“Whoooaaaaa…that’s insane. Or insanity-causing.”

I was recently talking to one of my friends when she asked me how my course was going.  So I told her my current paramedic-student “ritual” and her comment was:

“Whoooaaaaa…that’s insane. Or insanity-causing.”

I think my friend nailed the PCP (Primary Care Paramedic) course 100%.

I guess they weren’t exaggerating when they said I’ll have no life when I’m in the PCP program.  I’m literally, living, breathing, eating and sleeping paramedicine at the moment.  My brain is aching, I think I started too hard in this 5 month marathon and I’m only 3 weeks in.

Here’s a quick outline of my week, so you can get an idea of my daily “rituals”:


  • 06:15 Wake up
  • 07:45/08:00 Arrive at school (set up, bring cots down, do some readings)
  • 08:30 Class begins
  • 16:40-17:00 Class ends
  • 17:00-18:30/20:00 Stay after school to study/practice calls
  • 20:30 Dinner
  • 20:30-23:00/00:00 Study and do readings for the next day
  • 00:00-06:15 Catch some zzzzZZZZ


  • Wake up, squeeze in some exercise, go to school, practice scenarios, go home, eat and do readings, sleep.
  • Repeat starting on Monday.

I would say the toughest part of this program is the amount of readings you have to do in one night.  On a good day you’ll have about 40 pages from your textbook, on the bad days you can have up to 100 pages from your text to read for not the week but the next day.  On top of that you have to practice your calls and your practical skills, since there just isn’t enough time during class to get it down real good.  The program is just super condensed.  In Ontario it takes 2yrs, here, it takes 5-6months.  So my advice is to read ahead!  In fact, READ THE WHOLE TEXTBOOK and take notes BEFORE you start the program.  That’ll help you a ton.

That being said, I have to say the teachers have all been really amazing.  They’re willing to put in that extra mile for us, to stay late after classes, or gulp down a quick meal during lunch to help us on our practical skills, or to even drop by on weekends to see how our practices are going.  I just wished we had more time to absorb the self-study portions of the course.

Despite the craziness, I’m having a good time.  I just gotta learn to pace myself a bit better so I don’t burn out.

I’m looking forward to this coming week.  There’s IV day, where we’ll be sticking each other with needles, MCI (Multiple Casualty Incident) and patient recovery as well.  It should be an interesting week.


4 thoughts on ““Whoooaaaaa…that’s insane. Or insanity-causing.”

  1. That schedule reminds me of taking my GCSEs in England. Tough and nearly impossible to adapt to! I’m currently sat in waiting for the next PCP class in Manitoba so it’s great to hear what I should expect.

    Good luck! 🙂

    1. What does GCSEs stand for?

      Hopefully the course in Manitoba isn’t as condensed 😉

      I’m really enjoying the course, although sometimes I just feel super tired.

      Thanks, and good luck with your course coming up 🙂

  2. General Certificates of General Education. Basically I’ve completely High School twice!

    The program that I’ll be doing runs from Sept to July (including 1 month clinical, 1 month in a rural placement and 1 month in a city placement) so I’m hoping it’s not as condensed… but figure it will be 😉

    One of the things I have been hearing about (other than the Class 4 testing in the province being “a Class 5 without parallel parking in your own car) is a vast majority of the students “goofing off in class”. It’s almost concerning to think that I could be in a class of 5 where 4 are thinking it’s still High School. Have you seen anything like this, or have the classes put a firm halt in any such behavior?

    Thanks 🙂

    1. There hasn’t been much “goofing off” in my class, but I can’t speak for all classes because it all depends on the individuals in the classes. I mean we do goof off once in a while to ease the stress or tension, but the class I’m in works hard. Quite a few of us stay after classes or show up early to practice or practice during lunch. I would say overall everybody is doing their personal best with staying on top of things. Most people in our class are in their 20s with several people in their 30s so I think it makes a difference.

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