Back to School

So I finally sat down and talked to someone at the local community college about my EMS degree and a new program. It turns out that I am 4 classes away from my associates degree (an AAS level math, Psych 1105 (Intro Psych), IT 1010 (Intro to computers), and Eng 1101 (basic comp). I didn’t realize I was that close. I also was informed about a new Community Paramedic program that the college is offering for the first time starting this Fall.

The new program consists of 21 hours total over two semesters, almost all of it online. The physical portion of the program consists of several hundred precepted clinical hours in the city. I’m excited and put my application in for it. Apparently it’s a competitive program with 3+ years of EMS, working as a paramedic in a prehospital environment, and approval of service director being some of the requirements. I submitted everything by last Tuesday and found out last Wednesday that I was accepted! So this coming semester it looks like I’ll have 17 credit hours of online classes, plus the critical care program that my company is paying for us to do. Gonna be a busy few months.

I honestly hadn’t realized that I was that close to having my associates degree. If I had I might have put more work into getting it by now. I firmly believe that in the future that AAS-Paramedic programs will be the minimum accepted entry into the ranks of Paramedics. Hell, here in NM there are no more certificate programs. I wish I had gotten my degree as soon as I finished P-school, but that wasn’t in the cards for me.

So here we go. Another busy semester, but one I feel I need to do. I’ll have my degree by May :) And have another CCT cert, and a certificate of completion of Community Paramedicine studies too.

Another loss for NM EMS

 

 

 

 

1517428_10202474984698129_1623799878249767699_n

 

Early this morning there was word that a HEMS bird crashed in rural eastern NM. And it proved to be Careflight 5 out of Santa Fe, NM. This hits a lot of us hard because NM EMS IS such a small community. I’m kinda stunned at all of this. I knew that crew, I’ve talked to them on and off at work. And, because I do aviation photography, I have seen that crew at hospitals and taken pictures of their bird. Tri-state Careflight is a good company, and their crews are amazing. They will be missed, greatly. Good thoughts go out to their families, and to everyone that’s hurting tonight.

RIP Brothers and sister. We have the watch now.

-TJ

New Goal

So instead of just plodding along with trying to establish my photography business, I decided I needed a goal. That goal is I want to produce a photo book of regional EMS/Fire/Air Medical in the TX, NM, CO area. And then donate the¬†proceeds of said book to the National EMS Memorial in CO Springs. To that goal, I’ve established a GoFundMe page (http://www.gofundme.com/bgvad0) to see if anyone wants to donate. If you’d like to donate I’d appreciate it immensely. Or you can buy some of my prints (http://www.stretchermonkeyphoto.com or http://www.fineartamerica.com/profiles/nathan-zecco.html ). Anything helps! Thanks everyone!

Is this what I wanted?

The other day we were out and ran into an old teacher of mine. And by old, I mean like 7th grade… For perspective I graduated HS 8 years ago. She was saying something about what I had wanted to do back then. And then she asked what I do now. When I told her I was a paramedic (which honestly, as much as I hate advertising that fact, I’m proud of what I do for a living) she had this shocked look on her face.

It makes me think about what I wanted back then. I was gung-ho to go into the military, or to do some kind of engineering. Something that sounded ‘fun’ to me back then. But a lot of crap happened in high school that started to change my perspective. And then I was involved in one of the most life changing events that I’ve had, I almost died in a motorcycle accident at the end of my Jr year of HS. That killed any hopes I had of joining the military. ¬†And whether I wanted to admit it or not, probably made me consider a career in public safety.

I remember when I decided to become an EMT. I was an explosives engineering student at the school of mines in my high school town. But even though I was just a couple miles from home, I had way too much fun. I thought that college was one big party, with more time spent offroading and shooting guns than actually attending classes. So I was informed that I needed to take a semester off. To figure out what I wanted to do (also read: academic suspension). So I moved to ABQ, for what I thought was going to be a semester, and enrolled in a class that sounded like a lot of fun. EMT-Basic at the local community college.

The class was fun. It was interesting. And full of the usual war stories and ‘hero’ rhetoric. But at the time I didn’t know any different. And at the time I was hooked. It sounded so fun, so exciting, like I would be making a difference. And then I did my ambulance shift for class. I was hooked even more.

That was 7 years ago. In the time since I’ve come to love my career field. I’ve invested an untold amount of hours and money into pushing myself to be better, to do better for my patients.

And now with where I work (which is another post coming up all in itself) I find myself with an abundance of free time. And I think back on where I thought I would be, and where I am now. And honestly, I am rather happy with where I am. I feel like I do a job I belong in. I feel like, now, I can make a difference. It took a long time and a lot of effort to get here. And I can honestly say I’m proud of it.

But now I’m at a crossroads as well. I want to go on to more. And I have a decent amount of free time at work. So I decided I’m going to bridge over to nursing with an ADN from Excelsior College Nursing Program. Afterall, I’m happy, but I don’t want to just rest on my laurels and get stagnant.

