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HCE: Pharmacy Tech versus IFT EMT-B

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Hello everyone!

So in pursuit of attaining HCE for PA school, I recently became a NREMT.  I got my first job soon after with an IFT private EMS company that turned out to be quite shady.  Not to get to into it, but coming from prior career, I have an expectation of professionalism and was appalled at the sanitary and safety conditions of the equipment, and the constant flirtation with MediCare fraud.  Needless to say, I resigned very quickly and am looking for something else.

 

Which brings me to a question.  I have 5 years experience as a Pharmacy Technician.  This was while I was in high school and then during college.  I was quite good at it, and enjoyed the fast paced environment and managed to learn a lot about medication and disease.  In looking around at some of the schools I'd like to apply to next year, I noticed they accept Pharmacy Tech experience as HCE.  Seeing as I learned more doing Pharmacy Tech than I believe I would learn doing simple Interfacility Transport ambulance work . . . . 

 

1) Would pharmacy tech work be better?

 

and 

 

2)  Is my experience of 5 years as a Pharmacy Tech too old?  (This was 15-10 years ago before my big office-based career).  

 

Thanks for any input, I really appreciate it.

 

 

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1) No.  After a certain point, you aren't going to learn anything significantly NEW as a pharmacy tech, you're just going to learn the same job BETTER.  After 5 years, I think you're maxxed out on what an Adcom will see as your learning in that position.

 

EMT stuff, even IFT work, puts you as the provider (or one of two) in charge of a patient life.  Granted, it's a stable patient else they would send them with a paramedic or nurse rather than an EMT team, but it's still YOU in charge of a living, breathing (for now) patient.  It's a specifically different type of patient care experience, and I would count it as superior.

 

2) Possibly.  It would depend on what you've done since, but I would like to see a PA candidate be currently working in medicine while applying.  Anything else is a red flag, at least in my mind.

 

Yes, my friends who work BLS ambulance are constantly being pressured to write statements on medical necessity of transport that do not coincide with reality.  The amount of things done in medicine solely for billing purposes would probably boggle your mind if you knew--it's a very dirty, slimy world... In many ways, not dissimilar from organized crime.

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Thanks @rev ronin.  Those were my gut-reactions.  

 

I have a lot of experience with insurance companies in my previous career, and I'm well aware of that aspect of it, and while it's less than ideal, I can deal with that.  Just need a modicum of professionalism/safety overall.  I won't participate in outright thievery.  

 

BTW, I've read your posts and been encouraged by your experience as a career changer and advice to others.   

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Thanks EMEDPA. Yes I'm all about getting a tech position, but it's hard without experience. I don't list my pharmacy tech work on my resume (it's so long so!) so I am thinking of switching it up and seeing what comes of it.

 

A minor setback. Will stay the course with EMT.

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FWIW, the bulk of my HCE is certified pharmacy tech experience (over 1500 hours). I was careful to choose schools that accept pharmacy tech hours - if it's not on their website, call/email and ask. It really all depends on your ability to select schools that fit your specific credentials. Some schools will scoff at the pharmacy stuff, but plenty don't. The only issue I could see is the time lapse. 10-15 years ago is a pretty long time, and I know some of my schools had 5 yer cut-offs, but the majority I applied to do not.

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Well, it really comes down to what opens up for me.  I can't afford to wait for an EMT job and push back application by a year if I can't find one.  I can always return to Pharmacy Tech so I'm currently employed in a healthcare role.  I have various volunteer work that has patient exposure as well, and realistically the learning curve on IFT isn't that steep.  That is, I won't be at some serious disadvantage because I didn't do a year of IFT.  *shrugs*  The HCE is the trickiest part, but I am going to take what I can get and get the ball rolling on applying to PA schools.  

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Another approach is to take a job that pays the bills and work part-time as an EMT. If you have a skill that pays better, that's also a way to save some money for the income wasteland that will be PA school.

 

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

 

 

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FWIW, I had 2 years pharm tech experience before starting PA school. My program considered pharm experience as HCE. My program is reputable in my area and a very good pass rate (99% first time). Although I didn't have EMT experience, I made it through the program just fine. You will learn the clinical part, but there is something to be said about having pharm exp. Pharmacology is a tough subject, and will be a large portion of your modules. I was the only one in my program with pharm exp and it definitely showed. I spent less than half the time most students spent on pharm exams and brand/generic recognition quizzes. I flew through pharm... Which allowed to me focus more on modules. At the end of the day, once your in, your goal is to get through the program (sad, but it's the truth). You will learn to be a competent clinician both as a student and more so when you start your first gig.

 

With that said, it also depends on what you want to get into. I don't have plans do leave my specialty... But if I did I feel I would do just fine in EM. If you want to go straight into EM, UC etc then stick with EMT. If not, your pharm exp alone will definitely help you through those pesky pharm tests. I agree that EMT is superior experience, but I would also say that pharm exp is great as well... It's just different.

 

Just my opinion.

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