Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Recommended Posts

I'll spare the forum my life story and cut right to the chase: Which patient care experience would allow an applicant to be more competitive: EMT-B or CNA/STNA?  Or, does it not make a significant difference either way?

I'm currently in the process of deciding which direction to go and am looking for some advice!  CNA/STNA classes seem to be more affordable and easier to obtain, but most of the available positions are in LTAC facilities.  Obtaining an EMT-B certification is more expensive, but it could lead toward higher acuity experience in a hospital setting.  I'm having an open mind to either option but am curious if PA schools seem to value on certification over the other.  (I'm not as concerned with salary of the position but rather what is going to make me the most competitive applicant). 

Thank you in advanced for insights and feedback!

Edited by QuarterLifeCrisis34
added more clarification and typo edit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in the same boat as you. I couldn’t decide between EMT or CNA but I ended up doing CNA. It is very easy to get a CNA job, granted you’ll probably be working in a nursing home in the beginning, but once you have experience, it’s so easy getting into the hospital. Yes, it is easy to land an EMT job, but remember, most schools require you to record hours where you are directly doing patient care, and not when you are driving or have downtime. With CNA, that’s not a problem because you’re always doing patient care. From what I experienced, it’s harder to land an EMT job in a hospital. PA schools don’t care if you have a certification or not, as long as you have competitive PCE hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was an emt and I loved it. I think the experience you get between both jobs is good for pa school, but the experience is different. As an emt, you’re right on the scene of 911 calls doing critical care stuff (well what’s in your scope) . But like the person above said, most of the time you re sitting waiting for a call. The person above can probably vouch for the cna position, I’m guessing it’s not a lot of critical care stuff but more day to day care of a patient. 

I remember looking for an emt job was hard, so there’s that. It’s expensice too but I liked the emergency setting more so I did emt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Patricia5827 said:

I was an emt and I loved it. I think the experience you get between both jobs is good for pa school, but the experience is different. As an emt, you’re right on the scene of 911 calls doing critical care stuff (well what’s in your scope) . But like the person above said, most of the time you re sitting waiting for a call. The person above can probably vouch for the cna position, I’m guessing it’s not a lot of critical care stuff but more day to day care of a patient. 

I remember looking for an emt job was hard, so there’s that. It’s expensice too but I liked the emergency setting more so I did emt

I work in a hospital currently and care for a wide variety of patients! From the non-critical to the very critical so if OP can get a position in a hospital then he/she is set.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I obtained my EMT license and used that to get a job as an ER tech.  It was a great experience overall and depending on the hospital you work for, you can see a wide variety in patient acuity and gain significant exposure to diverse patient populations. This would be another route to go, as you generally have a lot more responsibilities than a CNA and you get to work alongside the ER nurses and providers, many times in critical cases. These jobs aren't as abundant as CNA or EMT, but they are considered as high quality PCE if you're able to secure a position. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CNA has a lower barrier of entry, but at best they're checking vitals/accuchecks/toileting or ambulating patients. CNA's aren't taught how to assess a patient and apply interventions or manage them in certain settings.

EMT would be more competitive, especially with more and more applicants using CNA/scribe work for PCE (anecdotally speaking). Finally, a caveat to the above comment about only logging hours when you're on a call: CNA's in a hospital/ALF/SNF setting aren't working 12 hours straight; they get plenty of downtime but are still logging those hours on the clock for PCE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Apollo1 said:

CNA has a lower barrier of entry, but at best they're checking vitals/accuchecks/toileting or ambulating patients. CNA's aren't taught how to assess a patient and apply interventions or manage them in certain settings.

EMT would be more competitive, especially with more and more applicants using CNA/scribe work for PCE (anecdotally speaking). Finally, a caveat to the above comment about only logging hours when you're on a call: CNA's in a hospital/ALF/SNF setting aren't working 12 hours straight; they get plenty of downtime but are still logging those hours on the clock for PCE.

Not true at all, we don’t get plenty of downtime at all. We’re constantly on our feet, literally working the entire 12 hours unless we are on our breaks, at least that’s how it is for me. And I’ve worked both in an LTC facility and a hospital.

Edited by Caligal
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Caligal said:

Not true at all, we don’t get plenty of downtime at all. We’re constantly on our feet, literally working the entire 12 hours unless we are on our breaks, at least that’s how it is for me. And I’ve worked both in an LTC facility and a hospital.

