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Old 03-19-2017, 07:22 PM
Liberty Belle Liberty Belle is offline
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Good evening, all! This is my first thread, so I hope to get some really good answers from the collective brainpower on this board. I will be retiring from teaching at about age 52 (which is plenty of time for a second career) and I was thinking that a good "prep" would be some type of medical training to go along with all the fish care products and medicinal herbage I have been working with lately.

I have been researching various careers, all the way from EMT up to RN or Physician's Assistant, but I would like to see if anyone has any real world experiences or advice for the best medical training in terms of bang for buck.

My natural inclination would be to go whole hog, but I am also trying to be realistic--52 might be a bit too long in the tooth for PA or RN.

Any insight would be appreciated, and thanks!!!
Old 03-19-2017, 07:57 PM
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You can still get an associates rn two year degree plus maybe a year of prerequisites. The prerequisites might have to be recent.

My niece has gone pretty far with the aa rn and has never had trouble getting work. There is always talk of requiring a four year bachelor's degree but it hasn't happened so far. Work sometimes will help pay for that extra and it can often be done part time and on line.

PA is much more time, money, degree intense.

EMT is only one quarter I think. Pay is very low. Paramedics only make good money in FD or government service.

You might consider respiratory tech, a cousin did that overseas whenever he needed money. Or xray or other scanning technician. You're talking 2-3 years of school. A nephew just got a physical therapy tech license. Only one year plus prereqs. A physical therapist needs at least a masters, it may have gone to a Dr now.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:07 PM
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I'm 51 an taking half way through EMT Basic - it's a 6 month course 8 hours a week of contact class time plus 24 hours of clinical time in the Emergency Room. The course is not all that challenging but very interesting. The cost for me is low because I work at the hospital but street price is like $700 to $1000. Once class is complete I need to challenge either the State exam or the National Registry exam.

This is basic pre-hospital care. Scope of practice in IL is fairly limited. But it's solid basic life support. Some places allow a lot more I'm told.

Advanced Emergency Medical Tech ( emt-I ) and Paramedic (EMT-P) are much more academically challenging and has hundreds of hours of clinical and extern ( intern ) time. In our system they're phasing out the EMT-I for the most part.

I'd encourage the EMT basic it's obtainable and not crazy expensive. I'm well over twice the age of probably 2/3 of the class but seem to be one of the better performing students. Like anything you leave training with just enough knowledge to not be totally dangerous. It's the work that will make you really useful.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:07 PM
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RN.

EMT is trivial training and skills. (I've been one for decades. It's just not a big deal and you only know some basic stuff.) Paramedic is better, but still highly focused on emergencies only. (Perhaps obviously.) You definitely get topical anatomy, basic drugs, etc.

But nursing? That's more of a deep dive into everything. And you can specialize later. As for work? Better pay than the other jobs and you can find work just about anywhere. If you're willing to work bad shifts, like at night, you can make even more.

You'll come out with better job prospects, if you care a lot about that. A ton more education. And ability to specialize in all kinds of options with paid for inservice new training. Remember also, EMT or Medic would be a fair amount of field work. Sometimes physically demanding and potentially dangerous. I'm only in my early 50s and in pretty great shape compared to a lot of peers. But I am starting to get some creaks and cracks. Could be age, or a consequence of some serious injuries when younger, but either way... hauling heavy folks out of twisted cars, etc... not sure how many more years I'll do that. Is that really what you want to start right now? (OK, I'm also volunteer Fire, not just EMT, so that's "worse.")

Anyway... all arguments for nursing over these other options. More knowledge, skills, money, upwards opportunity and more.

Best of luck with whichever way you go.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:16 PM
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As for pay around here basics can make decent money if they're willing to work overtime and paramedics can make darn good money - if you're retiring from teaching I'll assume a masters - plus , I think you're unlikely to make that kind of money in EMS

You can probably get an RN in 2 to 2 1/2 years depending on your undergraduate degree and how recently you've taken some of the pre-requisite courses
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberty Belle View Post
Good evening, all! This is my first thread, so I hope to get some really good answers from the collective brainpower on this board. I will be retiring from teaching at about age 52 (which is plenty of time for a second career) and I was thinking that a good "prep" would be some type of medical training to go along with all the fish care products and medicinal herbage I have been working with lately.

