What LP did you do?
I did an EMS ride along with paramedics!
How did you go about contacting and arranging the LP?
I emailed Nancy Weller (the PA program Program Administrator) three dates when I was available for 12 hours straight. She contacted the EMS Staff Scheduler who agreed on one of the dates!
What were the two main things you learned from this LP?
I learnt the process of how it is determined which EMS attends to which call and prioritize the severity of the patient. I also learnt how much work is put in by paramedics before the patient even arrives to the ER. Often times, triage nurses expect the patient history, situation at the scene where patient was picked up from, health card information and other paperwork when the paramedics arrive. I realized how much work is actually put into before the patient arrives at the hospital.
What did you wish you knew to help you in your LP?
I wish I knew a little bit about the coding system used by paramedics. Different numbers signify different categories and the severity of the patient (emergency, urgent, non-urgent, etc.). When the paramedics started using the coding system, I was a little lost at first. However, they were both extremely helpful and patiently taught me things along the way.
How has this experience helped you clinically, in class and/or in career decision making?
If I ever want to change professions in future, I would definitely consider being a paramedic. I have a new found respect for EMS personnel and would value their presence when I work in ER and during my ER clerkship next year.
Any other comments?
I loved the experience. To those who are interested in learning more about what happens to a patient before they arrive to the hospital, definitely consider an EMS ride along!