Higher Education for Paramedics

This is my office

When you look at the education and responsibilities of paramedics you would think that they would be on the same pay level of registered nurses. The truth is that they are not. Where a registered nurse begins their career at roughly 20 dollars an hour, a paramedic begins at around 10 dollars and hour. The responsibilities that each holds is very similar. Nurses give medications and so do paramedics. Nurses preform assessments and so do paramedics. Both paramedics and nurses work in very stressful environments. In fact there are some things that paramedics do that nurses cannot. Paramedics have a standing set of protocols for certain situations. This means that they do not have to seek consultation from a doctor to administer medication. Nurses receive direct orders from doctors to administer medications to certain patients. So in an emergency situation the paramedic makes the decision of how to treat a patient and which medication to give the patient. Although the paramedic can contact the doctor by radio if they need consultation from a doctor about a special situation. Some treatments that paramedics can preform that nurses cannot include endotracheal intubation(placing a tube down someones throat when they have stopped breathing or are having extreme difficulty breathing) and chest decompression(When someones lung collapses inserting a needle in their chest to help re-inflate the lung). Don’t get me wrong I am grateful for what nurses do and everyone holds an integral place in the health care system, I am merely stating the facts and stating my side of the issue. On the other side there are many things that nurses have to do that paramedics do not.

Paramedics will run into anything from cardiac arrest and multiple patient car accidents to a simple skinned knee. You must walk into an extremely chaotic situation and be extremely calm and collected. You need to manage the situation and choose what is best for the patient(s). Paramedics also have the responsibility of choosing whether a critical patient be flown by helicopter from the scene or whether they be taken to the closest hospital. In many cases a patients life rest solely in the hands of a paramedic and his EMT partner. This contains extreme responsibility and the stress that accompanies it.

There are many reasons for this difference in pay between Nurses and paramedics but I will focus more on where I think the educational system is flawed and how it may be easily fixable. In order to be a registered nurse you must complete the required prerequisite classes, complete clinicals, and then pass the NCLEX. This generally takes 2 to 3 years  all together not including a wait list. Their education takes place at college or university. Classes are also done in normal college semester increments. They take the prerequisite classes for their program and generally takes about 1 to 1 1/2 years to complete them. The next 2 or so years is spent in clinical time where they get into the nitty gritty. I promise there is a point to this. Paramedics education consists of a total of 2 years. This is a solid two years of education without semesters because most paramedic programs are not run through colleges or universities. There are a few but most are licensure programs. Paramedics must complete a 4 month long EMT-B class followed by a state licensure exam. After they obtain their EMT-B license they can enroll in a paramedic course and this is 16 month program. This is a solid 16 months of classroom and clinical education of how to be a paramedic. After that they must take a state approved test to receive their license. So what all this means is that both Paramedics and nurses obtain close to the same length of training in their respected field. Paramedics have roughly 20 months of continuous year round training and RN’s have roughly 24 months of time invested but classes are broken into semesters.

I think that where the problem comes in is with the base of the education. Nurses receive a strong base education consisting of Anatomy, Physiology, Psychology, Sociology, etc. These are all formal college courses. Most paramedic programs do not require these base courses. I believe this plays somewhat into the lower pay range. If the paramedic programs were shifted completely towards a college based program where the education tends to be more formal and respected than you would see the pay increase. Also on top of the 20 months in school that paramedics currently partake in there would be an extra 1 to 1 1/2 years of prerequisite classes. This would make the paramedic program just as long as the nursing program.

I think that requiring a college education to be a paramedic would be a step in the right direction for the career. There are many other things that would have to be changed also in order to get the career where it needs to be. Not many people go toward paramedicine as a career due to the stress, low pay, and lack of career advancement. They use it as more of a stepping stone to bigger and better things. As with anything else education is the base, so if you build a strong base than it is easier to build on that. Higher education would increase the respect for paramedics and Hopefully the pay would increase also. Also this increased education would create more structure in the system and room for advancement. After all, the business of EMS is not shrinking and its not going away so improving the education is common sense.  With the Baby Boom generation getting older there is going to be a huge strain on the health care system including EMS. Modern EMS has made many advancements in the fairly short time that it has been around and there are still many improvements to be made in an already solid system.

