As you may know if you’re interested in pursuing paramedic certification, a paramedic is an emergency medical technician who has completed a higher level of EMT training. If you’d like to become certified as a paramedic, then you will need to take training to this end as well as pass a written and practical exam – and if you are not already an EMT, then the amount of training you’ll need to complete before you can make your goal a reality will be far greater. However, the knowledge and experience that you will gain along the way as you train to ultimately become a paramedic will be well worth the time, effort and expense involved since it will prepare you to provide the highest possible quality of care to people in need.
Unless you already have these certifications, you will need to complete first responder training, EMT – Basic training and earn an EMT – I85 certification before you can begin training as a paramedic. Additionally, you must have a high school diploma or GED (some employers who hire paramedics may also require a college degree of prospective paramedic employees), be of at least 18 years of age, have no physical limitations which would bar you from performing the work of a paramedic and have no criminal record.
If you do not already hold an EMT – I85 certification, then you will need to start at the beginning by completing first responder, EMT – Basic and EMT – I85 (also known as advanced emergency medical technician) training and pass the relevant exams. Getting to the point where you are able to begin as a student in a paramedic course can take between one and two years of education and practical training.
Once you have the necessary qualifications to begin training as a paramedic, you will be able to enroll in a course where you will receive some more comprehensive training in medical specialties such as geriatric and pediatric emergency medicine, OB/GYN, pulmonary care as well as ALS (advanced life support) training. ALS training includes instruction in starting IV lines and administering injections; these are types of treatment which paramedics are licensed to provide which emergency medical technicians who hold lower certifications may not. You’ll also need to complete some clinical training in a hospital setting as well as to put in a certain number of hours of training (usually between one hundred and two hundred hours depending on the state where you take your training) in the field as part of an ambulance crew.
Finally, you will need to sit for a state exam which is administered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) and achieve a passing grade. Once you have done this, you will receive your paramedic certification and be eligible to apply for a variety of positions with hospitals and other medical facilities as well as with emergency services including fire and police departments. Becoming a paramedic takes a great deal of training; but once you complete your paramedic training, you will be able to provide lifesaving medical treatment in emergency situations and enjoy a very challenging, but also rewarding career as a paramedic.