How long does it take to become a paramedic?

Written by claudette pendleton
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How long does it take to become a paramedic?
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What Is a Paramedic?

Paramedics are emergency medical technicians (EMTs) who come to the rescue of citizens who are in emergency medical situations. Paramedics analyse and decide the patient's condition and follow up with emergency, short-term treatment. After caring for the patient, paramedics transport the person to the nearest hospital, if necessary, for further treatment. Paramedics are required to check in and report the condition of the patient to hospital emergency room staff.

EMT Taking Patient to Local Hospital
EMT Taking Patient to Local Hospital

Requirements for Paramedics to Perform Well

For paramedics to perform well, they must be in good shape physically. They are always on call and must be prepared to work irregular hours when necessary. Paramedics work in very difficult settings and must be able to handle diverse situations.

EMT-Paramedic Providing Emergency Care
EMT-Paramedic Providing Emergency Care

How Long Does It Take to Become a Paramedic?

There are various licensing stages of emergency medical technicians that eventually lead to being licensed as a EMT-Paramedic. The time frame to become a licensed paramedic varies. On-the-job training is a major component of training.
The first step is graduating from high school. This is, generally, the basic requirement to be accepted into a paramedic preparation program. The subjects that students should focus on include English, science, physical education and health. It's also very beneficial to learn a second language or more. This skill will be very helpful when caring for foreign language-speaking patients. Some paramedic training schools suggest that serving in the community is also helpful experience for a prospective paramedic. After high school graduation, the next step is enrolment in an EMT program. In the basic EMT program, students must do well in the course and achieve field experience. This field experience is acquired through local hospitals and community colleges. The EMT basic program training can be completed in anywhere from 18 to 24 months. Students must pass a written and practical examination at the end of the program to become a certified EMT. The next step is find a job to experience on-the-job training as an EMT. This is a necessity before you can become an official paramedic. The more advanced EMT, which is an EMT-B, can ride in ambulances. EMT-Bs are also often required to have a special driver's license. While working as an EMT, it is important to acquire EMT Intermediate status. Depending on the state in which you live, the conditions may vary. Training for this status can range from 30 to 250 hours. Once this EMT Intermediate status is acquired, future paramedics learn how to supply intravenous fluids to patients and how to use sophisticated airway devices and many other types of medical devices and technology.

EMT-Paramedic Van
EMT-Paramedic Van

The Final Stage

The final stage of becoming a paramedic involves training as an EMT-Paramedic. This requires one to two additional years of community college and participating in an advanced training program. Study focuses on physiology and anatomy. After completing the EMT-Paramedic program, depending on the school and/or training program you enrolled in, you may receive either an associate's degree or a certificate of completion. Paramedics are required to be recertified every two years to stay up to par on EMT knowledge and medical technology.

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