A paramedic faces a serious responsibility as this profession deals with the health and care of a critically ill or injured patient until that patient can be safely delivered to the care of a qualified doctor or nurse. When seeking entrance into a paramedic training course or looking for a paramedic job opening, an individual may become subject to careful scrutiny of his health, personality, and both professional and academic goals and accomplishments.
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All candidates for a paramedic training program must be at least 18 years of age prior to acceptance into the program. Any applicant who has not yet reached the minimum of 18 years in age will be asked to reapply to the program following the date of his 18th birthday.
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In most states, an applicant for a paramedic position or a paramedic training program is required to have at least a high school diploma. Successful completion of a GED high school equivalency is also generally acceptable.
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An individual who wishes to enter into a paramedic training program will need a current emergency medical technician certification issued by the state of employment or by a national certification council like the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. The certification must be at the EMT-Basic level or higher.
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To train as a paramedic an individual must complete the necessary training to become certified as an EMT at the Basic level. Basic EMT training provides information on basic emergency care techniques such as rescue efforts for respiratory and cardiac emergencies. The Basic EMT training also includes instruction in bleeding cessation, immobilising fractures and training in the use of emergency medical equipment.
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EMT-Basic training programs require a student to pass both a written and practical examination administered by the State licensing agency. Following successful completion of EMT training, a student may enrol in paramedic training which is typically offered at universities and technical colleges in the form of a two year associate's degree. Successful paramedic training will culminate in a written exam and a practical exam for paramedic licensure.
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Many states and licensing agencies require a paramedic candidate to submit to a physical examination. A paramedic is required to be in good health and to posses excellent physical stamina. A paramedic must have good eyesight in order to properly administer medication and operate complex medical equipment without error. A paramedic must also be able to lift patients and run to the scene of an emergency when necessary.