The SKiNNY on the job: Emergency Medical Services

On this episode, we’re going to take a closer
look at what it takes to be one of the first responders in the healthcare field. Let’s get the SKiNNY on the job. The emergency medical services A.S. degree
at TCC is one of several options under the Health Sciences meta-major. EMTs and paramedics are responsible for caring
for the sick and wounded while quickly transporting them to a medical facility. EMS personnel work hand in hand with other
emergency workers like police officers and firefighters. It’s important for EMS professionals to
handle high stress situations and also work with a team. The Bureau of Labor statistics projects the
EMS field to rise by 23% in the next 10 years. EMT and paramedic salaries range from $20,000
to about $53,000. I’m here with Darrell from Leon County EMS. Now Darrell, you’re also a TCC grad, right? Absolutely! TCC, go Eagles! That’s great! Well tell me, what made you decide to go into
this field? Well actually, I would tell you but I don’t
know. I was in the military, was coming out of the
military, I was going to electronic school. I got home, something changed my mind and
all those years ago I’m still trying to figure out what changed my mind, but I’m
happy it changed. And what have you really loved most about
it? Most of the times you get to meet people at
their worst and when you can really make an impact on their life. They call us, nobody calls us because they’re
having a good day. It’s usually a bad day, so we can make an
impact on folks’ lives when they are having their worst day, and you can really make a
difference and you get to help people. I love that, and it does make a difference
for sure! I remember having people come, my little brother
had seizures and you were just very stressed and those friendly, calm faces really do mean
a lot. What do you look for when you’re hiring
people and trying to find people who are going to be really great in a high stress situation? One of the things, we are in the customer
service business, so we don’t want to hire someone that doesn’t really like people. You have to like people in order to be in
this business, so when we’re looking, we’re looking for someone that likes working with
people, like working with the public, and then of course we want them to have the skillset,
and we go through a series of questions, and we want to know their background and make
sure that they have the skillset, but most importantly we want to make sure that they’re
going to treat the customers that we serve very well. Customer service, I like that! You don’t usually associate EMS with that. So what are you going to be showing me today? I’m going to be showing you our cardiac
monitor because what we deal with in this field is a lot of chest pain, cardiac patients,
and what we do is we put them on the monitor, and we see if they are actually having a heart
attack right then. I’m going to be showing you how we do that. Alright, let’s go! Alright! Let’s do it! Thank you Darrell! This is what I was talking about, the cardiac
monitor. And this is Trey Harper, and when someone
calls us for say, chest pain, we want to make sure that they’re not having a heart attack. So what we do is we put them on a monitor,
and of course I have it turned on right there already, and we have to put little stickies
on him. So we take the monitor in the house, we do
what we call a 12-lead EKG in the house, and then if it’s a STEMI–
And what is a STEMI? ST Elevation MI. You have a segment called the ST segment on
the cardiac monitor, and if that is elevated, then there’s a possibility that they’re
having an MI, and there are different areas of the heart that that is, and we can tell
by where it’s elevated. So you can see on the monitor here. So he’s hooked up, he’s really hooked
up, we’re actually seeing- Yes, that’s his heart rhythm right there. And then if you see right, kind of right here,
it’s called the ST segment. And if we see any kind of elevation there
on the 12 lead, then it tells us what area inferior or anterior acepto, and then if we
see that, we get on the radio, we call the hospital, whichever hospital we’re going
to, and we tell them we have a STEMI. We transmit the EKG to them so they can look
at it as well, and then they alert the cath lab. So you’re getting everything ready for this
person before they even arrive. Before they even arrive at the hospital. And is that one of the most urgent types of
things that you’ll deal with in this job? Yes. One of the, we call them the “big three”. Cardiac, stroke, and trauma. Those are the big ones, and we try to figure
out what’s going on before we get to the hospital so we can alert the hospital and
they have their teams ready, so the care can continue. You’ve got to be fast, and in addition to
that customer service, it sounds like you’ve got to be a really good analytical thinker,
problem solver, Sherlock almost. Trying to figure out what is going on and-
Exactly. You’ve got to be able to multitask and you’ve
got to know what you’re doing. Well thank you Darrell so much for all the
work you do, thank you Trey for helping us out today. Thank you so much. Thank you! So if you love healthcare, caring for people
in some of their most stressful situations, and multitasking, this could be a great career
for you. For more information, talk to your advisor
or visit the TCC website.

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