The Big Payoff

Nothing seems more satisfying than when hard work pays off.  I set the bar high for July.  I knew I had some work to do, and I had to make sure everything was done, and everything was in order.  That meant getting my PHTLS recertified, taking PALS again, updating my ACLS, and obtaining my National Registry certification.  While that just seems like four classes, it is a lot harder than one might think.

The first thing that I realized was PHTLS classes are very hard to come by.  I did, however, luck out and find one class down in Connecticut at the end of the month.  That would be the last piece of the puzzle, but it was scheduled.  PALS was the easiest of the group.  I found a class pretty quickly and got that squared away.  ACLS?  They’re a dime a dozen.  Scheduled, and done.  No problem.

Then there was my National Registry paramedic certification.  That’s right: the Quest for the Disco Patch.  This was the one that terrified me the most.  Being twelve years out from any EMS related exam that I had taken, and eleven years since I took any standardized test, I was a touch nervous.  Add to that the fact that I felt the pressure of actually being a provider, and I was then really nervous.  I scheduled the written first, followed by the practical more towards the end of the month.

I studied almost every day for three weeks.  I would take practice exams, then study what I got wrong, and then take another one trying to absorb as much of that supressed information as I could.  When the test day came, I was a wreck.  I sat down on a Thursday afternoon and fired up the computer that I was put in front of and cranked through 87 questions.  Yes, that’s right, just 87.  I got there, and it shut me down.  “You have completed this exam, and will get the results in two to three business days.”

Headache number one was gone by Friday afternoon.  NREMT was quick to get me my results, and I knew my written was all set.  Then it was on to the practical.

If any of my readers are considering getting their National Registry certification and they live anywhere in Northeast, let me recommend the program run by Becker Training Associates for your practical testing.  Their staff is friendly, they create a relaxed but professional environment, and they are fast.  I had a bit of test anxiety, but that had completely faded away after the first station I did.  From there it was smooth sailing.

Yesterday I got a large envelope in the mail from NREMT.  Although I knew already that I had passed, that coveted disco patch was waiting for me.  I did it.  I made it.  I set goals for myself and did not give up until they were accomplished.  The disco patch is on my shoulder, the cards are in my pocket.  Now on to the next challenge with the same determination.

There will be more to come in the future, but rest assured, some of the weight and stress that I was carrying has gone away.