Paramedics, also known as emergency medical technicians or EMTs, are often the first medical professionals on the scene, and are therefore commonly known as “first responders.”
Paramedics play a vital role in getting individuals into the hospital as quickly as possible so that they can obtain the help they need with a minimum of delay. In many cases, the speed at which the job is done can greatly effect patient mortality rates.
Although the paramedic lacks the resources (and most often the training) to fully treat patients on the spot, they are responsible for stabilizing the patient’s condition while in transport to the hospital.
Although the level of paramedic training you need to become a qualified professional will depend largely on which designation you intend to obtain, the course itinerary will deal a lot with the sort of emergency situations you can expect to be called out to address…
- Trauma and serious injury
- Hemorrhage and Shock
- Cardiovascular Emergencies
- Respiratory Emergencies
- Thoracic Trauma
- Allergic reactions
There are several “designations” of paramedic, starting with the most basic (EMT-B, or EMT-Basic) which requires around 100 hours of training, all the way up to EMT-P (or EMT paramedic) which requires well over 1,000 hours of training. After training, you will need to become certified (certification is provided by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians). Some states may require you to write a state licensing exam before providing you with the appropriate credentials you need in order to become employed.
If you are investigating paramedic training, wouldn’t you like to know that there is a job waiting for you upon graduation?
Sure you would.
And like many other healthcare related careers, the long term future of paramedics and emergency medical technicians looks bright. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 33% increase in jobs in the period between 2010-2020.
That’s nearly 75,000 new jobs!
Acquiring the proper training to become a full fledged paramedic is critical to obtaining one of these jobs. That said, this is not a career for everyone; this is a high stress, physical job. And while you will experience moments of triumph, you can expect to see things that shake you up too. You need to be cool under fire, quick thinking, empathetic and in physical shape to do this job properly.
Some individuals use the paramedic career as a stepping stone to more complex medical careers… like physician’s assistant, for example.