Paramedicine can be an exciting and alluring career choice for people who aren’t attracted to the normal 9am-5pm job. Being a paramedic can, and usually does, look drastically different from day to day and provides an array of unique opportunities. So, what does it take to become a paramedic in the United States? While it may differ slightly from state to state, the general requirements are the same: a valid EMT license, completing a CAAHEP accredited paramedic program (associates degree level or certification), passing the NREMT-P exam, and meeting individual state requirements for licensure. Paramedic courses can take up to two years to complete and typically requires between 1,200 and 2,000 hours of training prior to sitting for the NREMT-P exam. We highly recommend that prior to sitting for the NREMT exam you consider subscribing to EMTprep.com to help you pass the NREMT. Once you've obtained your certification, we recommend you subscribe to EMT-CE.com so you can maintain your paramedic certification.
A paramedic is the highest and most robust level of certification in the family of emergency medical technicians. Not only does a paramedic have a far greater scope of practice than other levels of EMTs, but the paramedic is also responsible for what happens on an emergency scene. While an EMT-Basic might help perform life-saving procedures (such as CPR or inserting an emergency airway), the paramedic on scene is directing, instructing, and delegating tasks while also performing more invasive and challenging procedures themselves. Paramedicine requires a level of patience, leadership, and critical thinking that can be challenging for individuals. Careful consideration of the emotional, physical, and sociological ramifications of the lifestyle of emergency services should be taken prior to applying to a paramedic program. Long shifts can stretch overnight, through weekends, and during holidays. The high-stress environment can impact not only the paramedic themselves but also their families and friends. However, becoming a paramedic can be fulfilling for someone looking to make a positive impact on their community. Paramedics get the unique opportunity of having hands-on medicine and decision making power without the 8-12 years of medical school training required to become a physician.