PARAMEDIC: What Paramedics Do &, How To Become One

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When most people think of paramedics, they think of someone who responds to emergency calls and provides medical care to patients. However, there is much more to the job of a paramedic than just responding to emergencies. Paramedics play a vital role in the healthcare system, providing care to patients who cannot receive care from a doctor or nurse. Do you want to work as a paramedic but are unsure of how to begin preparing for it? Here, we cover all aspects of a paramedic career, including the duties, requirements, how to become one, how long it takes, salary, and differences vs EMS. So, keep reading!

What Is A Paramedic?

A paramedic is a healthcare professional who provides emergency medical services. Paramedics are trained to provide medical care to people who are sick or injured and to transport them to a medical facility.

Paramedics assess a patient’s condition and provide care appropriate to their needs. They also offer care in places out-of-hospital settings such as homes, schools, and workplaces. Furthermore,  paramedics work in teams of two or more, and they are often the first responders to medical emergencies.

What Does A Paramedic Do? 

A paramedic is a medical professional trained to provide emergency medical care. Paramedics typically work in an ambulance alongside a partner and are responsible for providing care to patients en route to the hospital. 

However, they respond to emergencies to provide basic life support, wound care, and IV therapy. Paramedics also administer CPR, medications and perform minor surgical procedures, and use other life-saving techniques. 

While a paramedic is a good job with a huge salary, it does not take long, and you need requirements to become certified, vs EMS. In addition to their medical training, paramedics also receive training in communication and customer service, as they are often the first point of contact for patients.

Paramedic Requirements 

If you want to become a paramedic, you must provide some requirements, which include:

  • Complete high school or obtain a General Educational Development (GED).
  • Attend training or courses on basic EMT training, intermediate EMT training, and paramedic training. To become a paramedic, one must first complete an accredited training program and obtain certification. The training program typically takes about two years to complete and includes both classroom and clinical instruction. 
  • Pass and qualify for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians exam (NREMT) and the National Registry Paramedic cognitive exam. 
  • After completing the program and passing the certification exam, paramedics must then obtain a state license. If you want to practice as a paramedic, you must get a state license. These paramedic requirements vary from state to state, but you will likely need to pass an exam and have a clean criminal record.

NOTE: Paramedics are required to complete continuing education credits regularly to keep their license current. They must also maintain their certification by taking a recertification exam every few years. Paramedics may also pursue additional certification in a specialty area, such as pediatrics or critical care.

How To Become A Paramedic 

Becoming a paramedic is a great way to help others in their time of need. Paramedics are first responders to medical emergencies and are responsible for providing care to patients before transporting them to a hospital. If you are interested in becoming a paramedic, here is a step-by-step guide on how to become a paramedic:

#1. Get A High School Diploma Or GED

A high school diploma or GED is a necessary step in becoming a paramedic. Many paramedics have a college degree, but it is not required. The most important thing for aspiring paramedics is to complete an accredited emergency medical services (EMS) program.

There are many accredited EMS programs available, both online and in traditional brick-and-mortar schools. The type of program you choose will likely depend on your schedule and learning preference. Hence, you need to have a high school diploma or GED to be eligible.

#2. Complete An Accredited Paramedic Training Program

To become a paramedic, you must first complete an accredited paramedic training program. Many accredited programs are available, so research to find one right for you. Paramedic training programs are typically offered at community colleges and take about two years to complete.

After you finish your training, you will be ready to take the next step in your career. Meanwhile, becoming a paramedic is a rewarding career choice, and with the best training, you will be successful in this field. If you are dedicated to helping others and want to make a difference in your community, then a career as a paramedic may be the right choice for you.

#3. Obtain Certification

After completing the necessary training and passing the required exams, the next step to become a paramedic is to obtain certification. There are different types of certifications paramedics can obtain, but the most common is through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). To be eligible for the NREMT, paramedics must complete an accredited training program and pass both a cognitive and practical exam. Once certified, paramedics must renew their certification every two years by completing continuing education courses and passing a recertification exam.

#4. Get A State License

Different states have different requirements for paramedics, but most require certification through the NREMT. Some states also require paramedics to obtain a state-specific license in addition to their national certification. 

To maintain their certification and license, paramedics must complete continuing education courses and pass recertification exams every two years. By completing these steps, paramedics can ensure that they are up-to-date on the latest best practices and can provide the highest quality of care.

