Pursuing a Paramedic
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Pursuing a Paramedic

Dec 04, 2008

The career of a paramedic is both challenging and rewarding. An individual can enter the field of emergency service workers by attending a community college, technical school, or even a hospital-based program. The paramedic will be expected to do both work in the classroom as well as field work to help him train for the job of a pre-hospital emergency service worker. The general public is dependent on the abilities and skills that paramedics and emergency medical technicians have. Everything from minor accidents and injuries to major health problems are treated by paramedics.


To attend paramedic school, a person needs to first obtain a high school diploma or GED and attend training to become an Emergency Medical Technician. Lots of community colleges, state colleges, technical schools, and hospitals have training programs for paramedics. The classes include both classroom instruction and practical components, so students have the opportunity to learn both the theory and hands-on application of emergency protocol. Classes are often taught by experienced paramedics or even nurses and other health care professionals. Classes to become a paramedic will often last about a year. Available on weekends and evenings, many programs are flexible in order to accommodate the schedules of adult learners.

Students will be expected to spend about seven hundred fifteen to fifteen hundred hours over the course of their training in both classroom and field instruction. The student will be required to take a certification exam after graduation in order to work as a paramedic.

Job Description

A paramedic's job is somewhat dependent on the setting in which he chooses to work. He might work for a privately-owned ambulance company, a fire department, a hospital, or even help fly with a helicopter's emergency crew. Some fire departments require all their firemen and women to be paramedics. Some jobs are strictly on a volunteer basis. A paramedic’s job is to respond to emergency calls that are transmitted to an ambulance's radio by an emergency dispatcher. A paramedic might get calls for injuries, chest pain, shortness of breath, car collisions, poisonings, burns, and even childbirth. A paramedic's job is rarely boring. While there is an extensive amount of paperwork required of the paramedic, there is also a great deal of time spent interacting with and treating patients and their family members.

Where Are Jobs Available?

Jobs are available in all parts of the country, in large cities, rural areas, and everywhere in between. The paramedic can work in almost any health care setting including but not limited to hospitals, ambulance companies, fire departments, and helicopter rescue teams. Advancement is possible in many of these jobs with continuing education and certification. The experienced paramedic can find a job just about anywhere.

Is Becoming a Paramedic the Right Choice for Me?

If you are a trained emergency medical technician, a career as a paramedic might be a logical next step. If you are new to the field of pre-hospital medical care, you might want to job shadow an experienced paramedic to see what he does on the job as well as talk to him about his experiences going to school and working as a medic. You might also want to consider careers in nursing, patient care technician, or radiography technician before you start school to become a paramedic.

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