What to do With Your Life

There comes a point in everyone’s life when they think, “ What should I do with my life”. This thought normally starts to enter young adults minds at or around the time of graduation. It is a very difficult choice to make and a very hard one to get right on the first try. Nevertheless almost every high school student takes this very seriously and has the idea that the major they choose is cemented and that is what they will be doing for the rest of their lives. The truth is that the next two years after high school will be spent taking prerequisite classes. Then after that is when they actually start taking classes toward their major. Another thing that they do no realize is that everyone changes their major or focus multiple times. Sometimes you don’t make the right choice the first time.

Speaking from experience, I had high hopes about college and what I wanted to do but when I got there it was completely different than I thought. I assumed that I would begin getting into classes involved with my major right off the bat, but the fact that I had to take piles and piles of prerequisite classes prior to getting into those classes surprised me. I started taking some of these classes and had difficulty with some of them so I decide to change my major. I thought I would fall behind but what I didn’t realize is that almost every college student changes their major at one point or the other. If you finish college with the same major as you started then you are really lucky. Students that finish with the same major that they started with are few and far between. The truth is that you could change your mind ten times before you finally decide what to do. There is no problem with this all. Sometimes it takes people longer to figure out what they want to do. Myself I have changed what I am doing probably about six times. The problem comes in when you stop going to school for one reason or another. Most of the time it is for financial reasons. People think that they need to save up for school before they go. This is the worst mistake that one can make. First of all it is very hard to get back in the swing of things once your out of school for an extended period. Another part is that the money you think you are gaining by saving and not going to school is not half the money you would make if you got an education. The student loan money that you have to pay after you graduate wont matter because you will have insurance, a steady higher paycheck, and other benefits. By saving and delaying education you are also delaying a higher paycheck and advancement opportunities.

I do see the point in individuals not wanting debt at the end of their college career. It would cut down on interest payment of student loans because you would not have student loans. My response to that is that you will make up that money far quicker if you have a job based on a college education. You will also be experienced by that time and be making far more money than when you began.

The truth is that its never too late to follow your dreams and do what makes you happy. Whether you are 20 or 40 you can still go to school and get an education. School may take a significant amount of time but you will have many more opportunities and be far better off. Your family will also be far better off from this. It is never too late to reevaluate what you want to do with your life.

Self Confidence:Full Potential

Without self-confidence it is very hard to go anywhere in your life. Self confidence is the ability to believe in yourself and believe that you can accomplish your goals. It is a quality that you cannot go without and ties a lot into competitiveness. There will be things that test how much you believe in yourself, but you cannot let anything destroy your confidence. You could be the best basketball player in the world but without confidence you lose your edge and it is very hard to function at the highest level possible. You do not need to believe that you are the best that ever lived, you just need to believe in yourself and do the best you can.

Everyone strives to be the best but no one every looks forward to finishing in the middle of the pack. One deceiving quality about self confidence is that not everybody can be first. This thought that everyone can be first is destroying peoples psyche. Someone has to be last too. Some people are better at different things and may have the upper edge but the most important part is to do YOUR best. Your best is completely different than the guy or girl standing nest to you. He might be able to beat you up but on the other hand you would embarrass him in a math competition. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and you can even be confident about something that you are not good at as long as you do not have the notion of being the best. Just be the best that you can be and try your hardest.

Being competitive and doing your best can also be related to each other. One thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that even though your not the best you can still be competitive and give it all you have. Some people tend to quit when things get difficult or when they are outmatched. A good way to think about it is that when you are outmatched you are going to get that much better by participating or competing. Competition shows a lot about someones character. It shows whether they are not confident and fold under pressure or whether they go for the jugular.

One thing that ties into self confidence is the ability to take constructive criticisms. Some people take huge blows to their confidence when they think they are doing something right but them are told they are doing something wrong. They take it as a personal attack on themselves or they just shut down. Their confidence is shattered. On the flip side of thing the ability to take instructions, admit when you are wrong, and roll with the punches is and invaluable attribute. These people that can take instructions and have confidence will thrive and be good at anything they do.They know that even if they aren’t good at something right when they pick it up for the first time that they have the confidence in themselves that they can accomplish anything. The truth is that some people get very narrow minded and decide beforehand that they cannot do something without giving themselves a fair shake. They are cheating themselves by not trying and believing.

In order to have confidence you need to think that you are going to succeed. If you go into a test expecting to fail than odds are that you are going to fail. If you go in prepared, confident and expecting to get an A than you will. You need to have the confidence in yourself to succeed. Self confidence is a very huge part of reaching ones full potential. Without self confidence it is very hard to accomplish anything.

