Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

Overview of an EMT – Paramedic

Higher Education Articles January 1, 2013

Students who are interested in a career as an emergency medical technician, this article is for them. Here, we will look at different requirements students need to fulfill in order to become an EMT – Paramedic.

Job Profile of an EMT- Paramedic

Among emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics gain the highest respect. Ill or injured; people rely on paramedics for the provision of advanced life support while they are rushed to the hospital, either by helicopter or an ambulance. To ensure they are performing to expectation, paramedics need to be responsive to emergency dispatch. The ability to handle complex emergency medical care procedures including the application of intravenous medications among others sets paramedics apart from other EMTs.

At the entry level, these professionals develop their careers as EMTs at a basic or intermediate level. They undergo training before advancing in their career as paramedics.

Standard Prerequisites

Students aspiring to be paramedics need to undergo formal training along with an associate degree or certification. The field of specialization will be EMT-Paramedic or paramedic studies. Paramedics need to fulfill licensure requirements in every state. In most states, licenses are granted to prospective paramedics who hold certification issued by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT); some others call for prospective paramedics to pass state-issued exams.

While not all employers look for previous experience in those they employ, there are others who do insist on experience ranging from one to three years. Excellent problem-solving and communication skills are expected from potential paramedics who must have the capacity to work well in teams during stressful emergency situations, apart from demonstrating a compassionate nature towards ill or injured patients. They need to be in excellent physical condition as the job requires physical strength (required for lifting patients into ambulances or for positioning them); candidates must possess a valid state driver’s license (sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Job postings by employers (July 2012)).

Stage One: Earning an EMT-Basic Certificate

Enrollment to many paramedic training programs requires completion of EMT-Basic training, though EMT instruction forms part of the coursework of some programs. Standard requirements for enrollment include high school graduation and a minimum age of eighteen years old along with a valid CPR certification. Coursework includes basic skills needed for the provision of medical care prior to hospitalization, apart from teaching students about the need for responsiveness to cardiac emergencies, management of airways, controlling of bleeding and evaluation of patient’s conditions. Part of the training are imparted in a labor ward, the emergency room of a hospital or inside an ambulance, thereby giving the student valuable hands-on experience.

Stage Two: Passing the EMT Licensing Exams

Some paramedic training programs only allow enrollment by licensed EMTs. Licensure requires the candidate to hold NREMT certification (post-training), or to pass a state-issued exam. Passing the examination that tests psychomotor and cognitive skills will allow students to receive EMT-Basic credentials.

Stage Three: Gaining Work Experience

Potential students should consider acquiring work experience as EMTs before applying to a paramedic training program. Gaining Work experience as EMTs is useful with some schools requiring mandatory six months to a year of experience for enrollment, some look for previous experience working as a firefighter or lifeguard.

Stage Four: Completing Paramedic Training

Paramedic training programs usually take one to two years to complete then students are awarded either an associate degree or a certificate. Coursework includes stitching of wounds, starting IV’s and administering medication apart from advanced topics such as dealing with trauma, cardiac care, and obstetrical and pediatric emergencies. Field work and clinical practice are part of the curriculum in most courses.

Stage Five: Obtaining State Licensure

All states require licensure for paramedics. Akin to EMTs, paramedics will need to pass state-issued exams or earn NREMT certification. NREMT’s certification exam has a written as well as a practical area and covers topics such as cardiac management, patient assessment, and medication skills. Paramedics need to earn continuing education credits by attending refresher courses in order to renew the certification once every two to three years.

Additional suggestions

Great communication and listening skills are essential to the effective performance of a paramedic. Students can prepare for the examination and ensure success — access skill sheets and a listing of topics covered in the exam at NREMT’s website.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
  • Looking for an Online Healthcare Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
  • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
  • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
  • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
  • Online Courses
  • Apply At Fortis College Today! Explore the Career Programs.
  • Accredited
  • Financial Aid
  • There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!
  • Study on your schedule - GCU offers many programs 100% online to fit your busy lifestyle.
  • GCU offers a variety of opportunities to reduce the cost of furthering your education. Campus students may qualify for scholarships, while online students can take part in limited special offers.
  • A regionally accredited university, GCU also holds specialized accreditations and approvals for some of our core program offerings.
  • Degrees in business, education, nursing, humanities and social sciences, theology and more. Find the degree that fits you.
  • Talk to us today to learn more about financial aid and start dates!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Kaplan University Online Degree Programs
  • Attend college on your terms. Kaplan University offers fully online degree programs that fit any schedule.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
  • Looking for an Online Healthcare Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
  • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
  • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
  • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
  • Online Courses
  • Why study nursing at Grand Canyon University?
  • Our bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing are CCNE-accredited and the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions (CONHCP) is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
  • We provide many options to prepare you to begin or advance your nursing career, including bridge programs and dual degrees.
  • GCU provides a low student-to-teacher ratio and a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients.
  • Request more information today about program offerings, CCNE accreditation, start dates, financial aid and more!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Kaplan University Online Degree Programs
  • Attend college on your terms. Kaplan University offers fully online degree programs that fit any schedule.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!