I am new to the world of EMS. just recently got my EMT-B.. I did very well in class but i have to admit i am scared to death to get on the ambulance. They pounded it in our heads in class that the slightest screw up and you can loose your card..

We're taught that from the time of initial dispatch we should be doing "scene sizeup" thinking about the call and everything thing from equipment to take into the scene to possible hazards of the scene. I myself, paid very close attention during my ride time with class and saw alot. so when i go to a call instead of doing the "scene sizeup" i cant help but go over my "jess dont screw up list" in my head..

I myself feel that in this field, you can never learn enough and your always learning something new.. if by chance you feel that you know all there is to know about the field of EMS and will never need to learn anything else, then bow out gracefully before someone tells you how it is.. I am all for any advise, hints, suggestions or comments on how to overcome my fears on the ambulance.


UPDATE September 1, 2007

Thank you to EVERYONE who has offered advise, support, smiles and everything else offered..

You will all be happy to know that i FINALLY got forced into running my 1st call alone.

My mom was visiting for a weekend, and so around 1am or so the paramedic in town was on another call, and the BLS unit was dispatched for a "unknown problem". Since my mom was at the house i woke hubby up and told him i was taking the call, and he said ok c ya.. i smaked him and said get up your gonna be my driver..

Well as we approached the Fire House, i started to get scared and said if there was not another EMT up there , i wasnt going. when we got there i yelled to another member to ask if he was an EMT and he said " No but you are, GET YOUR ASS ON THAT AMBO.. "

I got on the ambo, went responding and listened to the info being provided to me. After listening to the report from dispatch, i knew that PD was on scene and one of the officers was also a EMT-P. so i knew my back up was already there waiting for me.. When we got on scene, i let dispatch know we were on location and grabbed what i thought i would need and went to my patient. Everything clicked. i remembered what to do. i didnt panic. and at the end of the call, i was really proud of myself.

All of your advise, comments and support gave me the know how to build up the little bit of confidence i needed to get out there and prove to myself that i can do this..

Thank you all.. I wish i could give you each a hug..


Views: 1968

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

i have been in ems for 12 years. first of all you seem to want to do this job. that is a good thing. there are so many people who get into this who just dont care if they screw up. you are nervous to get into an ambulance ??? as long as you have an open mind you will learn. remember take the extra time to do things right.... little things make you great....such as ..setting up an iv for the medic...not your job but it shows you are willing to help...... and remember to relax... your brain functions better when you have a relaxed body....

hope it helps
Hey thanks..

Yeah i know it sounds weird that i am nervous about getting on the ambulance.. let me clarify.. its not my skills that scare me or lack there of.. Like i said, i did really well in class.. and all of my calls from my ride time were awesome.. Christmas Night i got my first trauma.. MVC (motor vehicle collison, i know different states call it different names) it was a single vehicle compact car that struck head on a COW.. i wasnt scared.. i did what i was supposed to do and did great.. I do set up IVs for my medics, and cardiac monitors etc.... none of that scares me.. its 3 things that scare me the most..

#1 Forgetting something important
#2 Having to consult on the radio.. all the calls i have been on and i have never had to consult on the radio, usually my medic does the consult, but for a BLS call with NO ALS on scene, im gonna have to do the consult and that just scares the hell out of me cause i know for a fact that most people with portables sit around listening to dispatch channel or Med Call channel just to hear a consult.. Im already the girl that gets teased and tormented at the fire house.. if someone hears me screw up a consult that adds fuel to the fire for more torment.

#3 getting dispatched on a call that should be ALS and my medic is on another call.. the next closest medic is 20 minutes or more away. Patient goes down hill quick.. NO medic around.. so many mixed opinions as to what to do.. do you wait on scene for the next closest medic or load that patient up as best you can, secure airway as best you can get the best vitals you can and haul ass to the hospital hoping to rendezvous with them enroute?

I think its just my nervous.. Im told that once i have no choice but to get on the ambo WITHOUT another provider cause i am the only one there, and Im forced to provide care solo for the first time and forced to do my consult on the radio, I will be less nervous.. and to your second sentence.. I really want to do this.. as a volunteer and maybe in a few years go career with my county ems system.. but for now volunteer.. I like the rush at 2am when the pager goes off.. of course i dont like that 2 am rush when i get all the way to the station and we get canceled. then im wide awake with no chance in going back to sleep anytime soon.. I like being able to help people.. and i just feel like i have it in me or im cut out for it..

I thank you for your post... i will keep you updated to my progress and will definitely make good use of your advice.

i'm sorry to tell you this..... that "rush " you get..wears off rather quickly. symphothy also wears off some after a while.. it was cool for the first 2 or 3 years then it's just gone..

also when you treat just remember abc's... if you get to a and you cant get an airway...you stay on "a" until you get an airway... the best thing to remember is bls before als..... i would take a good bls provider over a medic anyday!!! i go to intercepts all the time wiith a pt with a bp in the toilet... but ther is my emt screaming for an iv and the pt has no o2 .....no blanket and his feet arent raised.... yea the person needs an iv but good bls could definately help the suitation...