I have been researching various careers, all the way from EMT up to RN or Physician's Assistant, but I would like to see if anyone has any real world experiences or advice for the best medical training in terms of bang for buck.

My natural inclination would be to go whole hog, but I am also trying to be realistic--52 might be a bit too long in the tooth for PA or RN.

Any insight would be appreciated, and thanks!!!
What do you want to know how to do? You can take study in how to run a heart lung machine, but chance are that won't do you all that much. learning medicine is a big broad scope.

What do you want to learn how to do?
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:13 PM
AGreyMan AGreyMan is offline
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Hello Ms.Belle:

Some of the other posters have made some excellent points. The most pertinent I think is: What do you want to do?

If you are looking at a second career, RN with an associate degree is certainly possible, and the pay is decent. Know that many employers are attempting to phase out 2 year Associate degree RNs in favor of bachelor's prepared nurses. You already have a bachelors degree (or higher, I presume) so this may not affect you. The nursing shortage throws a wrench into the "BSN only" plans, and you can definitely get hired as a ADN RN. The beauty of the Nursing profession is that you can usually find a job doing whatever you like. From ER to telephone triage nurse, from Flight nursing to workman's comp case manager, there's something for about anyone. I have been a RN for 23 years, and nursing has provided me a comfortable living and interesting opportunities.

If you are studying for personal edification, maybe a bit of income, and for fun (and being retired, this is certainly possible), you may be happy with a less study-intensive field.

Some folks have mentioned EMT, which is a great start, though I agree with ScottPreps and sort of feel it's a young person's game. The prehospital environment can be pretty rough on a person. My journey in healthcare started as an EMT. I have crawled into a lot of semi-crushed cars and waded through thigh-deep ditch water, etc. to help folks. It was easy when I was 20. Not sure I'd want to do it a lot at 48. Of course, not all calls are like that, but some are.

Paramedic is focused mostly on pre-hospital stuff, but many ERs hire paramedics, and a local Med Flight helicopter uses one Paramedic and one RN. As far as learning survival skills, there was a push for a while to create a "Community Paramedic" which had more of a primary care focus, but I confess I don't know the status. It seems to be somewhat similar to the Alaska Community Health Aide/Practitioner program which has been providing primary care to villagers since the 1950s.

There are programs such as LPN and Medical Assistant which can be a happy medium: They are not as intensive as a RN program, but still teach assessment, medication administration, etc.

Physician Assistant (PA) and Nurse Practitioner (NP) programs are tough and competitive to get into. I am going through the process now. But they have a great deal of skill and knowledge, and seem to be the highest level of medical care before you have to go through medical school.

A couple points since this is a preparedness board.

1) Most training you will receive pre-supposes a grid up condition. First Responders, EMTs and Paramedics are awesome, but much of their focus is stabilization and transport to the hospital. It's not their job to diagnose your cough and provide antibiotics.

2) RNs and other hospital-based caregivers are just as reliant on the direction from physicians/PA/NPs. That said, they have a fantastic opportunity to observe the care process, and ask the docs "why?" Why did you prescribe Keflex versus Augmentin? Why didn't we sew up that laceration? How did you know that was bronchitis versus pneumonia? With an inquisitive and observant mind, you can learn a lot that can help you in a calamity.

3) If you live in a rural or even some smaller towns/suburban area, I consider volunteering as a First Responder/EMT/volunteer firefighter to be advantageous for a number of reasons:
  • a) Stress Inoculation. Seeing, experiencing and functioning in stressful situations functions to help you be resistant to the stress in the future. Imagine the difference seeing your daughter thrown from a 4 wheeler if you had been a First Responder for a few years and if you merely taken a Red Cross First Aid class. The difference isn't necessarily the training, it's the experience.

  • b) Training.

  • c) Be a "Good Guy." Local Law Enforcement sees you, interacts with you, gets to know you. Unless you are a jerk (or they are), you get to stick in people's mind as a "Good Guy." Can that make the difference in getting through a roadblock or even pulled over for speeding (ahem!)? maybe. Maybe not. But it can't hurt.

  • d) Neighborly. You get to meet, know and be of help to others in your community.

