How to Become a Critical Care Paramedic
Often times during field work, paramedics find themselves transporting critically ill patients throughout the course of their day. This can include the transport of a patient from one hospital to another for further care.
Although paramedics deal with the transport of these types of patients on a regular basis, historically the medics received no additional training for preparation in these cases. The Critical Care Emergency Transport Program or CCEMTP was developed with solving this issue in mind.
From the CCEMTP program, many critical care paramedics emerge with the specialized training necessary to properly care for a critically ill patient while in transport. A critical care paramedic will, in fact, receive the same basic training as that of a standard paramedic, along with specialized education that will allow them a greater ability to aid their patients should tragedy strike.
The CCEMTP program gives the basic introductory training to medical professionals in dealing with several aspects of critical patient care including:
- 12-lead ECG interpretation
- Interpretation of laboratory values and routine diagnostic images
- Management of ventilators and aortic balloon pumps
- Air medical
Students will learn how to read and understand various diagnostic information and specific types of lab work. In many courses, students receive hands-on training in all aspects of critical care. These skills will assist the paramedic in properly transporting the patient with an understanding of specialized patient care.
This training also allows the paramedic to administer specific types of emergency care, including the administration of medicines that normally would not be included during regular emergency transportation, which can help prevent injury or death to the patient.
Critical Care Paramedic
Paramedic Schools across the United States offer specific programs for those wishing to enter into the critical care field. A career in this profession will begin similar to that of any specialized field of emergency medical care.
The first step an individual considering this profession should take is to read through the various paramedic job description pages found online to get a better understanding of what the career will entail. Additional training is required for critical care, in addition to the standard paramedic schooling, so it is essential that the individual is confident that the career of a critical care medic is right for him or her.
In general, the schooling involved in critical care careers will include up to 80 hours of in-class study and 100 hours of clinical rotation in which the student will learn hands-on techniques.
Specific details include prerequisites, which can be found on each school’s website, and potential students should check to assure they meet the requirements in advance.
Information regarding the nature of the work, hours of training required and the general tasks a critical care professional may perform can be found on educational websites such as IUHealth.org.
How to Become a Critical Care Medic in Your Region
The individual should begin with the research necessary to understand the position and its requirements. Those just beginning a career as a paramedic may find that many schools require at least two years prior experience as a paramedic before allowing entrance into the critical care courses. Individuals that have not yet begun any type of paramedic schooling will need to take extra steps in order to achieve the goal of a critical care professional.
For those with no prior education or training, the first step will be to begin the paramedic courses at a school of their choice. On average, the paramedic program will take approximately two years to complete. Individuals may wish to begin with a general search of all colleges in the area that offer the paramedic program and compare each school.
Websites such as CampusExplorer.com and DegreeDirectory.com offer students the opportunity to see a complete listing of local schools that offer paramedic programs.
The next step for individuals with no prior training will be to take the NREMT exam and pass in order to receive certification. Those who are currently practicing paramedics should make sure they are not up for recertification before they can enroll in the critical care programs.
Study guides, too, will assist students both as a first time exam guide and a review to hopefully earn a passing score.
Once certified, professionals should begin working immediately in the field in order to accumulate the years of experience required to take the critical care courses.
In general, requirements will include a high school diploma or GED, completion of the paramedic courses and certification through the NREMT exam. The amount of experience and any additional certifications required will vary by school.
Once courses have been completed, the professional will then take the Critical Care examination in which they will receive a CCP-C certification upon successful completion. Professionals may register to take the test through a local testing facility and will find helpful information regarding the testing procedure at the BCCTPC website.
The Board for Critical Care Transport Paramedic Certification is responsible for making sure that each paramedic has received the proper amount of training to provide quality critical care to patients. Exam guides can also be found on the BCCTPC website, as well.
Finding work in the field is ultimately the final step in this process. Job searches can be preformed online, as many listings will show openings and requirements for critical care medics. These kind of listings can be found on the following websites:
Indeed.com– critical care positions can be found by location, job description or title
Vista.com is a staffing agency that works with medical professionals to help them locate the right career in their area
Ask.com also offers listings specifically in the critical care field of paramedic career.
For more on paramedic training in your local area, be sure to visit Paramedic Training Spot.