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Question on EMT-B/Paramedic Training

50 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

As some already know I intend to go into the EMS community as a paramedic after my stint with the Navy expires later this year. I already have a bachelor's degree in English and I figured that depending on the program I go into (I'm gonna go the community college route) I can focus almost entirely on the EMT and Paramedic courses. I was wondering how long training takes normally. Two years? Three? Five years?

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Posted · Report post

To go from zero to hero, around 3yrs all said and done. That doesn't include that years of experience you should have between EMT and Paramedic though.

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Posted · Report post

That doesn't include that years of experience you should have between EMT and Paramedic though.

Citation-Needed-wikipedia-819731_500_271.jpg

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Posted · Report post

To go from zero to hero, around 3yrs all said and done. That doesn't include that years of experience you should have between EMT and Paramedic though.

Sorry to be a pain but can you elaborate the years of experience bit? I gather that means I will do some time as an EMT-B/first responder before I start Paramedic school?

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Posted · Report post

Sorry to be a pain but can you elaborate the years of experience bit? I gather that means I will do some time as an EMT-B/first responder before I start Paramedic school?

yes

Citation-Needed-wikipedia-819731_500_271.jpg

citations? and open up 20 old threads? all with the same topic and same discussion? :P

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Posted · Report post

Or dear lord, someone doing it right!!! This needs to be rewarded with good advice. So I'll try what I can.

Don't waste your time gaining experience as a Basic. This has been argued to death on this forum, and a quick search of "experience" will find the torn up remains. Suffice to say, Paramedic and EMT programs do not speak the same language and EMT-B does not provide a good foundation for Paramedicine. Spending time at that level will actually put you at a disadvantage when trying to learn later on.

When choosing a program you want one that offers at least an associates degree and has two full credit A&P courses. Already having a university I won't waste your time extolling the importance of a good education. You want a program that gives you a good foundation in the sciences, provides clinical placement experience and have instructors whose credentials include more then time on the road. You don't not want a "condensed", "compressed", "accelerated" or any other medic mill course that will churn you out in six months with the bare minimum to pass the exam.

For specifics, VentMedic, DustDevil, ParamedicMike, RidRyder, Spenac and MANY others will give you excellent advice on where to look. I'm not from the US so any advice I give, is essentially just parroting what I've learned from them.

Welcome to the City!

- Matt

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Posted (edited) · Report post

citations? and open up 20 old threads? all with the same topic and same discussion? :P

All of which contain comments from people who don't know any better stating that you need tons of BLS experience before starting something completely new and beyond the understanding of those who haven't been through paramedic school yet.

Or, you could listen to the people who have been there, who have a real college education on which to build (much like the OP) and who realize that getting into a real paramedic program requires little more than being smart and driven enough to do the work...NOT any set amount of time as a BLS provider.

If you really want to beat that dead horse...AGAIN...then please be my guest. But let's just try to help this guy without citing unsubstantiated rumor and cliche, shall we?

To the OP:

Find yourself a degree awarding, accredited program in which to enroll. I think you'll find you'll have much better luck. A real paramedic program, including prerequisites, can be completed in two to three years (depending on what classes you've already taken and summer classes once accepted).

Or, you can put your GI Bill funds to better use and go to either nursing school or physician assistant school. Hell, you could even shoot for medical school and be our boss at some point. Even if you were in the Navy. :o Just kidding. ;)

Good luck!

-be safe

Edited by paramedicmike
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Posted · Report post

Do you happen to be a Corpsman?

I plan on going into the EMS field after the Marines!

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Posted · Report post

Start here to look for an accredited Paramedic program.

http://www.coaemsp.org/

http://www.coaemsp.org/accreditatedprograms.htm

This is a division of CAAHEP linked by paramedicmike.

Hopefully the same school will also have an EMT-B program.

Stick with state community colleges or 4 year programs so that some of your previous credits will apply. For a well rounded medical education, you should have some sciences: college level Anatomy & Physiology with lab - at least two semesters, Microbiology, Chemistry, Pathophysiology. A good program should take you about 2 years and you'll have a degree. There are also a few program that are 4 year programs where the majority of your undergrad degree will transfer and the rest will still be about two years. As far as experience as an EMT-B which is essentially a first-aid provider. You don't need any more time at that level than what it takes to finish your Paramedic classes.

