How To Become A Paramedic

Paramedic Education Requirements

A paramedic is a person who is trained to use first aid. They aren’t fully qualified doctors but can perform some medical procedures. Just like any other medical field, the education requirements of a paramedic are quite high. It is important to understand the difference between an EMT and a paramedic. In short, A paramedic is more qualified than an EMT and is allowed to break / cut the skin for a medical procedure which an EMT can’t do. Let us see the education requirements and how long it may take to become a paramedic.

CPR Training

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is one of the most basic forms of emergency medical treatment. IT is important to be certified at this since many programs further on might require you to do so. This only requires a few hours of your time. You can go to the nearest medical center and you can get certified. It is the first step towards becoming a paramedic.

Paramedic EMT training (EMT-P)

This is a course that teaches you how to complete patient assessments and how to handle emergency situations. This usually includes about 120-150 hours of coursework. It may range from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the institution where you are learning. You will also be learning how to use medical equipment during the practical lessons.

Paramedic Certification

After basic training, you will need to sit for the certification test conducted by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). This certifies you to be an EMT. You can retake this exam 3 times after 15 days each. If you fail all three attempts, you might need to undergo additional training.

Advanced EMT training

This is where you begin separating yourself as a paramedic. You learn how to use IVs, EKGs etc. The course can last for about 300 hours more.

2-year program

After all this training, one still needs to apply for a two-year program to become a paramedic. Some of these programs might require you practice as an EMT for 6 months before applying for this post. This program usually covers anatomy, physiology, and advanced life support system which is taught through clinical training in hospitals and ambulances.

After this, you are now a certified paramedic. Additionally, you can choose to get a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree in a related field to advance in the career. This can help you become a healthcare administrator, paramedic trainer or a clinical supervisor.

CPR training + EMT-B (0.5-2) + Certification + Advanced EMT (1) + Paramedic program (2) = Total (3.5 -5.5)

Thus, it can take you anywhere from 3.5 years to 5.5 years to become a paramedic. It might take more if you choose to get a few other certifications along the way and then pursue a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree. Alternatively, one may also choose to apply for online paramedic courses. These courses teach the theory part of the medical training online whereas the practical lessons need to be done in person. Additionally, as a paramedic, you can choose to diversify your place of work. You can be a firefighter paramedic or a flight paramedic. Both require different types of certifications and traits present in a person.

This article has hopefully helped you in figuring out the career path you will need to take to become a paramedic and how long it will take you. Though a paramedic may not earn as much as some of the other medical officials, it will help you learn a lot of medical procedures and help you think on your feet. You may choose to pursue other medical interests later on after this as a qualified paramedic.