Determination:Full Potential

Determination. What is it and where does it come from? To me determination is staying with something no matter how hard it gets or how many obstacles get in your way. Determination is a very important part of reaching your full potential. If someone quit when things got hard then no one would get anything accomplished. Determination is an attitude that you will not let anything get in your way. Nothing can keep you from meeting that goal or reaching your full potential.

The ability to overcome obstacles is a very hard thing to learn and is even harder to apply. When something catastrophic happens that stands in the way of achieving your goal it is very easy to quit. It takes true determination to continue to thrive in this environment. The important action to take in this circumstance to meet the roadblock head on and keep your eye on your goals. Take it one day at a time because most problems or roadblocks aren’t solved in a day. If achieving all your goals ere easy everyone would accomplish everything that they put their minds to. Determination is what sets apart the men from the boys and women from the girls.

Getting past the obstacles is only the half of it. Keeping yourself focused on your goal is the major issue. As I was saying earlier. Obstacles are overcome in just one day but goals aren’t met in one day either. Sometimes people get bored with goals or just don’t have the determination to stick with the goal. Determination can also be applied to the time commitment involved with a goal. Time is a huge obstacle. In order to achieve the goal you need to make time for it. This is very hard for a lot of people because they have other duties and responsibilities that may take precedence over the goal. If your goal is going to make you happy and prosperous than that should hold as much importance as anything else in your life. There must be a balance between responsibilities. If accomplishing your goal makes life stressful at the time but will benefit you at the end than the goal is worth the hardship.

You need to keep pressing forward and don’t allow yourself to regress. If you regress than it is twice as hard to regain that ground that was lost. One example would be dieting around the holidays. You are doing great and losing lots o weight, but then Thanksgiving hits!. You happen to have three Thanksgivings to go to over the next four days. What do you do? Well, there a few options. Pig out, sleep on the couch and watch the Lions game. Pig out and exercise to make up for it. Eat in moderation and enjoy the time with your family. The easiest choice is to pig out and sleep obviously, but when it comes to controlling eating habits it is a slippery slope. Once you start overeating it is extremely hard to go back to eating in moderation. The point is that it takes determination and a fixation on your goal not to regress or quit when you meet resistance.

Determination is a very hard attribute to describe. It is an attribute as well as and attitude or a lifestyle. Some are aggressive when it comes to accomplishing a goal while others are more passive. It takes equal amounts of determination to reach your full potential no matter who you are. It is a very long road and you need to stick with it and be determined to succeed. Determined to be the best that you can be.

Full Potential:Dedication

There is an idea floating around that someone can pick up something new, whether it’s an activity or craft, and be great at it the very next day. If they aren’t full of undiscovered natural talent in this particular activity, then they quit. This then just goes on to be a never-ending circle of failures and shortcomings. In these cases people wonder why they are never successful, yet they can’t set their mind to a goal, work hard and achieve that goal. If they dedicate themselves to just that one goal and complete it then they will be far better off. It is truly amazing how far you can go when you take a systematic approach to reaching your full potential. It is not going to be easy by any means, but if you dedicate yourself then there is nothing that can hold you down.

First of all, what is the definition of dedication? It is as the Merriam-Websters dictionary defines it: A a feeling of very strong support for or loyalty to someone or something : the quality or state of being dedicated to a person, group, cause, etc. In the case of reaching your full potential you are dedicating yourself to a cause and the cause is reaching you full potential. As the definition states it is a feeling of strong loyalty. This feeling of loyalty is to yourself and your ultimate goal. You cannot quit when things get tough. You dedicate yourself and do not take no for an answer.

Dedication can surface itself in many different ways. It can be simply taking that extra hour to do better on a project, to make sure you have sealed all the cracks and there are no mistakes. It could even be staying after a sports practice to take that extra time to better yourself. Dedication is the small things, the extra little things that no one else thinks about. Being dedicated and finding the small things that make the difference is a huge part of being the best you can and reaching your full potential. Like I said previously in the motivation aspect of reaching your full potential, while you are resting, someone else is out there getting ahead. The same concept applies to dedication. While you are only doing the minimum to get by, someone else is out there giving it everything that they have and noticing the little things that make the big difference. If you do not dedicate your complete concentration in the task at hand you are doing yourself no justice and cheating yourself.

By not dedicating yourself you are wasting potential. The sad thing is that people make excuses and it makes it very hard for them to accomplish anything. In these cases their potential is wasted. Everyone is born with potential, the potential to become a doctor, the potential to be a rocket scientist, or even the potential to become a rockstar. If you look back to the beginning of your childhood, you didn’t look forward to being a gas station attendant, did you? The twist to this situation is that it is very easy to waste potential but very hard to reach it. If it were easy to reach your full potential than everybody would be doing it.