 I didn't say that they don't work; I said they're not working 12 hours nonstop. I too have worked in a hospital and CNA's are helpful to floor staff, but let's not create a false impression.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Apollo1 said:

 I didn't say that they don't work; I said they're not working 12 hours nonstop. I too have worked in a hospital and CNA's are helpful to floor staff, but let's not create a false impression.

I was responding to your “plenty of downtime” response and simply commented on what I have experienced as a CNA so I don’t know how I was giving a false impression.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  



  • Similar Content

    • By Marcelih
      Hello everyone,
      I have an interview this week at Campbell University (NC), and this will be my first PA interview. What advice would give for PA interviews? Should we be familiar in some ethical issues in the medical field? Commonly asked questions?
      Thanks!
      MH
    • By aa1041557
      I’ve recently been offered a position as a dialysis tech in an outpatient center. I shadowed the other day and the staff seamed friendly. My main duties would be weighing patients, cannulating them and setting up the machines, drawing labs, and monitoring their vitals throughout treatment. This all would be under the supervisions of an RN. I would work 8 and 10 hour shifts. I was hoping someone who has worked as a dialysis tech or knows someone who has could give me feedback about their experiences. I do already have 2 years experience volunteering as an EMT-A on a fairly busy service and plan on continuing to do so.  
       
      I have also been invited to interview for a medical assistant position at an urgent care, but the interview is after the deadline to decide if I’m going to accept the dialysis position. 
       
      The pros I see in working as a dialysis tech: Getting to know my patients and their cases. Experience in the chronic disease side of medicine. 
       
      Cons: It’s could be repetitive work and I would really only learn about kidney disease.
    • By Kmlkmbl
      Hello,
      I am looking for realistic advice on becoming a surgical PA First Assist. I viewed similar topics within this forum but wanted a more personalized response. This will probably be a long post 😅.
      Here is a little about my background; I’m a 27yr old currently holding only my GED with a certification as a NA. I’ve worked as a CNA for 3years with 2.5 years working on a post surgical unit at my current hospital. I am transferring to sterile processing next month where I plan to work as I attend a CST program. 
      I thought this would be a good field to work in since I will be working directly with the surgical instruments and preparing the kits and trays for each surgery throughout the day. I also plan to obtain my CRST ( certified registered sterile technician) by taking the exam after some more experience on my new job. I originally wanted to go to school to be an OR Nurse or go for my CRNA but after being allowed to observe a few surgeries at work realized I’d rather be more hands on during procedures. My end goal then became wanting to be a first assist.  After speaking with a coworker currently waiting for admission to PA school about it, they suggested becoming a surgical PA. I’m already starting out so late in life... Is it a waste of time to go through the certification of becoming a Surgical Tech? Is it feasible to start a journey to PA so late? I want to be sure that surgery is for me and more than just an interest so figured being a Surgical Tech would help with my decision...I’ve already taken so many detours on the road to furthering my education. I don’t want to delay any further.
       
      I have also looked into the RNFA route but prefer the flexibility when it comes to specialties being a PA. 
       
      All feedback is welcome. Sorry for the long post, and Thanks in advance!
       
       
    • By PANCEon
      I wish at 18, I would've chosen the pre-pa route and gotten an associate's degree in DMS or an echo cardiogram tech then continued to get certified in different specialties. I may have taken pre med courses as well. Became a CNA and worked in many different specialties, hospitals, hospice, nursing and rehab facilities for experience, money, connections, letters of recommendation, on the job training to get certified in imaging, phlebotomy, resp tech, occupational or physical therapy technicians, basic EMT 1-IV, ER tech, pharmacy tech, and become a American Red Cross CNA trainer or at least CPR, AED, BLS, first aid and phlebotomy instructor's. Setting up blood drives, charity events etc. Too many ideas to count. I know now that being a healthcare professional  is my calling. Some ppl can just play the piano, which I can't, but medicine/biology/anatomy, makes perfect sense. But, I'm 40 now, and my Psychology degree I got in 2001 afforded me sales positions from food broker territory manager, pharmaceutical sales, animal diagnostic laboratory sales manager. I worked from home and travelled all over. I liked being my own boss, and other's as well. I then became a seller and writer of mortgages. Now, I have been on disability for 10yrs and am ready to do what I was meant to. I just wish I was younger. That's why it's important for me to manage my time and not waste a minute doing something that isn't going to help me get in a program. 
       
       
       
    • By agwebster
      On the licenses and certifications section, CASPA acts for the issuing organization. I am not sure what would be the issuing organization for my CNA certification - would it be the school I attended for my certification or my state's department of health professions which lists online my license number...?
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More