What will a typical day look like working as a paramedic?
I am a teenager currently in high school. I am starting to look into career choices for my future. I have always had an interest for #medicine and being a #paramedic. I want to learn more about this #career-path so I can start volunteering and getting internships to build experience.
So great to hear that someone wants to go into the EMT/Paramedic field! I definitely have a better background advising in Business, technology, and social majors, but I'll give this one a shot until someone more experienced gives you a better answer.
I saw you also asked other questions as well, so I will try to answer all of them on here.
- I have a couple of close friends who work and worked as EMT's who were preparing to become paramedics. Many of them could not handle the job long-term (Please don't let this deter you from this career, I am just letting you know what I know so you have the most realistic knowledge about this career) due to the long and stressful shifts, trauma, and overall tough job.
- A typical day as a EMT (which you will have to become before becoming a paramedic until you get more experience and possibly more education) is answering emergency calls throughout the day, every day Is different just like many jobs, some days will be more stressful than others. So you would receive emergency calls, go to the scene where the patients need medical assistance and you provide said assistance, whether it is taking them to the hospital in the ambulance, helping them regain consciousness, to very graphic scenes that require you to act quickly and maintain the patient in a safe state, which is not always possible. Those are the most talked about parts of the jobs, the parts they don't talk about as much are at the end of the call, when you have to clean the ambulance to be as clean as before the patient was in it, this includes dealing with human body fluids. Another major part of the job is working for over 10-14 hours a day with very few breaks and overtime many weeks, which can cause MANY people to burnout before being able to apply to become a paramedic. In short, this is a very difficult job where you will definitely be hands-on, stressed, but you will definitely be feeling rewarded at the end of the day.
- Like I said before, the hours are long and hard, most EMT's I know work overtime nearly every week, up to 50-60 hours a week, 10-14 hours a day at times.
- As to who you have to report to at the end of the day, I would say there would be a manager assigned for the EMT's of said hospitals and ambulance companies depending on what companies or hospitals you work for. This is one question I don't have much information to answer for you.
- As for the biggest challenges of being a paramedic/EMT would be facing the more gruesome/graphic scenes that many people cannot handle. You must be comfortable with any bodily fluids as you may experience working with patients who are unable to control their own fluids or may be in a state where you need to limit the fluids they lose.
- One extra question I would like to help answer although you may know already is how to become a paramedic. The first steps are to become an EMT or at least fulfill the EMT trainings, national certifications and exams, and if possible work as an EMT to gain experience and make your resume stronger for potential hiring managers against other applicants. As you work as an EMT, your fastest approach to become a paramedic is to also achieve another technical certification specific to paramedics OR complete an Associate's Degree in a field that will help you get accepted into a paramedic program. In general it takes no more than 6-9 months to become an EMT, but it takes 2-4 years to become a paramedic once you look at the preferred qualifications for applicants which are EMT experience, Associate's degree, and paramedic certification.
Good Luck Angela!
This is an awesome career choice, but as Julio said, not for everyone.
My daughter is an EMT/Paramedic and truly loves what she does. She decided this is what she wanted to do after she began volunteering at the local fire station. She got to shadow with the EMT's and Paramedics there and quickly decided to become an EMT. She already had her Bachelors degree in Pre-med so she took an accelerated EMT class and completed her National Certification in about 8 months. She then began working for a private ambulance company in addition to continuing to work for the Fire department as a volunteer. After 6 months on the job, she decided she wanted to do more for patients and 18 months later got her Paramedic certification.
You need to get your EMT first, the Paramedic, and most of the time you would want to get at least a years worth of experience before going the next step. Most of the time, to be hired you will need at least an associates degree. The good news is that many Community Colleges offer an Associates Degree with EMT all in one program.
There are many career options for an EMT/Paramedic.
You could work for a Fire Department, Private Ambulance Company, or Hospital, or even become a flight medic.
Not all Paramedic work will revolve around emergency situations. As an example, working for a private ambulance company, you are mainly caring for patients as they go from home to the hospital or another type of care facility.
This career requires a passion for helping people, the ability to think on your feet and problem solve and remain calm in very stressful situations. If this sounds like you, then you will do great.
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