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How to be a Paramedic and availability of jobs?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by relentless11, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
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    Hi all,

    I got another year or so to kill till the med school rush thing, so I figure i might as well be productive and be at least an EMT-1, but I would like to be a paramedic.

    My questions are:

    1) What is the route in becoming a paramedic. I know i have to start off with the basic EMT course. Does anyone know where I can take this course. I found one class being taught at a local community college, but i'm wondering if there's some online thing I can look at. What other courses would I have to take in addition to the EMT class to become a paramedic (and how long does it take?)

    2) Should I just stick with being just an EMT? I am looking for field experience, rather than volunteering in a hospital all my life. I've done pretty much everything, to the point where i'm now a staff member of our hospital, and medical school. So I have all the access that an undergrad/post-bacc could want. Need something new!

    3) Any EMT's out there, can you provide any input?

    4) How easy is it to find a job as an EMT or Paramedic?

    Pretty much I don't care about the hours or pay. I'm currently a research assistant at the medical school, and i'm intent on keeping that job. However funding looks scarce for the next year, so I would like to get another interesting job (ie: EMT or Paramedic) to boost my economy during those times. I personally don't really care how this appears for medical school, since this is something I've always wanted to do for a short period of time (not a career!) So any help on this matter would be most appreciated. Thanks!
     
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  3. Trekkie963

    Trekkie963 Senior Member
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    Becoming a paramedic basically means taking three successive courses: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, and finally EMT-Paramedic. Community colleges are typically the places that these sorts of courses are offered, but you could probably look at your state's health department website to find a list of course sites if for some reason you don't want to take the course you've already found.

    If you are not even an EMT-Basic yet, then it would probably take you the full year (or more) to complete Paramedic training. Each level requires an increasing number of hours both in the ER and on an ambulance, so training is a pretty significant time commitment.

    If you just become a Basic, you should have no trouble finding volunteer opportunities on ambulances. Paid positions will be harder to come by, so if you need money I might recommend going for Intermediate. I don't see any reason for you to go all the way up to Paramedic, since you intend to start med school in a year.

    As far as ease of finding a job, that of course depends heavily on the market you are in. Like I said, though, jobs for Basics are the hardest to come by (no surprise).

    Being an EMT is a great experience, and definitely different from working in a hospital. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
     
  4. Athomeonarock

    Athomeonarock Senior Member
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    Its actually pretty hard to become a paramedic. In most states, you can not even apply till you have had 6 months- 1year as an active EMT. The class itself requires pre -reqs, and is usually like getting an AS degree. As for being an EMT, i think it is a great way to get patient care experience, I have learned more than as an EMT than in any other volunteer or reasearch experience.(it is kinda hard to get a paying EMT-B position)
    Good luck
     
  5. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
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    Interesting. I wonder if you can apply as an ER Tech? At least as a per diem position. I just need some extra cash flow. My research professor will support me in some way or another, i just want to maintain a back up as well as have some fun in the process.

    I do know that as an EMT, i can do other fun things like you guys pointed out. Especially do a fly along with our LifeFlight. That would definately be fun! Something to talk about I guess:).

    Anyway, based on everyone's experience, i'll do the EMT thing this summer. I found 1 place at a community college. We have on here on campus but they say you have to camp out the night before. I might as well drive for 15minutes to the community college and take it there. If i have time as time progresses i'll continue to take more classes, but like Trekkie pointed out, its probably not worth it if i'm going to apply/attend med school in a year or so. Thanks for all the help you guys!
     
  6. berriesarie

    berriesarie Member
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    I agree that if you only plan on being out for a year paying all the money and spending all the time you need to get your medic might not be worth it. I've worked as a paid emt for 2 yrs now and definately think that might be the best way to go. It really depends on where you live though since some places only have volunteer and others (like boston) hire EMT-basics all over the place and its really easy to get a job. The best place to look is probably the state's department of health website. There might be a link to a list of ambulance services or probably an office of emergency medical services link.
     
  7. beanbean

    beanbean 1K Member
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    Check out the EMS forum here on SDN for more info on the wild and crazy world of EMS.
     
  8. oudoc08

    oudoc08 Please pass the gas...
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    Becoming a paramedic usually requires about 2 years or more (esp. if the paramedic program requires you to work as an EMT-Basic for a designated amount of time prior). In addition, the program itself is very strenous and requires a great deal of endurance to complete. See the Pre-Hospital forum for further
     

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