  • e) Resources. Your calls will take you everywhere, eventually. You'll get to see what that factory makes or where the county diesel pumps are, or the code to get into that locked building. Don't misunderstand me: I am NOT talking about "casing" places for theft. I am saying that the more you know the better off you will be in a drastic, life-or-death, emergency situation.


OK, this has turned in to way too long a post...What am I? Jerry D. Young? (Just kidding, Jerry!)

I hope this rambling diatribe has helped, but medicine is a huge subject! If there is anything I can do to help, please feel free to IM me.

Good luck!
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:10 PM
Liberty Belle Liberty Belle is offline
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Default Great info

Thanks for all the great ideas, ladies and gents! I think, based on my own thoughts and the information you all presented that an RN is probably closest to what would interest me the most and give me the most helpful medical skills as well as the best career possibilities.

I am mainly interested in being knowledgeable enough to be of real use in a SHTF situation, as well as possibly having a quick second career.

I haven't posted enough times to thank each of you individually, but I read every post. Thanks a bunch!!!
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:25 PM
Liberty Belle Liberty Belle is offline
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Originally Posted by Im RIght View Post

What do you want to learn how to do?
I mainly want enough training to be of real use in a SHTF scenario, but also try for a short second career. The more I read and research into medical skills and knowledge, the more fascinating it becomes to me.

Probably could have gone into medicine much younger but I really enjoy teaching (most of the time!).
Old 03-20-2017, 06:27 PM
Liberty Belle Liberty Belle is offline
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Hello Ms.Belle:

2) RNs and other hospital-based caregivers are just as reliant on the direction from physicians/PA/NPs. That said, they have a fantastic opportunity to observe the care process, and ask the docs "why?" Why did you prescribe Keflex versus Augmentin? Why didn't we sew up that laceration? How did you know that was bronchitis versus pneumonia? With an inquisitive and observant mind, you can learn a lot that can help you in a calamity.
That is what is interesting to me and I what I was thinking would be most useful. Thank you for the insight and the offer--I will pm you as soon as I get the chance!
Old 03-20-2017, 08:26 PM
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I'm not sure what the paramedic program is like in your area, but the one I went through was 5 semesters for just the medic classes. 1 for basic, 1 for intermediate, 3 for paramedic. I had a semester of pharmacology A&P, etc. and about 500 clinical hours of rotations, both hospital (ER, L&D, OR (24 hours for live intubations), etc. We ran and interpreted EKG's as well as all other standard paramedic protocols and skills, including RSI protocols.We were required to do an 8 hour rotation with one of the college's medical directors and get their blessing before our instructor would pass us and allow us to sit for the national registery exam. There are many programs out that that can drastically shorten the amount of time you spend in the class room, but they basically teach for the national registry exam. I was excepted into a nursing program years ago but decided not to persue that line of training. Ironically, I don't work in the EMS field either. I do keep my certs up and I am on the medical squad at the chemical plant that I work at. If you are looking for skills and a career, I would recommend nursing. Here in my area nurses start on the average at $40.00 an hour. A paramedic is lucky to make $25.00 an hour. Most medics I know work more than 1 job.
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:20 PM
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assuming you have your teaching certificate and a bachelors degree.

RN.

RN should be easy for you. 2 years and done.

Working as an EMT is hard physically and mentally. The pay sucks compared to nursing. unless you get a .gov job you will most likely work for a private ambulance company. poor pay and the ever present threat of a brand new minimum wage replacement to take your place.

ever stayed awake for 24 hours at a time ?

how about lifting a 160 pound patient on a 70 pound gurney into the back of an ambulance with just you and one other guy ? rEPEAT X 12 OR SO, THE NUMBER OF TRANSPORTS YOU MIGHT DO IN AN AMBUALNCE SERVICE SHIFT (whoops capslock)

how about stayed awake 24 hours, drove an over loaded truck around town and made critical decisions while tired ? thats ems.

not a lot of raises to be expected unless you are also interested in becoming a firefighter or a paramedic. BTW- most municipal fire departments wont hire anybody over 37 years old.

nursing is more well rounded as far as prepping is concerned. EMT and paramedic are specialized to the extreme. EMS trains to provide life support in any condition for the first hour or so.

