How Long Does It Take To Become a Paramedic? (And More FAQs)

Paramedic (PM) students complete a program between 1,200 to 1,800 hours and may last six to twelve months. Topics covered in paramedic courses include anatomy and physiology, cardiology, medications, and medical procedures.

What is a EMT? What is a Paramedic? (What do EMTs Do, How To Become a Paramedic, EMTs Career Advice)

How long does it take to become a paramedic?

The length and focus of paramedic training programs vary greatly, but you can typically finish your education in six months to two years. The following variables influence how long it takes to become a paramedic:

What is a paramedic?

A paramedic is a doctor who responds to medical emergencies and provides on-site care and treatment. They perform interventions using the tools and equipment in an ambulance and are a crucial intermediary between the patient’s location and the hospital. Paramedics are trained in a variety of skills and disciplines due to the wide range of situations they encounter. Paramedics may perform the following duties:

Hospitals, ambulance services, as well as fire and police departments, frequently employ paramedics. They could lead a team of rescuers and give orders to EMTs or other medical personnel. They make choices regarding the care of patients, such as what therapies to administer and whether to transport a patient to the hospital.

The importance of these choices necessitates that paramedics be capable leaders who can maintain composure under pressure. They must also have the following skills:

How do you become a paramedic?

You must complete all required training in your state and pass a certification exam in order to work as a paramedic. The steps include:

1. Become a certified EMT

You must obtain a certificate as an EMT before you can become a certified paramedic. A community college or vocational school’s accredited EMT training program can be used to fulfill this requirement. Depending on the type of certification you want, the training period will vary. A basic EMT certification can be obtained in three to six weeks of training.

You must pass a specific EMT certification exam administered by your state’s or the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) after completing a training program. The cognitive exam and the psychomotor skills exam are both parts of the NREMT.

2. Complete an accredited paramedic training program

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs can be used to locate paramedic training programs. Depending on the route you take, these programs can last anywhere from six months to two years. There are some programs that offer an associate’s degree in emergency medicine technology that also includes general education courses. Shorter programs focus mainly on your skills training. You must complete 1,200–1,800 hours of training with the NREMT before you can take the certification exam.

3. Create a paramedic portfolio

Candidates for paramedic must finish a portfolio that demonstrates their mastery of 12 psychomotor skills. Your skill development from lab, clinical, and internship experiences is organized in the portfolio. Your instructors can update your portfolio through the NREMT website. You can’t take the paramedic certification exam until you finish this portfolio.

4. Pay the application fee

Candidates for the paramedic certification exam must pay the NREMT application fee.

5. Pass the NREMT certification exam

On their scheduled date and time, candidates can finish the paramedic certification exam in several hours.

6. Earn an advanced life support credential

Basic life support and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (BLS-CPR) certification is required for EMTs and paramedics in the healthcare industry. Through organizations like the American Heart Association, you can obtain this certification. Normally, you can finish your training in one day and get certified. You can register for online or in-person courses.

What are the differences between a paramedic and an emergency medical technician (EMT)?

There are three levels at which emergency medical technicians can be categorized:

The most training and the highest level of EMT are paramedics. To become an EMT-Basic, the NREMT requires 120–150 hours of training; this process can take up to six months. This is considerably less training than the 1,200-1,800 hours, or frequently one or two years, needed to pass the EMT-Paramedic certification exam.

With their additional training, paramedics can provide patients with a wider range of treatments and more intensive procedures, such as the use of ventilators and intravenous lines. EMTs offer basic medical care, such as bandaging wounds and assisting with patient transportation. Compared to basic EMTs, paramedics can work in more sophisticated emergency settings, like air ambulances.

Paramedics can more easily pursue other healthcare careers like physician assistant and medical assistant with more advanced medical training. EMTs and paramedics are expected to see faster job growth than the national average of 4% between 2019 and 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

FAQ

Is learning to be a paramedic hard?

Being a paramedic is a difficult job that calls for physical stamina, mental toughness under pressure, medical knowledge, the capacity to make quick decisions, and the compassion to treat patients with kindness even in trying circumstances.

Is a paramedic the same as an EMT?

EMTs and paramedics differ primarily in their level of education and the types of procedures they are permitted to perform. While paramedics can carry out more difficult procedures like placing IV lines, dispensing medications, and applying pacemakers, EMTs can only administer CPR, glucose, and oxygen.

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