hope this helps

We were all scared to death when we first started out. Like was mentioned, BLS before ALS, remember your ABCs. Don't be afraid to ask questions, never, ever get yourself in a position where your taking on more than you can handle. If you don't know how to do something, tell someone you don't know how. Pride goeth before a fall. Find a partner you like to work with and trust. You can always bounce ideas off each other. On your way to the call, think of all the possible scenerios and run over them with your partner. One of the best things I did was join a private ambulance company. I learned alot about medication and patient care and there's not as much stress taking grandma back to the nursing home as there is transporting a trauma patient. You can improve your BLS skills in a calmer environment. Believe me doing emergencies gets old quick. As for doing radio patches, make up some patient scenerios and do them in front of a mirror or in front of your partner. I find that if I have most of it written down I can do a much better patch. Keep it short and sweet, they don't need to know that the patient had a hang nail last year. I don't know how long your transport times are but if you have time try to write your report enroute. That way you can use that to do your patch. Keep being curious and asking questions, before you know it years will fly by and you'll be helping out the new kids. Good luck
I agree with every thing said so far it all starts with the ABCs don't worry about making mistakes because the only person to never make a mistake has never tried or done anything I have only been a EMT-B for a little over a year now (our department runs a QRS unit) and the calls get easier each time experience is the best teacher from the sounds of it you already are doing one hell of a job have faith in yourself and what you have learned and make sure you try to learn something new on each run and have fun doing it that my 2 cents worth
hey.. thanks for all the insight and advice.. i definitely got the BLS before ALS.. i have seen Medics go for the IV before securing the airway.. saw that early on in class and so BLS before ALS is already constantly in my head.. depending on the hospital we are going to, transport times can be anywhere from 15 min to 35 min. which can be a pain in the butt.. the other thing is, we dont have written reports here.. all of our patient care reports are done on a computer system called EMAIS.. so i cant tackle the paperwork end of it till i get back to the station.. im pretty sure that once im forced to run my first call solo, i will get over my fears. And i always ask questions. im not afraid to embarrass myself by asking a question that someone might think is a stupid question.. Thanks for the advise.. i will have to defiantly let you know when i get that first solo call.. let you know how it went. ~Jess~
well thank you for your 2 cents.. it is much appreciated.. I think a lot of my problem is confidence rather that an issue with skills.. i think that i will do fine once i jump in and start running on my own. ~Jess~
Confort in EMS takes time. I have 22 years and still go on call where I know everything is going to hell and quickly. Stay calm, but above all, stay alert to your surrounding. You may feel like panicing, but your partner and patient are counting on you to do your job to the best of your ability. You can't save them all and when I first got started "I was going to save the world" and quicly learned that is not the case. You save the ones you can and comfort the ones you can't. You will witness the passing of life alot, get back to the station and get ready to go again. If you are lucky, you will have a partner that is experienced and understanding. That helps alot, because it allows you to learn more from experience but have someone to talk to. My old partner Mitch was like that and we learned from each other. It is different now. When I got into the business, Paramedics were something we say on TV with Johnnie and Ron and squad 51. Basics were it and we had alot of responsibility. The best advice I can give you is when it feels like it is coming apart, close your eyes for a second, take a deep breath and do your job. God will sort the rest out. Hope it helps
Do the RIGHT thing all of the time and you'll keep yourself out of trouble.
In reference to Cord's post.

He mentions Johnny and Roy (some uf us remember that show when it was new and original). Two good ole boys that rendered aid, then loaded their patients into the back of a cadillac. For all of todays bells, whistles, and high tech gizmo's, he best patinet care remains that provided by the EMT. Remember your ABC's, the paitent without an airway has no more pressing concern than that. Fix A before you go to B.

This can be a rough field, keep your head up and maintain a sense of humor.

Remember, All Bleeding stops........eventually.
Hey Jess,
Congrats on getting you EMT-B!! You have received alot of great advice, so I am just going to give you a few pointers that have worked well for me:

I always carry 3 or 4" medical tape and a pen in my running gear and I also place a roll in the front seat of the ambo with a pen when I am at the station riding (for when it's a call that doesn't require me to wear my gear). When I get a call, I tear off a piece about the length of my hand and place it on my thigh as we are responding then when I get there I have someplace to write down pertinant information (i.e. vitals, pt name, age, etc) then I don't have to fumble with a clipboard or even a pad while I am providing patient care. Then if I have to consult with the hospital I have all the info I need right there for me to reference. Don't worry about messing up on the radio, I have been doing this for 17 years and still occasionally will omit info when I consult, it's no biggie, if you forget to tell the hospital something that they need to know, they will ask.

I hope that this helps!

DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you don't write it, IT DIDN'T HAPPEN!!!!!!!! My MFRI instructor was adamant about that eight years ago, hopefully yours was too. It drives me nuts to see half-assed fire or MAIS report narratives. I've testified in court once for a malicious false alarm and almost a year had gone by since the call happened. I pulled up the run report and was able to get my thoughts together and everything came back to me; enough to get a conviction. America has been "sue happy" for quite a while- protect yourself and keep a detailed paper trail. Take care and be safe.


Reply to Discussion


FireRescue Magazine

Find Members Fast

Or Name, Dept, Keyword
Invite Your Friends
Not a Member? Join Now

© 2021   Created by Firefighter Nation WebChief.   Powered by

Badges  |  Contact Firefighter Nation  |  Terms of Service