LP Research Resources February 24, 2018

EMT Training Info & Paramedic School Tips

Looking for an EMT or  Paramedic Course or School? EMT paramedic training is not a career path that can be easily obtained. It requires course study dedication and countless hours of work. Every good paramedic begins by being a good EMT Basic.  Start off in the right direction when it comes to your EMT studies and you won’t have to worry about being prepared for paramedic school or courses, or passing the certification exams.

First and foremost, be consistent and committed to your EMT education. If you struggle with routines or schedules, make one. Set a place and time each week for study and then be committed to it. Find a peer (or peers) to study with, accountability to another reaps rewards and helps you to stay focused, on a schedule, and dedicated to your coursework. This is especially helpful if you are juggling a job and/or family responsibilities. If these suffer, so do you. So make a schedule, commit to a routine, and stick with it. Then you can have your free time for other responsibilities without the stress of wondering when you can find time to devote to study.

Training Advice

Be a specialist when it comes to communication. It is not a skill that is easy or natural for everyone, nonetheless, it is one that you will prefect through clinicals and the hands-on field work required in EMT training studies and paramedic courses.  Often your patients cannot speak for themselves or articulate clearly. This is when you can step in and provide lifesaving EMS techniques merely by communicating for the patient through the correct line of questions and your calm, re-assuring responses. The hands-on portion of the paramedic school requires proof of your ability to provide emergency services to patients and good communication skills are part of the service.

Be a specialist when it comes to listening (which is a crucial part of communication). You can often determine the patient’s needs, even before you complete a physical assessment, simply by listening to what the patient is saying.  Clear your thoughts, put “textbook” talk aside and just listen. Not being distracted, listening to what the patient says and how they say it, determines how quickly and effectively you gain the patient’s trust. Once that is established, caring for the patient is a much easier task. If you cannot build a rapport and trust, a patient, in his or her fear, will often fight you and not cooperate without realizing they are even doing so. These are skills you need to perfect when you attend paramedic training school. Learn to listen effectively.

Do not ignore these important tips:

1. Sit up front in the classes. It is a fact that the best students usually sit up front. Align yourself with these peers. They make great partners in study groups and can be an asset if there is an area in which you are struggling.

2. Take notes. Sounds simple, a “no-brainer”, but there are many students who do not succeed because they spent the time chatting with a classmate verses concentrating on the instructor. Stay engaged. Taking notes helps you to do this. Statistics show that the brain responds to both visual and oral commands.  Pay attention to both.  By writing what you have been given in the way of lessons reiterates and seals the material into the part of the brain that retains information.

3. Stay focused, don’t be distracted.  Use your school time and study periods wisely.  EMT classes will likely be one of the hardest courses you will have ever participated in. You’ll be putting good money into the school and courses you choose. Don’t waste money and time because you did not make paramedic training your top priority. By focusing on the instructions and training you are preparing yourself to be a “responder”, not an academic student. Academics do not make a good paramedic. Focusing 100%, engaging in class and clinicals, and developing good people skills; these help to make the best EMTs and paramedics.

4. Read the chapter prior to attending the course. The majority of EMS courses are designed for the chapter to be read first.  This is another chance for the brain to focus on repetition and gain re-enforcement of the materials covered in the classes. Not only will you have an idea of what is expected, but if you see an area you know you struggle in, you can be prepared to get the help you need, asking questions necessary to be successful in that portion of the program.

5. Do your workbook assignments as you do the specific courses.  Don’t jump ahead, assuming information that could very well be incorrect. Don’t lag behind, you set yourself up for failure, forgetting information, or causing unnecessary panic trying to catch up.

6. Don’t skip class, you have no idea how much you will miss! Sounds like grade school advice? Well, there is a reason why your kindergarten teacher seemed so smart when you were five! Simple really can be smart!

7. Study, read, study and review. Repetition is your friend.  Read and study prior to classroom courses, then after each class, read and review what you covered in the class. The more you repeat these steps, the more you will retain.

8. Turn experiences into skills. Learn from them. No one goes into any profession fully equipped, trained and experienced. Experience comes from both success and failure. Take both and use them to become the type of emergency medical services provider who can respond in a situation void of stress and second guessing. Know your strengths and weaknesses.

9. Take care of yourself. Physically, mentally, emotionally – take care of yourself.  If you put aside your own health, you risk being the patient. The old saying, “You’re not good to anyone if you are not good to yourself” is wise advice that has been around many years and for a good reason. Need I say more? Just remember those words of wisdom.

10. Part of taking care of you is in the attitude. Always remember why you wanted to be a paramedic. Sure, the pay is great, you are in an “elite” profession, you are every child’s “hero”, right? Yet what about wanting a rewarding career, one where you make a difference in people’s lives, even saving a life?

11. Fine tune your five senses, have good instincts and hone in on your abilities. Every patient needs 100% of your capabilities and your assessment skills. Make these life-saving skills a priority to obtain while attending paramedic school.

Finally, don’t waste extra energy worrying.  Everything you need to know and read to be ready for paramedic school is in your EMT-Basic book. If you dedicate yourself to these tips, you’ll be on your way to certification in no time.