it beautifully, but since its such a big part of my job (triage, I'm a tech) I feel compelled to chip in. Triage sucks. Its the worst. You basically had no idea what you were in for. It happens to all new people. Triage, when done right however, is not nearly as frightening (although you have to keep your head ON. A. SWIVEL.) It also takes a lot of practice. That being said, to get anywhere in EM, you'll have to toughen up. Its gonna sound crazy, but you'll have to stare people that are "only" in pain and not dying (or dying slowly) right in the eye and let them sit out there and marinate. People will yell at you, threaten you, fake seizures/pass out, drunkenly sleep out there through an MI/CVA/badness. You will look at them, make the call to let them sit out there longer, and have to be able to sleep on it. I will go ahead and make a point here that I'm not a provider and that I understand the angle is slightly different, but it doesn't change the fact that when there are no beds, there are no beds. Think about it; did all 4 trauma bays have patients in them (the last beds that get filled)? That's common in my shop - meaning if you walk up with a GSW to the chest I'm still gonna have to move people around to get you where you need to go. Agree with the providers in here; prioritizing patients based on actual vs. perceived resus needs is a hugely important skill for those of you practicing medicine. I noticed it mentioned earlier in the thread but I'll reiterate it, since its one of my favorite points. Nothing compares to the gestalt training you get in a busy ED triage. Nothing. I don't care how badass the medic runs are, seeing 100+ people pouring through your doors over 12 hours completely undifferentiated is prime, prime experience. I make sure all the new hires get this point when they complain about their assignment. I hate it too, but learning the eye test through practice is priceless. One quick point (might have been covered already). Are you well versed with triage ordersets? Tests that can be run quickly and can help rule out major issues, or improve patient flow? 12-leads, trops, head CTs, extremity/ortho films at earliest indicated time (AC separation vs. dislocation would change bed placement here), HCGs, type-cross, probably a bunch more I forgot or don't know. Likely someone at your ED already knows this cold; find this person (who could be the cranky charge) and learn the system. It can only help.
  2. I know this is an older post but it made me think about something I've been trying to be "zen" about recently. I get irritated at the weak traumas that get called mainly on criteria alone, but try to keep on my toes as...this is the result you don't want to have. That lady meets trauma criteria even with the report of ambulation at the scene, much less triaged to fast track.
  3. Thats a nice thought, but FYI, it doesn't fly with me when nurses say "you're my tech" for the day. Learn to go about your business with your head low (so it doesn't attract heat).
  4. Medicine is full of ego. The techs on the floor can have an attitude sometimes, the same ones that put ECG leads on backwards. The best lesson I ever learned was quiet humility. You need to know it regardless - it just happens to also help when you are around other suffocating egos.
  5. Yeah sounds like you've covered your bases. You should be on the job and have a better idea too if you are involved in a legitimate enterprise. If the job feels sketchy then you know somethings up. If they have you doing stuff that "feels" very standard within the office, then you are fine.
  6. Try tutoring, or explore some other options through your university for helping you pass the class. Talk to your professor(s). I agree that you should have the capacity to pass the class with an A. Doing class and working is difficult, I agree, but likely is your only option, and it is possible... Your interest is clearly there and I think you have something in you that will get you over the hump, so to speak. Second, I think an EMT class is a great idea for you, when you can swing the time. Class should be first in this moment, but when the option presents itself, find an entry level healthcare career and get your exposure to medicine that you want so bad. It will help you immensely to see actual medicine happening (to combine with the science you learn at school). Good luck.
  7. And this is semantics, nothing against you MT2PA, but it does help my point somewhat. Generally, low level hospital positions are "certifications" as opposed to "licenses." This gets somewhat fuzzy with some of them (I have heard them called CNA licenses before, and it does fall under the board of nursing) but there is sometimes a difference. Example - "EMT-B certification needed" for hospital ER tech position. This wording can mean they are looking for someone that (hopefully) has those skills, preferably currently holding license (proof they have been tested on skills, only SOMETIMES mandatory and ONLY for the hospitals gratification/policy, not to satisfy any law. Can be worked around with varying levels of success). However, this would be different from the job posting for an ambulance company that needed you to have an active, good standing NREMT-B card and DL in order to clock in at all (law). There is obviously greater hiring flexibility with the former. Anyhow, its exhausting the bureaucracy we deal with in reality. I do have sympathy for those of you in Florida and other states where this is common.
  8. Well, I defer to your experience with the state of Florida, but I stand by what I say in general. Its almost universally not well enough understood. ETA: In the interest of helping OP, my healthcare experience was also started with a 2 week crash CNA course. I have fond memories of leaving knowing nothing but how to make hospital corners (which I guess my mom had been teaching me all my life already - sorry mom). That did in fact get my foot in the door, which snowballed from there.
  9. I have said this time and time again, but it can't hurt to cold call departments. Your experience likely vastly overreaches anything taught in a CNA class, and while it would take you a minute to get up to speed in a civilian hospital, your previous experience would be more than enough to hang, provided you know how to work hard. Hiring managers and those of us in the department know this. There is not ALWAYS a hard and fast cert rule like many people think. Often it can be fudged around, especially when you consider that most of us are either A. no official qualifications B. "at the level of" qualifications (ie I was an EMT and CNA before, both are now lapsed but I have the requisite experience). Remember, for the most part, we are not licensed, and MAYBE certified. Unless you apply to a hard and fast licensed position (EMT-P, LPN), its worth trying. Even then, they often times will take you to fill the medic spot because in the long run, it won't kill them that you can't do lines or tele transports when you are filling an open scheduling spot (me). I have so many examples from so many states and situations that I could go on and on (not Florida though). Its really worth trying, show your hustle.
  10. Is the job market really that strong that employers genuinely think this? "I realized that employers know that if someone is professional and intelligent enough to earn the title of physician assistant, then they will almost assuredly be a good worker."
  11. So, I am looking for schools that value HCE. I have noticed some with minimum requirements of 2000 hours (which to me still seems to place the school in the non-specific category regarding HCE), and am familiar with some old faithfuls (like MEDEX) but am looking for the rest of these schools - with your input. My grades shouldn't be a hindrance to many programs, but I guess I figure that the schools mission might align best with my own in this way. Thanks
  12. I'm not sure if they removed all tuition data or just from the programs I looked at (I haven't gone through all of them), but I don't think that information is there.
  13. PA programs. I have seen 6k (guessing that was in the past), and a bunch of 30k's. I may need to brush up on my googling but have yet to find a site or page where schools have been organized by cost. Very concerned about money is all. I will get out of undergrad with no debt and would like to keep that positive momentum going.
  14. What are some of the cheapest schools then, for comparison?
  15. This so much. When you read the Yahoo article or whatever, notice its always spun as a grad school to consider for people in undergrad, or even pre-college. Very different than how the profession is in our heads. Reality is probably somewhere in between.
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