Or, you can do the zero to hero route by finding a 2 - 3 week crash course (120 hours) for EMT-B and then follow up with a 3 month medic mill.

At this time there are only one or two states that require a college degree. Oregon is definitely one of them. Texas has an optional degree "license". Kansas is another but I am not at all familiar with that state.

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Posted · Report post

Do you happen to be a Corpsman?

I plan on going into the EMS field after the Marines!

No I'm not a Corpsman.

Find yourself a degree awarding, accredited program in which to enroll. I think you'll find you'll have much better luck. A real paramedic program, including prerequisites, can be completed in two to three years (depending on what classes you've already taken and summer classes once accepted).

Already having a degree can I simply focus on the EMT/Paramedic courses?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Already having a degree can I simply focus on the EMT/Paramedic courses?

I thought you had a degree in English?

Did it include 2 semesters of Anatomy and Physiology with lab, Microbiology, Pathophysiology, Pharmacology etc?

If you just want a certificate there are plenty of tech schools, both private and public, that will get you in and out quicker.

Are you still considering the Orlando area in Florida?

http://www.emtcity.com/index.php?showtopic=14350&hl=

Edited by VentMedic
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Posted · Report post

I thought you had a degree in English?

Did it include 2 semesters of Anatomy and Physiology with lab, Microbiology, Pathophysiology, Pharmacology etc?

If you just want a certificate there are plenty of tech schools, both private and public, that will get you in and out quicker.

Are you still considering the Orlando area in Florida?

http://www.emtcity.com/index.php?showtopic=14350&hl=

No my degree did not include anything medically based. I'm willing to tackle a second degree in any case and I am considering the Orlando or Daytona Beach areas of Florida for training and working.

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Posted · Report post

To get "certified" can take what, six months at quickie tech school for cook book firemedics who require a cert or it can take four years at a Bachelors program; or somewhere in between.

"Training" never ends, as a medical professional you will always be learning new things and should see education as a lifelong processs. Unfortunatley too few medics I know auctually take an active interest in post certification education; don't be one of them.

You need college level A&P, pharmacology and pathophysiology; the quick, cut down chapter in the Paramedic textbook is nowhere near good enough; I have A&P books that rival the length of my Paramedic book alone.

Although you may very well end up wtih required texts, here are my suggestions for some light reading (and you can probably get a decent workout if you bench them) ...

Marieb's human A&P

Lippincott's ECG Interpretation (little brown book ... reads almost identical to Portable ECG Interpretation also by Lippincott)

Bryant's Pharmacology

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To get "certified" can take what, six months at quickie tech school for cook book firemedics who require a cert or it can take four years at a Bachelors program; or somewhere in between.

"Training" never ends, as a medical professional you will always be learning new things and should see education as a lifelong processs. Unfortunatley too few medics I know auctually take an active interest in post certification education; don't be one of them.

You need college level A&P, pharmacology and pathophysiology; the quick, cut down chapter in the Paramedic textbook is nowhere near good enough; I have A&P books that rival the length of my Paramedic book alone.

Although you may very well end up wtih required texts, here are my suggestions for some light reading (and you can probably get a decent workout if you bench them) ...

Marieb's human A&P

Lippincott's ECG Interpretation (little brown book ... reads almost identical to Portable ECG Interpretation also by Lippincott)

Bryant's Pharmacology

I'm probably gonna go the community college training route for the paramedic training. I realize like any professional that training never stops and that there are always ways to make one better at one's job. Right now though I'm more curious about finding the right training program (probably training at either Seminole or Valencia Community College for my EMT-B/EMT-P courses) in order to become a practicing paramedic.

VentMedic, yes I intend to train and operate in the state of Florida.

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Posted · Report post

To go from zero to hero, around 3yrs all said and done. That doesn't include that years of experience you should have between EMT and Paramedic though.

If he takes a degree program he will get his basic first semester. Then immediately will continue to completion of Paramedic in about 2 years. There is no reason to stop and waste time at basic level.

