Paramedics are the first responder to medical emergencies trained in various lifesaving skills. Vehicular accidents, natural disasters, crime scenes, personal in-home injuries are types emergencies situations paramedics may encounter. Paramedic qualifications vary from state to state however; there are basic requirements for all states.
Before you enroll in EMT/paramedic training, you must earn a high school diploma or equivalent. Take advanced courses in science, health and biology helpful. Physical training also recommended. Paramedics will have to move patients and must show high level of physical fitness.
There are four levels of EMT training recognized by National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.
EMT Basic Training/First Responder:
You can work your way up to paramedic from a firefighter position, or take the most common route by becoming an emergency medical technician. Enroll in community college, an EMT school or even hospital that train EMTs.
Students enroll in hands-on field training in emergency rooms or ambulances coupled with classroom lectures. Classroom studies include respiratory and cardiac emergencies, patient assessment and trauma response. Basic training or first responder duties are basic life support. Stabilize a patient. Prepare patient for transport. Administer CPR. Assist in emergency childbirth. Use defibrillators. Use a bag-valve mask for mechanical ventilation. Apply bandages when a patient bleeds. Use splints for bones injuries. Check heart rate with pulse oximetry. Check blood sugar levels through glucometer. Administer drugs such as nitroglycerin and epinephrine.
EMT Intermediate I/85:
Typically, student will take more classes that may take a couple of months or up to a year depending on that particular state regulation. EMT must clock in more hours in the operating room and/or emergency department depending on state requirements. Intermediate I/85 allowed several more invasive procedures in the field. Learn to utilize intravenous fluids (IVs). Control airway devices. Learn bleeding control. Train in shock management. Understand how to deal with cardiac arrest emergencies. Learn how to use and interpret EKGs.
EMT Intermediate I/99:
Qualifications again vary from state to state. EMT I/99 learn more invasive procedures in the field. Train to do a needle-decompression for a collapsed lung (tension pneumothorax). Learn to place a tube into the windpipe (trachea) through the mouth to help the patient breathe (endotracheal intubation). Learn how to use a nasogatric tube. That is a tube inserted through the nose, past the throat and into the stomach. This helps remove gastric secretions and built of air in patients with gastrointestinal obstructions. More drugs may be administered to help control cardiac Arrhythmias.
Students have eight months or up to two years of training depending upon state qualifications. Class studies include advanced medical theory, principles of physiology and human anatomy. Paramedics can administer up to 40 medications depending upon state regulations. They can conduct chest monitoring. Blood chemistry analysis. Central line monitoring. Venous blood sampling. May be permitted to sedate combative patients. Learn triage of patients in a mass casualty incident. Administer drugs through IV or by mouth. Conduct manual defibrillation, and more.
Paramedics may be required a have special driver’s license depending upon state for Emergency vehicle operation. Paramedics must pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians test or a state exam in order to become a licensed paramedic in order to work in that state. Test covers areas such as trauma patient assessment, psychomotor skills and cardiac management.
The guide to becoming a paramedic is clear.
- Earn a high school diploma or equivalent before you enroll in EMT classes
- Take EMT Basic course training
- Take EMT intermediate training I/85
- Take EMT intermediate training I/99
- Take more class room course and field training with advance invasive training
- Pass the NREMT tests and become a licensed paramedic
How long it takes to become a paramedic varies from state to state. The job is rewarding. You save lives. Paramedic trained to make quick decisions. Life and death can hang on the balance until trained paramedics arrive on the scene. Parmedics asses the patient’s needs, applied emergency medical attention then transport the patient to the hospital.
Paramedic is the lifeline to patient care in the most desperate hour.