Paramedics save hundreds of lives every single day. They are like doctors, who are always on the go looking for emergency situations outside hospitals. For this reason, all public safety officers, including firefighters and police officers, give them the highest form of respect.
Due to the nature of their occupation, paramedics are required to undergo intensive training and examinations before they could start saving lives. So if you plan on becoming a certified paramedic, here are some of the essential steps that you’ll need to follow:
Step 1: Ask Yourself If You Really Want To Become A Paramedic
Being a paramedic is not an easy job. TV shows may make it seem like their only job is to strap people onto backboards, but their role is actually more complex than that. Their responsibilities include responding to 911calls at any time of the day, formulate solutions to problems that are often life-threatening, and much more.
So before you start becoming a paramedic, make sure that you’ve wholeheartedly convinced yourself that you want the job. This will prevent you from regretting your decision in the future. It will also avoid you from giving less than you can when the need for your help comes.
Step 2: Take An EMT Basic Training
Basic Emergency Medical Technician training is meant to prepare you for the most common duties of paramedics. These duties may include patient assessment and emergency handling activities. It may also include the proper use and maintenance of emergency equipment.
The EMT-B training may take anywhere between six months to two years, depending on the institution you enroll in. Some programs, however, may require you to enter in CPR certification classes before you can enroll in them.
Step 3: Pass Any Necessary Examinations
Depending on the state you belong to, your department may require you to take state-level certification examinations. Most often, however, you can take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam instead.
The NREMT has four levels of certification namely Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), Basic, Intermediate, and lastly, paramedic. It is mandatory for all new paramedics to take the exams to assure that they are physically and mentally fit for the job they are applying for. (1)
Step 4: Advance Your Skills With More Training
If you decide to further your career as a prehospital medical provider, getting subsequent training and certifications can help you. You may enroll in more advanced EMT training to help you learn other skills that are crucial in emergency departments such as administrative and managerial skills.
You may also enroll for a two or four-year college degree. Most recommend that you take courses that are close to the medical field. Notably, however, some states require their paramedics to present college diplomas. It may also affect the salary you will receive as a paramedic. (2)
Paramedics are some of the first people to respond to emergency situations. Now, that you know what it takes to become one, go out there and share your passion for saving lives. Work hard to become a paramedic, and find out how rewarding it is to be one.