#5. Find A Job

The final step in becoming a paramedic is finding a job. After completing your training and certification, you can begin your job search. There are many different places where paramedics work, so find an organization that is a good fit for you. You can search for open positions online or contact local hospitals, fire departments, and ambulance services to inquire about job openings. 

Once you get a position that interests you, apply and interview for the job. If hired, you can begin your career as a paramedic and make a difference in the lives of others.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Paramedic?

It usually takes about two to three years to become a paramedic. The first year is on completing an accredited EMT program. The second year is on completing an accredited Paramedic program. During the third year, paramedics may choose to complete an internship or externship to gain experience in the field.

What Do Paramedics Wear? 

Paramedics wear a white shirt over black pants. The uniform usually consists of a shirt with the word “PARAMEDIC” written on it. They also wear a belt with a holster for their radio and other equipment. Sometimes, they wear a vest or jacket over their uniform to protect them from the weather.

Salary Of A Paramedic 

The salary of a paramedic depends on experience, education, and location. However, the average salary for a paramedic is around $40,000 per year.

Why Do Paramedics Not Make A Lot Of Money? 

There are a few reasons for this: One of the main reasons a paramedic does not make a lot of money is because of the level of education and training requirements.  Thus, a paramedic does not require a lot of training, as such, it is a relatively low-status job.

Another reason is that hospitals don’t typically employ them.  Hospitals tend to employ emergency medical technicians (EMTs), who have a lower level of training than paramedics. Paramedics are more likely to be employed by ambulance services, fire departments, or police departments.

Paramedic vs EMS

A paramedic is a medical professional trained to provide emergency medical care. An EMS, or emergency medical services, provider is a medical professional who provides care to patients in an emergency. Both paramedics and EMS providers are trained to provide care to patients in emergencies, but there are some differences.

Paramedics give a higher level of care than EMS providers. They administer medication and start IVs, and perform advanced life-saving procedures, such as CPR and intubation. On the other hand, EMS providers provide basic life-saving care, such as CPR and first aid, but they cannot administer medication or start IVs.

Both paramedics and EMS workers play a vital role in the emergency medical system. They give care in various emergencies. However, paramedics have more training and experience than EMS workers, but both are essential to providing care during emergencies.

What Are The Advantages Of Being A Paramedic? 

Below are some of the advantages:

  • One of the main advantages is that paramedics get to help people in their time of need. 
  • Another advantage is that paramedics work with a team of other paramedics and medical professionals to provide care for patients. 
  • Paramedics also work in settings, including hospitals, ambulance services, and fire departments.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Being A Paramedic? 

Below are a few disadvantages: 

  • First, the job can be physically demanding, as paramedics are often required to lift patients and equipment. This can lead to injuries if paramedics are not careful. 
  • Secondly, the job can be emotionally demanding, as paramedics often see patients in distress or even death. This can lead to compassion fatigue, where paramedics become emotionally numb to the suffering they see.

Is It Hard Being A Paramedic? 

It can be hard being a paramedic. Long hours and shift work can make it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There is also the potential for exposure to traumatic events and scenes. However, it is also a very rewarding job. You get to help people in their time of need and make a difference in their lives.

What Is Harder Paramedic Or Nursing? 

It is harder to be a paramedic than a nurse. Paramedics need to have a high level of physical fitness to work quickly and efficiently. Nurses, on the other hand, need to have a lot of patience to work with patients and their families.

What Is The Hardest Part Of Being A Paramedic?

The hardest part of being a paramedic includes long hours, high-pressure situations, and dealing with traumatic injuries.

Are Nurses Higher Than Paramedics? 

There is no definitive answer, as there are many factors to consider, including education, experience, and pay. Generally speaking, nurses are more educated than paramedics and have more experience. They also typically earn more than paramedics.

What Is The Difference Between A Paramedic And A Registered Nurse? 

A paramedic is a medical professional who provides emergency medical care. A registered nurse is a medical professional who cares for patients in hospitals, clinics, and home health care. 

Both paramedics and registered nurses have licenses to practice. Hence, the main difference between the two is that paramedics focus on emergency care, while registered nurses focus on providing care for patients in many places.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, paramedics play a vital role in the medical field and are responsible for providing emergency medical care to patients. A Paramedic course does not take much time. Meanwhile, if you want to become a paramedic, you must complete a certified paramedic program and pass a national certification exam.



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