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Posted · Report post

While I have no wish to beat a horse which is already dead... I think that a reasonable person would agree that (in regards to experience at the Basic level) the truth is somewhere in between. It is not necessary to burden yourself with the idea that you have to spend 2-3 years on the road gaining BLS skills, but I would caution you about the mindset that completely disregarding the level altogether is appropriate.

I myself have been a Basic for about 6 years now, and have learned a great many things that would benefit a prospective Paramedic or Nurse. My apparent lackadaisical career has been more a matter of incurable finances, lack of motivation, and a keen eye for other professional endeavors (and a wife that never STOPS going to school)... not because of some ill conceived notion of BLS experience.

The benefits of extended BLS experience does not lie in the dogmatic arguments involving pre-hospital skill and ability accumulation, but in skills that are of a more intangible variety. Skills that include bedside manner, interaction with staff, commanding a scene, organizing chaos, learning how to work with medical people of both higher and lower skill and ability... and so on and so on. These skills are much easier to attain in a lower stress environment in which you are not the highest level of care and can make mistakes that are not going to hurt anyone. These skills are also much harder to accumulate when you are still trying to find your way on the road with SO much more on your mind... i.e. brandy-new-medic with no experience to rely on.

While these attributes I mention are not in the curriculum, and not on the protocol exam... they do make a difference between a good medic and a great medic.

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Posted · Report post

Your BLS experience will be gained after first semester when you are certified as a basic. Then you do ride outs till you complete the Paramedic degree. As a third rider you will gain much more experience than you will as a driver that most basics seem to end up being.

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Your BLS experience will be gained after first semester when you are certified as a basic. Then you do ride outs till you complete the Paramedic degree. As a third rider you will gain much more experience than you will as a driver that most basics seem to end up being.

Spenac-

I am well aware of how Paramedic courses are structured... and I agree there is built in time for riding along and learning skills. But you will have to agree that most of your best learned lessons are when you are by yourself with nothing but your partner to rely on... not riding third watching someone who already made the mistakes that you need to make to better yourself. As for your last statement... you are obviously much more comfortable dealing in absolutes than I am. I still hold that everyone's experiences are different, and moreover, that every EMS system is different in composition. I am not familiar enough with the Floridian system that our Lone Rider friend intends to learn and work in, and not presumptuous enough to assume that all Basics are drivers there.

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Spenac-

I am well aware of how Paramedic courses are structured... and I agree there is built in time for riding along and learning skills. But you will have to agree that most of your best learned lessons are when you are by yourself with nothing but your partner to rely on... not riding third watching someone who already made the mistakes that you need to make to better yourself. As for your last statement... you are obviously much more comfortable dealing in absolutes than I am. I still hold that everyone's experiences are different, and moreover, that every EMS system is different in composition. I am not familiar enough with the Floridian system that our Lone Rider friend intends to learn and work in, and not presumptuous enough to assume that all Basics are drivers there.

The problem is many partners that will mentor the newcomers continue to make the same mistakes over and over because they don't realize they are mistakes. To break this cycle, there needs to be education and clinicals done under the watchful eyes of educators. We must first educate the educators and stop the bubba see, bubba do mentality. We must develop a generation of those that have enough of a foundation in the basics of medicine and the sciences to think.

Florida provides ALS to every community in the state. While this has helped the medic mills to flourish, Florida also has many excellent two year degree programs for Paramedics. Unfortunately, EMS has acquired a quick fix and shortcut mentality that keeps the tech certificates the mainstay of the industry.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

The problem is many partners that will mentor the newcomers continue to make the same mistakes over and over because they don't realize they are mistakes. To break this cycle, there needs to be education and clinicals done under the watchful eyes of educators. We must first educate the educators and stop the bubba see, bubba do mentality. We must develop a generation of those that have enough of a foundation in the basics of medicine and the sciences to think.

Florida provides ALS to every community in the state. While this has helped the medic mills to flourish, Florida also has many excellent two year degree programs for Paramedics. Unfortunately, EMS has acquired a quick fix and shortcut mentality that keeps the tech certificates the mainstay of the industry.

I cannot, and do not disagree with anything you said there. I would very much like to see all EMS have to go to a University system. That would provide credibility to our field, and some semblance of educational assurance. Alas, that is a dream with a very long pipe... and there are many reasons for it... but that would jack the thread completely... and piss off all the vollies.

