If you care about others and you want to make a difference, then looking at providing emergency care to those who need it most is a natural fit. It’s a demanding job, it can be both emotionally and physically tough. But for those dedicated, that’s a price worth paying. So, what do you need to do to be the help on the way?
Get your basic training
An emergency medical technician might not need the full trip to medical school, but don’t doubt that you’re going to have to get some further education. Basic training can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete, based on where you take it. Some, for instance, will teach you CPR amongst the coursework and the hands-on training on operating field equipment like strobe lights and immobilization gear. With others, you might be required to have prior knowledge and qualifications in basic first aid. EMT training is available at a broad spectrum of educational organizations, from universities to city colleges.
To get a career as an EMT, you have to get certified. Depending on which state you’re in, this means taking either a state or national licensing exam. It’s not just the kind of exam you can cram for then forget, either. To keep working as a paramedic, you will be required to take the certification exam again every two years. But that doesn’t mean if you fail once that the door is closed. In most states, you get three attempts before you might be asked to take a remedial course to ensure you’re ready.
Finding work experience
In a lot of industries, getting work experience can be a difficulty. However, if you contact local crews while you’re in the middle of your education, many of them will get the ball rolling early on your end. That way, you can ensure that there is work experience waiting for you when you get certified. That experience is essential. You might be able to demonstrate that you have the skills necessary, but then you have to show that you’re willing and able to work in one of the busiest fields in the world of healthcare.
You’re going to have to get used to dusting the books off as an EMT. Not only because you have to take the recertification exam so often, but also because there are a lot of ways you can further specialize your career with education and training that helps you work in specific niches. You can specialize in fields like trauma management, treating patients who need extra or specific forms of care from the average, the treatment of cardiac emergencies and the like. If you want your career to go further, you have to be prepared to invest the effort and time in building your skillset.
The work of a paramedic can lead to an incredibly broad and varied career. Whether you’re on the road or facilitating those doing great work as a station manager of a Director of Operations, every single person in those services is needed. If you really want to become a paramedic, now is the time.