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Hi all,

 

I became an EMT when I was 16, and I am now a sophomore at my undergraduate college.  Most of my EMS experience has been volunteer (aside from a few temporary paid opportunities).

I was wondering how I should count my total hours of "prior healthcare experience..."

 

As for my volunteer hours:

  • Can I count the total number of hours I was on duty?  Or can I only count the hours that I was actually interacting with PTs? 

For my paid hours:

  • If I was paid for a certain number of hours as an EMT, can I count all of those hours towards the HCE requirement?  Or only the hours that I had direct patient contact?

 

Thanks for helping out guys!
-Steve from NJ

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The second you clocked in, wether it was paid or unpaid, you're now accumulating HCE. There's no way you'd be able to write down the exact minute you got the call and the exact second you began working with a patient, this would turn into a nightmare for CASPA and countless applicants trying to sift through the exact details of your specific hours. By all means, do not lie but do not go insane with sorting which exact minutes you were touching or talking to a patient, lump it all into one chunk of HCE. At your interviews, they'll invariably ask about your HCE at which point you can enchant them with your tales of specific patients and calls, but don't worry about that so much with CASPA.

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I have about five years of full-time, paid and unpaid EMS experience. When I was filling out applications (CASPA and others), I found that it depended on the program. Some were fine with whatever number you put on CASPA (for me, it was the total number of hours I was on duty, and since I worked in a very busy, inner-city area, I felt like 95% of that was actually patient contact), some wanted additional verification in the form of a paystub history from my workplace, some on supplementals wanted me to re-estimate my total hours based on the percentage of hours I felt I had accrued direct patient care and not just on duty time. 

 

I would say just be prepared for anything, and put a number on CASPA that you feel you can justify/live with. :) 

 

Good luck! 

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As per the above responses, ALL the hours count for CASPA.  Individual programs may have other ways of calculating things, which is just as much their right as adopting grade forgiveness policies is.

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Count all your paid hours that you were working on the ambulance; don't count hours in dispatch or on a medicar.

 

Volunteer hours can be nebulous, especially without knowing what exactly "on-duty" means.

  • If you had a scheduled shift and had to be in quarters unless on a call, then count those hours (essentially an unpaid job).
  • If you carried a pager 24/7 and responded from home/work/school/etc. when you were available, then I would only count the hours actually on a call. 
  • If you had a scheduled shift and were required to respond, but went about your day and responded from whatever you were doing when a call came in, then I would only count the hours actually on a call.

My advice: email CASPA , explain what "on-duty" meant, and ask them how to count those hours.

 

Definitely count all hours while on calls, not just with the patient, as documentation, clean-up, and restocking are valid health care experiences. 

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Thanks for all your help everyone.  It's going to be a mess figuring out exactly how many hours I have (on calls/on duty).  I should have done some better documentation myself... but I'll make sure it all works out in the end.  Thanks again!

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Thanks for all your help everyone.  It's going to be a mess figuring out exactly how many hours I have (on calls/on duty).  I should have done some better documentation myself... but I'll make sure it all works out in the end.  Thanks again!

doesn't have to be exact, just needs to be honest.

for example as a medic I worked 10 24 hr shifts/mo + occ. overtime. I didn't keep track of the o.t. hrs so I counted 240 hrs/mo x 12 mo/yr X yrs. accurate, no. honest, yes in that I underestimated.

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