Learning how to become a paramedic, also known as an emergency medical technician (EMT), is a process that takes a minimum of one year to a maximum of three years. When you learn how to become a paramedic, you will learn some of the most important life support techniques that first responders use in emergency situations. These important life-support techniques include wound treatment, the application of tourniquets, and CPR. When you learn how to become a paramedic, you will also learn procedures that are more advanced than these. As you continue in your training, you will get to the more complex treatments.
This article will help you learn how to become a paramedic. We will go over the basics of the profession, including the steps in your education and what you can expect from the position once you earn it. The field of medicine is an exciting and growing field that you should look to if you are trying to initiate a long-term career, and learning how to become a paramedic can be a great decision.
What Exactly Does An EMT Do?
When you learn how to become a paramedic, you will basically learn how to give important types of care to injured and sick people. The people you will be treating will have need of emergency medicine, so you will need to be on your toes and act quickly. You will also need to have a very precise knowledge of the techniques that are taught to you during your education, as they can mean the difference between life and death.
When you learn how to become a paramedic, people will depend on you when there is a need for immediate care. You may be the first one on the scene if there is a home accident, a natural disaster, or an automobile crash. When you learn how to become a paramedic, you will be tasked with providing treatment to external wounds, possibly giving CPR to people who are in a coma, and also transporting those people to a hospital to receive further care.
On the path to becoming a paramedic, first responders will start off as emergency medical treatment professionals. The EMT and the paramedic are actually two different professions along the same line. The paramedic is a more advanced version of the EMT. Paramedics have advanced skills that EMTs do not, including the ability to provide respiratory assistance and administering IVs on the scene of an emergency as well as in a moving vehicle.
When you learn how to become a paramedic, you will first become a member of more than 700,000 EMTs in America. The 700,000 people treat around 30 million patients on an annual basis. You will also be registered in the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, so your performance will be monitored by industry watchdogs who will eventually become some of the people who can aid you in your path to becoming a paramedic.
The Salary And Rewards Of Becoming A Paramedic
When you learn how to become a paramedic, you will enjoy a much greater earning potential than an EMT. Although the median pay for a paramedic and an EMT are the same, around $32,000, you have more opportunity to earn more at the top of the medical assistance spectrum. The top earners in this industry are more than likely paramedics, and they make an average of about $55,000 per year.
There are also certain states inside the United States that pay paramedics more money than others. When you learn how to become a paramedic, you should also take into account the location in which you will work. The highest paying states include Hawaii, Alaska, Illinois, Washington, and the District of Columbia. The number one place to be a paramedic in terms of salary is the state of Washington, with an annual median salary of $57,850.
A Growing Demand
There is another reason to learn how to become a paramedic – you will always have a job no matter where you go. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the need for paramedics is growing as the median age of the population goes higher. As a matter of fact, the number of jobs for paramedics is expected to rise by more than 20% between the years of 2012 and 2022. When compared to other occupations, this represents an incredibly fast rise.
Another reason that paramedics are needed more is that specialized medical facilities are growing as well. Alongside the emergency medical treatment that the elderly population needs, this is one of the biggest reasons that paramedics are in high demand across the United States.
If you are looking for the state with the highest percentage increase in the number of jobs for paramedics, you should look to the state of Virginia. Learn how to become a paramedic in the state of Virginia, and you will experience a 47.5 percentage growth in your chances of becoming employed over the period mentioned above. Other states where paramedics are needed badly include Kentucky, Utah, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma. The states round out the top 10 when it comes to the highest change in percentage of paramedic jobs available.
Learn How To Become A Paramedic - The Steps
Depending on the state that you want to learn how to become a paramedic in, you will take certain tests and go through certain procedures. These procedures are different for each state, as each state has slightly different regulations to abide by. However, there are some overarching themes that you should consider if you want to learn how to become a paramedic. Here are the steps in general for that process.
First, you will go through EMT basic training. This is also known as EMT-B training. This process can take you as little as six months, or you can stretch it out for as long as two years. It depends on the institution as well. You will go through a maximum of 150 hours of coursework. You can take this course while you are working a job, as it is offered at technical institutes and community colleges across the nation.
When you are enrolled in this course, you will learn patient assessments and what to do in the most common emergency situations. You will have to pass a hands-on test before you can move on to the next stage of becoming a paramedic. You also need to become certified in CPR on your own time in some programs.
Depending on the state you are taking the program in, you will need to pass a licensing exam. There is also a federal licensing exam that you will need to pass in order to become a paramedic. Alongside this, you will need to successfully complete your physical training and pass a background check.
All the exams are administered through the NREMT, which is an acronym for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. In the exam, you will need to show mastery of psychomotor and cognitive functions of the body. Modern tests use computer-aided technology to ensure that no two students receive the same test at the same time.
You will have three tries to pass the exam. If you fail a test, you must wait 15 days before taking it again. If you do not pass the test after three tries, then you may be required to go back to training. Even if you do pass the test, you will need to be re-certified as a paramedic every two years.
Once you complete this training and pass this test, you can move on to advanced EMT training. In order to receive this distinction, you will need to complete around 300 coursework hours. You will go over the topics that you covered in EMT basic training, and you will also learn how to use IVs, EKGs, medication and complex airway devices.
If you want the best chance of becoming a paramedic, then you should probably take on a two-year degree program. Although this is optional, you will have the best chance of becoming a paramedic if you complete this kind of program. The coursework here is the most rigorous, and you will need to work as an EMT for around six months before you can even be considered as a candidate for this kind of program. The coursework you will study will cover physiology, anatomy, and advanced life support. This is the kind of training you see in TV shows with EMTs standing over patients in an ambulance administering emergency treatment.
Learning how to become a paramedic is certainly a long process, but it is a rewarding one if you make it to the end of the process. You have the ability to make good money while helping people in emergency situations. You will have to stay precise and be incredibly detailed in your work, but there is nothing better than knowing that you have the ability to save lives if necessary. Follow the best practices above if you are looking to learn how to become a paramedic.