Nursing takes over and provides life support for the rest of the patients life. much broader in scope and knowledge.

ive done little else than EMS since i was 18. 49 now and wondering what i'll do when i'm too old to lift those 200 pounders into the ambulance.

please consider nursing.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:56 AM
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Ever consider chiropractic?
Old 03-22-2017, 09:53 AM
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Ever consider chiropractic?
I thought she wanted to learn medicine ... sorry I have a cousin in that racket if he quacked any more he'd grow feathers and fly south for the winter
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:51 AM
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I thought she wanted to learn medicine ... sorry I have a cousin in that racket if he quacked any more he'd grow feathers and fly south for the winter
While there have been and are some less than great chiropractors out there, there have been an awful lot of people who have gone to good ones, ones that actually helped them. I have my appendix and my tonsils today because of a chiropractor that was able to help me keep them when most of the rest of the medical community was chomping at the bit to remove them. They cause me no problems today.

I think you've written off a group of people based upon a bad example.

Just my opinion.
Old 03-22-2017, 12:52 PM
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While there have been and are some less than great chiropractors out there, there have been an awful lot of people who have gone to good ones, ones that actually helped them. I have my appendix and my tonsils today because of a chiropractor that was able to help me keep them when most of the rest of the medical community was chomping at the bit to remove them. They cause me no problems today.

I think you've written off a group of people based upon a bad example.

Just my opinion.
a chiropractor fixed your appendix
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:01 PM
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Based on what you've stated, OP... An associate's degree in registered nursing is what you want. If money isn't an issue (like if you've got a spouse providing primary income) and you'd like a slightly less challenging field, LPN is a good option too.

I am a RN and I worked with a LPN who retired recently. She only made a bit less than me but had nearly all of the basic knowledge I did, minus some of the more up to date IV type knowledge.

You can potentially do your entire RN or LPN schooling and licensure in 2-3 years (assuming you have zero pre-reqs done now). Then do 1-2 years on the "regular" med-surg floor, then move on to the ER or higher critical care units. You could potentially be there before age 56.

Heck, just after school alone you will already be leaps and bounds ahead of the vast majority of people when it comes to medical prepping knowledge.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Jedi Medic View Post
assuming you have your teaching certificate and a bachelors degree.

RN.

RN should be easy for you. 2 years and done.

Working as an EMT is hard physically and mentally. The pay sucks compared to nursing. unless you get a .gov job you will most likely work for a private ambulance company. poor pay and the ever present threat of a brand new minimum wage replacement to take your place.

ever stayed awake for 24 hours at a time ?

how about lifting a 160 pound patient on a 70 pound gurney into the back of an ambulance with just you and one other guy ? rEPEAT X 12 OR SO, THE NUMBER OF TRANSPORTS YOU MIGHT DO IN AN AMBUALNCE SERVICE SHIFT (whoops capslock)

how about stayed awake 24 hours, drove an over loaded truck around town and made critical decisions while tired ? thats ems.

not a lot of raises to be expected unless you are also interested in becoming a firefighter or a paramedic. BTW- most municipal fire departments wont hire anybody over 37 years old.

nursing is more well rounded as far as prepping is concerned. EMT and paramedic are specialized to the extreme. EMS trains to provide life support in any condition for the first hour or so.

Nursing takes over and provides life support for the rest of the patients life. much broader in scope and knowledge.

ive done little else than EMS since i was 18. 49 now and wondering what i'll do when i'm too old to lift those 200 pounders into the ambulance.

please consider nursing.
Wondering what you'll do?

Not too late for you to consider RN/LPN. Or teach EMT? Find one of these prepping skills companies and teach some emergency first-aid classes.

I'm a RN and I am heavily considering enrolling in EMT or paramedic program.
Old 03-22-2017, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by JBryan314 View Post
Wondering what you'll do?

Not too late for you to consider RN/LPN. Or teach EMT? Find one of these prepping skills companies and teach some emergency first-aid classes.

I'm a RN and I am heavily considering enrolling in EMT or paramedic program.
You might find an RN to Paramedic transition program. It should cut the time down significantly. I believe you will still have to do ambulance rotations, but I'm not sure what other clinical rotations are required.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:19 PM
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Wondering what you'll do?

Not too late for you to consider RN/LPN. Or teach EMT? Find one of these prepping skills companies and teach some emergency first-aid classes.

I'm a RN and I am heavily considering enrolling in EMT or paramedic program.
Does your state have a PHRN program?
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