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.