Finding the right fit

How the next-generation medic should evaluate potential employers to find an EMS home that will encourage growth


By the MCHD Podcast

On this episode of the MCHD Podcast, Dr. Casey Patrick, assistant medical director for Montgomery County Hospital District EMS, is joined by MCHD recruitment committee members, Megan Steely and Russell Carter, to discuss the next-generation medic.

The potential career path for EMTs and paramedics has evolved significantly since the 1970s. The idea of prehospital medicine as a lifelong profession and not a stepping stone to other arenas is relatively new.

What should medics today be conscious of when searching for the right job opportunity? Everyone focuses on salary, and rightfully so, but salary isn’t the only piece of a compensation package. Insurance, retirement, pensions and even tuition reimbursement can all add up quickly, so don’t get too focused on just the hourly rate.

Scheduling is never a one-size fits all proposition and can change throughout your career. The atmosphere and mission of a company is often difficult to discern from an advertisement. It is important to spend time with the employees during your interview process. This will allow to get a feel of the true day-to-day attitude of an EMS service, and to gauge of employee support.

A structured approach to risk management, peer review and education is a must. Skill and simulation labs, and advanced procedure training offerings are signs of an advanced education system.

An involved medical director with a robust QA/QI program is necessary to ensure protocol monitoring and advancement. Opportunities beyond shifts on the ambulance are also important to consider when on the job hunt and these seem to be constantly expanding.

Are you interested in tactical EMS, community paramedicine, clinical research or joining a bike team? These pursuits may not be the deciding factors, but definitely can help when facing a tough final decision.

Finally, when all of these factors are considered, you will have the tools needed to make a wise decision. Your career path and prehospital medicine are always going to be fluid and ever-changing. Reassess and keep an open mind and you will undoubtedly be rewarded.

The next-generation medic

Read next: Gaming a career path: A foundation for paramedic growth

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