In this video, Scott McConnell, RN, BSN, CEN, NRP, EMS-1, and Distance CME co-founder, goes through the 10 items all EMS students should do while working with their EMS preceptor.
Read on for a quick synopsis of Scott’s great tips!
If you’re an EMS student working with a preceptor, making the most of your time at the station is paramount. While some of these tips may seem basic, they’ll come in handy – trust us.
10 tips for students working with their EMS preceptor
Tip 10: Always carry a pen and note pad. No matter how much you love technology, it’s hard to take notes on a phone or tablet. Plus, if you’re on call, you don’t want to risk getting something gross on your expensive gear.
Tip 9: Wear a watch. Why? For one thing, it’s easier to check the time by looking at your wrist than pulling a phone out of your pocket. For another, you don’t want to get blood or some other nasty substance on your phone. Noticing a pattern?
Tip 8: Have your own stethoscope, penlight, etc. It’s a lot easier to have these necessities on your person or in your pocket than having to rummage through the ambulance.
Tip 7: Always show up to your shift 20 minutes early. If you’re not 20 minutes early, then you’re late.
Tip 6: Bring snacks for your EMS preceptors. Coffee, muffins, doughnuts, bagels, whatever you can afford, will go a long way.
Tip 5: Ask questions! While asking questions in front of the patients may not be the best route (you don’t want to interfere with treatment or cause the patient to lose confidence in your crew), asking questions about what your EMS preceptor did after the call is a great way to learn.
Tip 4: Bring your books to your shift. While it may not always be the case, during most shifts you’ll probably have some downtime. While it’s okay to use some of this time to recharge, these lulls are also a great way to get in some studying. Plus, your EMS preceptor will have plenty of time to explain concepts you’re having trouble with.
Tip 3: Get a good night’s sleep before a shift. Fatigue and sleep deprivation lead to mistakes. When you’re trying to precept, mistakes, even small ones, are the last thing you want.
Tip 2: Silence your phone on call. It’s not very professional to have your phone go off in the middle of a call.
Tip 1: Go through the truck. When you’re out in the field and your EMS preceptor asks you to get something from the truck, they need it stat. You can’t spend a ton of time fumbling though the truck or gear bag – you need to know where to go to get the proper equipment.