Considering a career as a paramedic is not an easy decision.
On the one hand, this job offers the opportunity to help others in need and make a real difference in people’s lives. On the other hand, it can be a demanding and stressful profession, with long hours and exposure to potential danger.
Learn everything about what being a paramedic’s like, what the benefits are, and what you need to do to become a paramedic to help you decide.
What Does a Paramedic Do?
A paramedic is a highly trained medical professional who provides care to patients in emergencies. They’re often the first responders on the scene of an accident or medical emergency, providing life-saving care to patients until they can be transported to a hospital.
A paramedic has many core responsibilities, including assessing patients’ conditions, administering emergency medication and IV fluids, performing basic life support procedures like CPR, defibrillating cardiac arrest patients, and using advanced medical equipment to monitor and stabilize patients.
Becoming a paramedic requires completing an accredited training program and passing a national certification exam. Some states also have additional licensure or certification requirements.
Difference Between a Paramedic and an EMT
While both EMTs and paramedics save lives, they do them in much different capacities.
Every paramedic starts out as an EMT. But, becoming a paramedic takes further training. This means that paramedics have more responsibilities than EMTs, more certifications, and a higher salary.
Unlike paramedics, EMTs are not trained to provide advanced care and support. They often work under the supervision of a paramedic or other medical professional and primarily provide basic life support and transportation to patients. They may also be responsible for stocking ambulances with medical supplies, communicating with doctors and nurses about patients’ conditions, or helping to prepare patients for transport to the hospital.
EMTs can choose to specialize in a particular area of emergency medical care, such as critical care transport or wilderness medicine. Some EMTs also choose to pursue further training and become paramedics.
So, if you want to become a paramedic, but you’re not an EMT yet, you need to get EMT certified first. Then, you can decide if you should become a paramedic.
7 Reasons Why Being a Paramedic Is Awesome
1. You Get to Help People When They Need It Most
Paramedics are often the first responders on an accident or medical emergency scene. This means that they have the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives by providing life-saving care.
2. You Work in a Team Environment
Paramedics work closely with doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to provide the best care possible for patients. They also rely on their fellow EMS workers for support and collaboration in high-stress situations. If you like working in a team, you should become a paramedic.
3. You Have a Flexible Schedule
One of the great things about being a paramedic is that you get to choose your schedule. Depending on your role, you may be able to work as many or as few hours as you like and even set your shift times. This flexibility allows you to accommodate other commitments in your life, such as school or family obligations.
4. You Get to Learn New Skills
Paramedics are constantly learning and expanding their skill set. In addition to completing an accredited training program, paramedics must keep up with the latest medical advances and techniques. They also must be able to use new medical equipment as it becomes available.
5. You Have the Opportunity to Specialize
Some paramedics choose to become certified in critical care, while others pursue careers as flight paramedics or instructors. Whatever path you choose, it’s important to be passionate and dedicated to succeeding as a paramedic. This allows you to focus your skills and knowledge on a specific area.
6. You Work in a Variety of Settings
Paramedics can work in traditional EMS settings, such as hospitals and ambulances, but they can also work in more unique environments like public events or fire departments. No matter where you end up working, your role will be critical in helping individuals when they need it most.
7. You Have Job Security
As a paramedic, you can expect to have a high level of job security. With the growing demand for medical services, particularly in urban areas, paramedics are likely to continue in high demand for years to come.
If you’re looking for stability and long-term career potential, a career as a paramedic may be the right choice for you.
8. You Make Good Money
Money isn’t everything, but if you’re considering becoming a paramedic, you should know what the salary expectations are.
In 2022, the median salary of a paramedic is $46,303. At Elite Ambulance, paramedics make $68,640 per year before taxes. We’re proud to compensate our hard-working paramedics fairly.
How to Become a Paramedic
If you think you should become a paramedic, the first step is to complete an accredited training program. Paramedic programs typically take one to two years to complete and include classroom and clinical instruction.
After completing a training program, you must pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam to earn your paramedic certification.
What You Need Before You Start a Course
To get the most out of your paramedic training, it’s important to be prepared and have the right resources. Here’s what you need for your training:
- Letters from supervisors or employers to verify EMT-Basic experience
- CPR certification
- Up-to-date immunizations
- An EMT-Basic license issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health
- Completion of an accredited paramedic training program
- A copy of the health insurance policy
- A clean criminal background check
How Long Does It Take to Become a Paramedic?
The length of time it takes to become a paramedic will vary depending on the training program, but most programs take six months to two years.
This may include up to 500 hours of clinical learning and didactic coursework covering 450 hours.
Start a Paramedic Course in Chicago
If you’re interested in becoming a paramedic at Elite Ambulance, we’re proud to train and certify the next generation of emergency medical providers.
Our courses are very fast-paced and comprehensive, and our state-of-the-art facilities provide the perfect setting for hands-on learning. Plus, you’ll have a job lined up straight after getting certified.
We also offer tuition reimbursement for our EMTs who are interested in becoming paramedics.
Start your paramedic course at Elite Ambulance in Chicago!
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