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How to Become an EMT-Paramedic

EMT Paramedic

How to Become an EMT-Paramedic

A career in the medical field is highly sought after by many. It provides them the satisfaction of helping those who are in trouble. Furthermore, the health industry is not affected by poor economic conditions. When it comes to careers in the medical field, there are several choices.

Among them, EMT/paramedic career is quite popular. An emergency medical technician (EMT) is a medical professional who is trained to provide emergency medical assistance to patients. Usually, their patients will be victims of automobile collision, domestic violence, animal attack, fire and other such situations.

[divider]Quick Facts [/divider]

  • EMT & Paramedic Career
  • Median Salary $30,360/year or $14.60/hour
  • Education Requirements Post secondary non-degree award
  • Professionals Employed 226,500
  • 10 Years Job Outlook 33%
  • 10 Years Job Growth 75,400

What are EMT-paramedics?

EMT/paramedics have a very important job. Their actions will determine whether the patients live or not. Unlike other medical professionals, EMT/paramedics have to make quick decisions. Those who wish to become one must undergo training from an accredited institution. Upon completion of the course, students have to sit for a certification examination in order to become licensed EMT/paramedics. Only licensed EMT/paramedics can find work in that capacity. Depending on the program and the school offering it, the course duration can vary. Some courses have duration of 1 year while others last 2 years.

An EMT/paramedic has a varied job. Supplemental oxygen administration, CPR, shock management, traction splinting, spinal immobilization, cardiac arrest management and patient assessment are some procedures that have to be performed by EMT/paramedics. Depending on the situation, the technician might have to insert needles, read electrocardiograms and administer medications. The primary responsibility of the EMT/paramedic is to alleviate the pain of the patient and safeguard their life. Usually, their patients will be in severe pain and shock. The EMT/paramedic has to alleviate both using skill and medications.

An emergency medicine career will lead you to a job with flexible hours but one that demands intensive training and teamwork coupled with leadership skills. Nonetheless, it is also one of the most rewarding jobs in the professional field. Well, are you up to the challenge of taking care of patients whose reasons for being rushed into the hospital could vary from suicidal acts to poisoning to accidents? Think you could handle the pressure? Yes? Well, congratulations! A career to be spent on saving people’s lives at the right moment and at the right time might indeed be the perfect career for you.

Okay, for starters, emergency medicine is actually a pretty much new field in the medical community though it is, undoubtedly, one of the fastest expanding. It is also one of the most promising fields today in terms of opportunities and rewards. Indeed, employment opportunities are piping up, the market is not so that highly-competitive so you’ll surely find a job relatively easily, and the salary is comparatively high. Of course, the adrenaline rush and the heroic overtones (from saving someone’s live from immediate threat) are also bonuses that make an emergency medicine career one of the most interesting career paths today.

How to Become an EMT-Paramedic

Due to the high popularity of EMT/paramedic career, most schools offer training programs. Students of these courses will receive raining in disease control, life support, anatomy, defensive driving and psychological counseling. Licensed EMT/paramedics have to maintain their licensure by fulfilling the continuing education requirement. This has to be done every couple of years. One should do thorough research on the various EMT/paramedic programs and schools before selecting one. All information pertaining to a particular program can be found online.

Well, most undergraduate universities and medical schools in the country offer course works and programs for those who are interested in pursuing a career on this field. A minimum of 3 years in undergraduate courses is a requirement for admission medical school. Although there is no specific undergraduate degree required for a medical school admission, it would be wiser to opt for the science-based undergraduate programs like pre-medicine and biology-related courses. The coursework at medical school would pretty much lean towards science subjects such as biology, chemistry, psychology and anatomy, among others.

Medical school will usually take up to 4 years, often divided into 2 phases – the first two years would be pre-clinical and the next two would be mainly clinical and hands-on training. Residency after med school is also a vital requirement for your training and may pave the way to your specialty, if you ever decide to pursue one. A emergency medicine practitioner could specialize in a path such as toxicology, dealing with emergency cases involving poison ingestion and excessive chemical exposure. Other specializations include ultrasounds and hyperbaric medicine.

Salary of an EMT-Paramedic

Due to the strenuous nature of their job, the EMT/paramedic career is highly rewarding. Emergency situations can arise at any time. Hence, the paramedic does not have fixed working hours. The average annual salary of an EMT/paramedic is $33,000. This figure can be affected by various factors such as educational qualification, work setting, state and experience. Hospitals, medical offices and government sector are some places that require the services of these technicians. Among them, the paramedic salary is highest for the government job. Regardless of the work setting and state, becoming an EMT/paramedic is a very good move as far as career is concerned.

Jobs in an emergency medicine career could yield salaries that often lie in the middle range of all medical career salary rankings. For example, as an emergency physician, you could be earning less than a surgeon but your salary could be higher than that of a general physician’s or a pediatrician’s.

It is interesting to note that how much you’ll earn could depend much on the type of employment that you choose; that is, whether you will work at a hospital or with an independent contractor. Generally, most independent contractors would earn much because they can avoid the employer’s deduction, but this employment, of course, also has its advantages and disadvantages.

To maximize the opportunities coming your way, it would be wise to network with other medical professionals as most job openings would be listed on open advertisements.

A day in the life of an emergency medicine career is generally fast-paced and pressure-laden and calls for someone who can make time-sensitive decisions during critical emergency situations. If hospitals are battlefields, emergency physicians are the soldiers at the front, the ones who see the immediate and first stages of the action. You’ll be dealing with life and death here and, often, the decision whether the war could be won (that is, if the patient reaches the ICU or unfortunately expires at the ER room), lies on your hands.