Fortunately many universities are beginning to cash in on this revenue stream of EMS-philes, and providing EMS degrees. If only the National Registry was a stronger organization that had the teeth to..... oh crap.... there I go.... I promised myself I wouldn't go off on a tangent.

Sorry... end of reply.

Edited by cosgrojo
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Posted · Report post

Lone Rider, are you aware that there really are no real EMS jobs for you in the Orlando area unless you become a fireman? Floridia is much like California, in that about 95 percent of the state has their EMS run by firemen. There are maybe half a dozen counties in Floridia that employ paramedics to be only paramedics, and they aren't anywhere near Orlando.

I'm curious why exactly you want to be a paramedic. A great many people enter EMS with completely mistaken notions of what it is like and what it is all about, as well as delusions about the job prospects and potential to make a living at it. I'd just like to make sure you know exactly what you're getting into, and not thinking this is anything like you see on TV. It is not.

If you decide to go this route, you can probably finish it all off in two years, depending upon the program. Most programs don't start the actual paramedic classes until the second or third semester, so you can get your EMT-B class done during that first semester, while beginning your prerequisite classes (already noted by VentMedic). Ideally you should have ALL of those classes (which is three semesters worth) before beginning paramedic classes, so you can have a complete foundation established, and focus solely on the paramedic classes. In the schools that have all their paramedic classes in the second year, you can do this all in two years. In schools that have paramedic classes in the first year, you cannot.

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Posted · Report post

Lone Rider, are you aware that there really are no real EMS jobs for you in the Orlando area unless you become a fireman? Floridia is much like California, in that about 95 percent of the state has their EMS run by firemen. There are maybe half a dozen counties in Floridia that employ paramedics to be only paramedics, and they aren't anywhere near Orlando

DustDevil. Reconnaissance of Orlando and Florida EMS has revealed that data and I am well aware of it. I'm really not bothered by the prospect of having to be a fireman to have a decent EMS job and am well aware fire departments have decent benefits and retirements and pay.

I'm curious why exactly you want to be a paramedic. A great many people enter EMS with completely mistaken notions of what it is like and what it is all about, as well as delusions about the job prospects and potential to make a living at it. I'd just like to make sure you know exactly what you're getting into, and not thinking this is anything like you see on TV. It is not.

I became interested in EMS after attending Surface Rescue Swimmer School in the Navy last year. The idea of saving people's lives as a firefighter/paramedic appeals to me. Of all the Navy and recently Army schools (I'm a Navy IA) I attended SAR and CLS training were the most rewarding.

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Posted · Report post

Are you still in the Navy? Seems weird they would put you through the training a year before you were finished.

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Are you still in the Navy? Seems weird they would put you through the training a year before you were finished.

I'm betting they do not yet know he's almost finished. ;)

Okay, cool LR. Since you didn't mention anything about firefighting (which I appreciate, lol), I just wanted to make sure you knew what you were getting in to. It just upsets the heck out of me every time I see another wide-eyed n00b get suckered into $10k worth of education just to find out that there are no jobs because s/he didn't bother to do ten cents worth of research.

Sounds like you've got a good head on your shoulders and a good plan ahead of you. Coming here to ask for advice is a good move, and we're very happy to help you out in any way we can. The advice you have thus far received is golden. Be sure to choose a school that is on the CAAHEP and CoAEMSP accreditation list. Your prior education has obviously helped you to become an effective communicator, and communications is absolutely the most important skill a paramedic can have. That gives you a huge advantage over most who enter our field. Now you just need to build a scientific foundation from which to build your medical education. That means all of those courses that VentMedic mentioned, and even if the school you choose does not require those particular courses. Unfortunately, many schools dumb-down the curriculum because of the low quality of candidates we usually attract. Rise above that and strive to be the best you can be.

It is refreshing to see someone whose primary passion is medicine, and not firefighting, or simply landing a civil service job. I wish we saw many more like you. I wish you the very best of luck, and am happy to support you in any way I can. Well, almost any way. Just don't ask for money. ;)

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Posted · Report post

Your prior education has obviously helped you to become an effective communicator, and communications is absolutely the most important skill a paramedic can have.

I will gracelessly accept your absentminded compliment to my original post Dusty, and will pronounce myself vindicated. :P

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