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Paramedic degrees worth the investment?


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OK, I'm down to making a decision here and I'm really interested in what the gallery has to say. Is it necessary/worth it/waste of time to get a BS in paramedic sciences/EMS. I can handle the organic chemistry, biology and A&P but will it make a difference in getting me a job wherever I want? Or is the current non related degree I have enough, along with the paramedic program and being nationally registered? I'd also like to hear from anyone who has moved around the country a bit on what are the different standards in training and education. I've also looked at some of these online degrees that accept previous experience and are cheaper than attending a local U and paying per credit hour.

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..... but will it make a difference in getting me a job wherever I want?

This will depend on where you are at, as well as what services you plan to apply at. Typically, having the degree will make you much more marketable than having no degree. This appears to be the current trend. I will try to find the research in this area.

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Naturegirl - PM me - I hold a B.S. in Emergency Medical Care with an emphasis on fire science. Also an instructor/state evaluator and still active in the field. Would be happy to chat with you.

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This will depend on where you are at, as well as what services you plan to apply at. Typically, having the degree will make you much more marketable than having no degree. This appears to be the current trend. I will try to find the research in this area.

I agree that it depends highly on where you plan to work AND what your future plans are for the profession.

I would argue that getting a degree in management(as in public safety administration) or business would make you the most marketable if you plan to move up in the ranks.

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I agree that it depends highly on where you plan to work AND what your future plans are for the profession.

I would argue that getting a degree in management(as in public safety administration) or business would make you the most marketable if you plan to move up in the ranks.

I took the post as a degree in EMS and not management. Ususally in the managerial aspect, more business classes are needed beyond the initial EMS degree. Sorry.

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I took the post as a degree in EMS and not management. Ususally in the managerial aspect, more business classes are needed beyond the initial EMS degree. Sorry.

I don't think we disagree. In a perfect world with unlimited resources($$) and time, it would be great to go as far in EMS education as possible and then move on to other areas like management.

I was just pointing out that without knowing the poster's aspirations, I would suggest a more holistic, well rounded approach to make yourself more marketable.

I would also point out that to be of any value, an advanced degree in management (grad school) is probably what you really need anyway.

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I don't think we disagree. In a perfect world with unlimited resources($$) and time, it would be great to go as far in EMS education as possible and then move on to other areas like management.

I was just pointing out that without knowing the poster's aspirations, I would suggest a more holistic, well rounded approach to make yourself more marketable.

I would also point out that to be of any value, an advanced degree in management (grad school) is probably what you really need anyway.

Gotch ya.

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If you are capable, a BS degree is worth your time. Classes such as A&P, Biology, and Chemistry will help you with the understanding of the fundamentals of medicine. The more you know about medicine, the more confident you can be and should subsequently provide better patient care.

One thing I would consider is how long to you plan to stay in EMS. A lot of EMSers end up quiting after a number of years. Dedication to a BS degree may not be worth it if you do not last in the profession. Out of curiosity, what is your other degree in? Some of those classes may count towards a bachelor's degree.

Benefits for a BS degree depends on your area. Personally, in my area, it does not make the biggest difference. But there are some locations that require a BS degree just to teach. With a BS degree in EMS, you may also have better chances at administrative positions. I am sure there are areas that do pay more for a BS degree, but I am not familiar with any or how much more money they pay for one.

I do not know what online program you are referencing, but the one I am familiar with that offers a four year EMS degree (Western Carolina University), offers an online degree, and you do pay for the credit hours. You may be in reference to an online associates degree through a community college that is cheaper, but I am not sure.

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If you are capable, a BS degree is worth your time. Classes such as A&P, Biology, and Chemistry will help you with the understanding of the fundamentals of medicine. The more you know about medicine, the more confident you can be and should subsequently provide better patient care.

One thing I would consider is how long to you plan to stay in EMS. A lot of EMSers end up quiting after a number of years. Dedication to a BS degree may not be worth it if you do not last in the profession. Out of curiosity, what is your other degree in? Some of those classes may count towards a bachelor's degree.

Benefits for a BS degree depends on your area. Personally, in my area, it does not make the biggest difference. But there are some locations that require a BS degree just to teach. With a BS degree in EMS, you may also have better chances at administrative positions. I am sure there are areas that do pay more for a BS degree, but I am not familiar with any or how much more money they pay for one.

I do not know what online program you are referencing, but the one I am familiar with that offers a four year EMS degree (Western Carolina University), offers an online degree, and you do pay for the credit hours. You may be in reference to an online associates degree through a community college that is cheaper, but I am not sure.

I would agree that an undergrad degree in ANYTHING is almost a necessity these days. My point was that because of the expense of higher ed, one needs to be very careful about where to spend their education dollars and get the biggest bang for their buck. I realize that people's plans and goals change over time, but you need to position yourself to be able to make the best possible use out of whatever education you choose to pursue.

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There are different 4 year degrees in EMS and your future goals would determine which one is right for you.

If you are looking for a promotion in the FD, a degree with a Public Safety, Management or Fire Science would be beneficial. Some that have a large EMS division will definitely see an EMS degree as a benefit that can get you moved up the ladder. You can check almost any FD's promotion requirements to see how they word their degree preferences.

If you are looking at a future in Flight medicine, a degree in Paramedicine with an emphasis on either Management or the sciences would be worth your while. Many flight programs require their RNs to have no less than a BSN and they are also the ones who often advance to the head of a program. The reason behind that is generally the Paramedics will only have the minimum hours for a cert as their education.

If you want to teach, with the accreditation requirements, the programs at the colleges may become more popular as medic mills start to disappear (hopefully). Teaching at a college generally requires an advanced degree.

If you enjoy education and maybe would like to advance the ladder of promotion at a college, you will need at least a Masters and preferably a Ph.D. or doctorate. The Bachelors will give you a good start. There is a lack of EMS educators with higher education which then leaves the upper level positions that oversee EMS education open to the RNs. The same goes for many state office positions involving that state's EMS oversight.

If you want to become involved in research, taking the math and statistics courses will be beneficial and the degree will give you additional credibility. You could also get hired to work with a clinical research foundation that does research in EMS or other areas of medicine.

If you want to move towards a different health care profession, a college with different degree tracks can provide you with the science prerequisites for easier entry into another program. A good example of this is Loma Linda University.

http://www.llu.edu/allied-health/sahp/emc/programinfo.page?

From those degrees you could move laterally into just about any health care degree or get an entry level MSN in nursing. There are numerous job opportunities for RNs with an MSN especially if their Bachelors degree is in the sciences and/or health care. The PA program would also be easily within reach.

Some will pick up a degree in Accounting, IT, Graphic Arts or Metal Working just to have a nice side job.

Of course, if you got your Associates in Paramedicine and then got your Bachelors in just about anything that you preferred, you would still be well ahead of many in the EMS profession and ready for whatever future education changes occur.

Edited by VentMedic
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