Dedication is a huge part of reaching your full potential. Without the ability to dedicate yourself to a particular goal, it would be very hard to reach the ultimate goal of full potential. Set your goals, keep your eye on the prize, take it one step at a time and you will be the best that you can possibly be.

Full Potential: Intro/Motivation

Are you living your life to your full potential? Many things come into play when you think about how far you go in life and the things that you can accomplish. Money comes into mind and the status that you are born into. The most important aspects are tossed to the side and excuses like money and status are used. You know what they say about excuses…Everybody’s Got them. I feel that most aspects of potential are involved with dedication, motivation, determination, and self-confidence. There are a lot of other personal attributes that play a role in meeting your full potential but these are some important basics. Having a good foundational attitude and willingness to want to achieve goals is a good place to start. I do admit that money ties into potential somewhat, but making the correct choices and managing money  and time wisely is just as important.

Motivation is a difficult thing to teach anyone. In a lot of cases you either have it or you don’t. I am the first one to admit that I have trouble finding the motivation to complete work or even get up in the morning sometimes, but somehow I always get things done. Well at least 99% of the time I do. It is perfectly okay to be lazy sometimes, but not all the time. If you ever find yourself being lazy or feel like you are not doing your best because you just don’t feel like, just think, there is someone else out there getting ahead of me while I’m being stagnant.

A big thought with motivation is “Oh I can do it later” or “Ill start my diet tomorrow” ,but the truth is now is as good a time as ever. By putting off your goals you are only making it more difficult to achieve them. If you find motivation and use every second of your day to do things to better yourself than you will find that you can active whatever goals you set. Completing goals is the best feeling in the world. When you achieve something that you have put a ton of work towards and you not only meet your goal, but thrive while doing it is indescribable. Success and hard work is addicting. Once you know you can motivate yourself and succeed than it will become a habit and expectation.  Motivation is truly a foundation to productivity and reaching your full potential.

Procrastination ties a lot into motivation. If there is a deadline that is upcoming than the assignment or work is put off to the last second. This is not a good practice at all, because your work suffers and is not the same quality that it would be if you took your time. There are some people that thrive off the pressure, but there are many others that think they do well under pressure ,but would do much better if they took a systematic approach to work. Pick the important foundational aspects of the work and get them done. If you do procrastinate it will make it significantly less stressful. Stress is a productivity killer and it makes you accept subpar work that you normally wouldn’t dare think about turning in. In a way doing the foundational work beforehand makes it so you are not procrastinating and taking a more organized approach. Myself I procrastinate on a regular basis but I also take a systematic approach to it. I may wait until the last minute to do the major work but I constantly think about what I have to do and I do all of the foundational work prior to the deadline.

A Good Introduction

“Ignorant, immature, disrespectful, lazy, obscene, all are words some people employ in describing the use of profanity. How can someone neglect a part of speech that helps people describe some of their most defining moments. How effective would Rhett Butler’s final reference to Scarlet O’ Hare in the big screen classic Gone With the Wind have been if Clark Gable had taken leave with these words “ Frankly, I don’t give a darn!” It loses a little of its dramatic punch, does it not? Clearly, profanity, or swearing as it is more commonly called, is a vital component of the English language because swearing conveys powerful emotions and emphasizes a wide variety of expressions. There are numerous misconceptions about swearing. First, that it is shows disrespect; second, that it is just lazy speech; and lastly, that it shows that the speaker has a limited, or minute vocabulary. These are all plausible assumptions on the surface, but they are quickly proven inaccurate upon deeper examination. In fact a well placed profane word can spice up a rather dull statement making it exciting, funny, or even dramatic. Most people do not simply use swearing to offend people. Swearing can be used when the speaker is happy, excited, or even disappointed. (John Langstaff. 2004.The Positive Aspects of Swearing)” The paper is attached(swearing).

I really like the introduction to this paper that my brother wrote when he was in high school because it drew the audience in and y presented his topic well. I got to reading through all of my brothers old papers and this one really stuck out to me. It uses great examples and it is very well written. I feel that it is a phenomenal introduction because it covers all of the aspects of a good introduction and it flows very well. It really grabs the reader’s attention. It makes me want to read the rest of the paper and half the battle is getting someone to actually read it.