Becoming a Paramedic

Becoming a paramedic takes a lot of time.  Hard work.  Perseverance.

And unfortunately, it’s not a glamorous job, and oftentimes, you’ll feel unappreciated.

But at the end of the day, it’s worth it.  Because helping patients, saving lives, and being a local hero is one of the most rewarding and unique aspects of any profession.

But how do you actual acquire the necessary skills to become a paramedic?

In this article, you’ll learn the steps you should take to becoming an EMT Paramedic.  While this particular article won’t get into as much depth as our previous other walkthroughs, you will come away from this with a better overall understanding of what you need to do to get on a path towards accomplishing your end goal: working as a medic.

How Do I Get Started?

So let’s start with education and experience.  Luckily, you don’t need much of it.  Most paramedic programs require that you have graduated from high school (or have a GED), but it’s not mandatory that you have a college degree.

As far as experience goes—don’t worry about it.  Several paramedic programs aren’t expecting you to have EMS experience.

With that said, you are certainly expected to hold an EMT license.  That means that you’ve gone through proper training and are capable of working as an EMT.

Understand, however, that that doesn’t mean that getting a job as an EMT is frowned upon.  It’s not.  In fact, those with EMT experience may be much more likely to succeed in paramedic school.

But it’s typically not a requirement.  So if you prefer to blast through EMT school and get right into a paramedic course, that’s your prerogative.

Applying to Paramedic Programs

It’s important to know that every program is a little different.  But there are some basics to keep in mind.  For example, applicants must be 18-years-old or older.  They must also have a driver’s license.  They’ll also have to submit to a background check, show proof of recent immunizations, and may even be asked to provide written references.

In some cases, an in-person interview will be required, as well.

If you have very specific questions, like whether or not those accused of a crime can still be a paramedic, it’s best you contact the program you’re interested in applying to so that you can receive a very direct answer.

Paramedic Courses

A paramedic course typically involves four different components.  And to become a paramedic, you’ll need to engage in all four.  They are as follows:

Didactic Instruction

Skills Laboratory

Clinical Education

Field Internship

So what does these mean, exactly?  Well, let’s briefly explain them.

Didactic instruction is usually delivered by an instructor to students in lecture style.

The skills laboratory is where students will have the opportunity to hone their psychomotor abilities.

Clinical education is where students engage with real patients, helping students to develop patient assessment skills and hone their decision-making abilities.

And finally, field internships come at the end of paramedic programs.  They are used as an important tool to effectively evaluate how much the student has learned throughout the many weeks and months of the course.

Becoming a Certified Paramedic    

Once you graduate the program—then what?  Can you immediately get a job as a working medic?

The answer is no.  It’s recommended you become registered with the National Registry.  The National Registry (known as the NREMT) is in the business of essentially certifying that all those in EMS are competently trained.

Once you’re nationally certified, you’ll then need to become licensed within a state to actually practice.  The rules on becoming licensed are different in every state.   Some states essentially just need you to prove that you’re nationally registered.

Other schools, however, demand that you successfully pass a state test, as well as submit other paperwork.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding about becoming a paramedic.  And if you don’t, then be sure to read more of our helpful articles to aid you in filling in the gaps.

To read more of our articles on becoming a paramedic (as well as an EMT), please visit our blog page.