Onward to bigger things. Hell, maybe one day I’ll have some bigger fancy letters after my name.

 

 

Also. New banner! Lol after saying for the past 2 years I needed a new one.

Well now another update

As I’m sure some of you thought, looking at the timing and dates on that last post, that it was an April fool’s joke :p I’m not going to Detroit at the moment. But I do have some real changes soon I’m hoping.

 

And now for something that just made me go “What?”… I found out that my social anxiety actually gets much much worse when I’m at the hospital.I never gave it much thought, and thought I was just nervous cause I’m still newer to working there… But I was just talking to one of the docs I’m friendly with and they made the comment that they think working in the hospital is making me very anxious. Talk about throwing me for a loop. And make me miss working on the bus even more.

A big change in the wings!

I’ve been rather quiet lately… But I feel now is the right time, with The Happy Medic’s newest announcement, to open up with my newest opportunity on the horizon.

I have been asked to come onboard with the new Detroit Unified Healthcare Service, as a field supervisor! We will, together with many other innovative and progressive EMS professionals, be forming the core of the new Detroit EMS. We will be building it from the ground up and making it a place everyone who is interested in more than being a taxi ride to the hospital will want to travel to!

Stay tuned for more information ASAP about this exciting new service! Click the link above if you’re interested in joining us on this adventure!

It is like an addiction

Well, I’m now seven weeks into working in a hospital. I haven’t stepped foot in an ambulance for seven weeks… And god do I miss it. But I might have some options coming up.

I honestly knew I loved working an ambulance, and it’s been years since I haven’t worked full time with a service somewhere. But I haven’t even volunteered due to some personal issues. I find myself missing the rush of certain calls and the camaraderie of EMS crews decompressing after a bad call. But this is ridiculous. I go to work in the ER loving what I do. But I do get jealous of the crews that come in.

So my options coming up… I have a written test tomorrow morning at 1000 for a company I first got my start at. I was terminated there years ago for an MVC, but now that I’m a medic and it’s been 6 years, they are looking at bringing me on again it looks like. I applied for PT work in the greater metro area. So probably on their CCT truck they are trying to stand up or their little 911 contract. Guess I will see.

The bad part? I get off work after 12 hour night shift tomorrow at 0700. Gonna be a long day.

My other option is that I applied, with my hospital preceptors recommendation and urging, to a local fixed wing operation here in the metro area. They are a good company and I’ve loved their crews when I’ve had to transport them to and from the airport and hospital. Plus I work with multiple RNs and medics that work there now that I’m at the TC. I was told they might be able to work with me being juts under experience due to my having worked two concurrent full time jobs for close to 2 years as a primary medic, plus having my FP-C already. Waiting for a call to interview, but I was told I’ll get that call. The rest I’m on my own for, lol.

And the last option is going back to the rural county I volunteered for. It’s tempting, as they’ve had a massive change in leadership recently. And from what I’ve been told it’s for the best. I still have an in there if I want it, at least that’s what I’ve been told.

All this combined with going back to school next semester, getting my photography business off the ground, and continuing working full time at the TC leaves my head spinning… but that’s what I want :) I like keeping busy.

New pictures and changes

So now that I’m actively promoting my photography venture, I figured I’ll post a couple of my newest pictures and the link to the site. I have updated some of the content and the formatting. Let me know what ya’ll think.

http://www.stretchermonkeyphoto.com

 

Another Night…

I have quickly found one advantage of working in the ED… Easy to talk to other providers and learn more about some of their positions. Take PAs for example. I’ve always thought somewhat of becoming a PA, especially lately, over a NP… For the sole benefit of I don’t have to be a Nurse first!

All kidding to our nursing colleagues aside, PA seems like it was tailor-made for Paramedics to transition into once they have obtained an undergrad degree. And the option is sound even more appealing when I found out just how much money and effort my hospital would be willing to sink into a paramedic finishing his BS-EMS at the attached university and then trying to apply to PA school. My boss supports it 110%, as long as I stay in Emergency Medicine lol.

The more I work in a hospital setting (including my previous time as a Tech) makes me think that becoming a Nurse is not for me. Especially starting out on a Med-Surg floor or the like. If I could jump right into ED or ICU Nursing, then that’s another story, but I still don’t know if I want to spend time as a nurse (other than possibly flight, which requires ICU/ED time) before I transition to a mid-level provider. The only benefit I’m seeing is the increase in pay while I’m working my way up to a mid-level. Not to mention the way PAs are taught is a closer fit to the way Paramedics are taught to think.

Either way, I think I might actually be here at this hospital a while so I can finish some education. I want that undergrad degree and want to improve myself as a medic. Plus working here let’s me attempt to transition over to fixed wing flight medicine and put my little wings to use. From there, who knows. All I know if I want to keep learning and keep getting experience.

 

Just an update

I now have my photo site up and running!

http://www.stretchermonkeyphoto.com

 

I also have the link now up at the menu bar. Let me know what you think!