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Hi! I'm new to the site so this is really exciting :)

I finished up my EMT basic class in December 2012 and was NREMT certified in January. I'm debating whether or not to go straight into a paramedic program or try to get a job as an EMT first. I live in Washington so what do I need to do for either? Advice and suggestions greatly appreciated :)

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If you search through the forum on education there have been a lot of threads on this particular issue. You will find most here are split with experience versus going straight through. All in all it depends on who you are and the kind of student you are. There are programs also that require field experience before progressing on to paramedic. There are numerous variables tied into that question and I am sure you will find all sorts of responses here.

My $0.02 is to get some experience first. Nothing crazy but get a job and make sure this is a field you can see yourself in. While working and getting some experiences under your belt, look at taking an anatomy and physiology class or basic chemistry/biology classes. Further your science foundation before you take paramedic will help you when it comes to understanding disease pathologies and pharmacology.

Welcome to the site and best of luck to you!!

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Can you afford to go to get a Paramedicine degree without working to pay for it?

Last I knew a 2 yr degree program will run between 14 & 20 grand. Some schools are even higher depending where in the country your located.

What about living expenses?

Personally I think working for a while before attending Paramedic school gives a better understanding of what the job entails.

I've seen some folks who went straight from EMTB to Paramedic without ever working on an ambulance. After spending all that time , effort & money, they discovered they can't deal with blood or vomit, & get carsick because of riding sideways or backwards.

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Do we have anything other than n=1 to suggest working as an EMT makes a better paramedic?

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I don't think so, which is why in my opinion it's up to the individual. Each student will have different academic and practical needs. I'm going straight through my BSN to my MSN but I will probably start work as an RN before I finish my masters.

Doctors aren't required to be PA-C's first but Nurse Practitioners are required to be RN's first.

I'm curious to see this discussion rehashed out...

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I have been told it would be good for me to run as an emt for a while and get my feet wet, and I have also been told it would be good for be to go straight to medic school before developing habits of an EMT.

Some instructors like a clean slate, others like some field experience.

I know a lot of time in bigger cities, people go right into PARAMEDIC school without ever seeing an ambulance. .. do what you think is right for you.

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I honestly doubt they go right into paramedic school without some form of minimum third-ride time on a BLS/ALS Rig or without at minimum EMT (unless it's a college degree program.)

Where I'm at here It's super hard for me to get a job as an EMT. All of the Fire Stations are full up and the only people running calls are the local Non-Profit Ambulance company. Their ALS Rigs run 911 and the BLS Rigs run Transfers all day. I do live in a fairly large City in Michigan. My goal was to Work as an EMT, get my feet wet and attend Paramedic classes but it appears that when the Ambulance company starts up Paramedic training in the fall I'll be attending that to have a much better shot at actually having any job.

We spent 48 hours on an Ambulance and 36 hours in the ER (Super busy) In that small time I saw enough to actually think: This is the job for me. So I'm pretty confident in going straight to Paramedic.

TLDR: I suggest getting your feet wet to make sure this is for you. And remember, at the end of the day don't forget your Basics!

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Chris: I don't think there is any hard evidence either way.

But as I posted above having worked with folks that went from beginning to end with a paramedicine degree and outside of clinicals have never worked on a truck, there were some who found out that this job was not for them.

To me this seems like an awful waste of time & money to get that far and find out you can't or don't want to continue on in the profession.

I've seen a lot less of this with folks who worked the street for a while or while attending Paramedic school as a EMT-B.

Anecdotal at best, but my personal observations over the last 40+ years of working the streets.

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Hi! I'm new to the site so this is really exciting :)

I finished up my EMT basic class in December 2012 and was NREMT certified in January. I'm debating whether or not to go straight into a paramedic program or try to get a job as an EMT first. I live in Washington so what do I need to do for either? Advice and suggestions greatly appreciated :)

If you live in WA you will need to get experience as an EMT first. I don't know of any program that will accept students with less than 2 years of 911 experience.

If your in the Seattle area AMR is hiring, thats where I work. Tri-med also hires regularly.

Experience will help you out immensely. I work with a lot of Seattle Medics and Medic Students and every single one of them has stressed the importance of Basic experience prior to entering the Medic program.

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Considering that EMT-B is little more than an advanced first aid course, I would recommend going to Paramedic School prior to setting foot on an ambulance. Depending on your circumstances/program availability either choose a minimum 2 year paramedic program that includes a significant amount of college level A&P/Patho or take said courses prior to starting into your paramedic.

If you were in Canada I would say take a CMA accredited PCP program, get a couple of years experience, then do a CMA accredited ACP program (making sure to take programs with recognised credits usable to complete a bachelors degree). Overall education to become an ACP is typically 3 years full time study. Canada of course is an entirely differenct kettle of fish with many of our PCP programs including more educational content than the typical US EMT-P program (PCP is considered to be a BLS level).

Once you have your education I strongly recommend spending some time in a system with targeted ALS deployment. Nothing sharpens your wits faster than having to decide ALS or BLS with every patient you assess and only carrying patient's you determine are in need of ALS care (BLS crews carry the BLS patients we don't abandon them).

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