We Know: All About Paramedics

What does a paramedic do?

A Paramedic is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with advanced training and certifications. A paramedic can be employed by either public or private service providers. A paramedicís basic job is to treat a patient during a transfer from the scene of injury to nearest local hospital or trauma center. Paramedics serve as the first line of treatment, diagnosis and stabilization for the injured.

What are the first steps in becoming a paramedic?

The rules for becoming for a paramedic vary from state to state and even sometimes on the county level. Many state and local agencies require a person to serve as an EMT for up to a year before qualifying to enter paramedic school. Many paramedic schools do criminal background checks, require a high school diploma or its equivalent, and ask that the candidate be at least 21 years of age. Another key factor is to make sure you are in the best physical shape possible since paramedics have many of the same demands placed on them as police and firefighters.

How long does paramedic training take?

Paramedic programs vary from six months to more advanced two year degrees and even bachelor's degree programs. Like any other vocational school, it is good to research job placement rates and the reputation of the school before applying. If the local Emergency Medical Services has a large involvement in the school, it is a sign that the school is well-established and teaching what it should be.

What do I learn in paramedic school?

Most paramedic programs include lanatomy/physiology, pharmacology, and trauma. Classes in handling the specific tools of the trade, such as electrocardiology, are also offered. Other classes deal with traffic management and truck dispatching. Secondary classes for other job related concerns, such as legal training and classes in stress relief, are also offered. In addition to class work, your school should offer quality 'sit' time, riding with local paramedic teams.

This will help in future decision-making and diagnosis, as well as making sure you have what it takes to deal with the sometimes traumatic situations that a paramedic encounters.

What is the job market like for paramedics?

Paramedics, like everyone in the medical field, will always be in demand. It is a very stressful job that only becomes lucrative after long hours of overtime. On the other hand, it is one of the few jobs that allows you to help your community in a basic, visceral and sometimes even heroic fashion. For the person called to this vocation it can be very rewarding indeed, regardless of financial remuneration.

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