At some point in your EMT training, you will go on a “third ride”. It is called a third ride because you are the third person in the ambulance. There are two paramedics riding up front, and you, the student, the “third rider”, sitting in the back of the ambulance. As the third rider, you are along for the ride (and the learning experience) of your life.
You will probably be pretty nervous. The crew you’re riding with will expect you to be. They were once in your shoes, and they were shaking in them too. Some crews will be understanding and accommodating, letting you sit back and watch. Others will push you to be more active, to help overcome your fears. After all, this is what you will be doing after you graduate. There is no better way to learn than to do.
It’s okay to be nervous, but remember: you are not alone. The crew is there. They are training you. The fire department is there, the police department is there. The pressure is not on you. You are the student, there to experience, and observe, participate when appropriate, and learn. It isn’t all on your shoulders!
The crew is there to do their job, but they will expect you to get involved. Don’t just stand there. If you stand around with your hands in your pockets, not only will you be in the way, but you won’t learn much; and if you’re not learning and not helping, your presence is not only unnecessary, it is literally a danger.
So jump in! Do exactly what you will do when you are a real EMT. Insider tip: As soon as you get to the scene, start taking vitals before you are asked. This will impress the medics you are with. While you are taking vitals, assess the rest of the scene. Listen to the paramedic conduct the patient interview. Listen to the patient’s answers. If the patient says something that you can act on, do so. For example, if they say they are having chest pain, start hooking them up to a monitor so the medic can run an EKG. You will be saving the medic’s time, getting real learning experience, and improving the quality of care for the patient. Get involved and do your best. Doing so will make the most out of your third ride.
The Emergency Medical Technicians you are riding with will be evaluating you. And they will be reporting these evaluations back to your EMT instructors. If you want a great evaluation, ask what your crew expects, and do that. Simply ask them at the beginning of your shift. They will be happy to tell you, and you will be happy you asked. Not only will asking for their advice improve your performance, but your nervousness will decrease because you will have opened up a conversation with your crew.
So, be eager to help, be eager to do, be eager to ask, be eager to listen, and be eager to learn. Most importantly, have fun. This is a great experience and a major turning point in your EMT training. So enjoy it, and make the most of it. It will only serve you well in the future (when you are driving the ambulance and you have our own little third riders coming along).
About Unitek Education
Unitek Education is the premier EMT training provider in the United States. Our mission is simple: training the next wave of EMT professionals. We offer a variety of training options to fit your needs. Unitek Education’s instructors are experienced leaders in their fields, and our ultra-real-world training scenarios are ideal for both new and seasoned students, with training the covers all major aspects of emergency medical services.
Call our EMT admissions team and our admissions advisors will introduce you to our program, help you enroll, and work out all the other details of your training. Call 888-790-1458 to register for EMT Boot Camp in California now!