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Lindz

I want to become a paramedic

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Hi everyone!

I am a 16 year old girl who has her heart set on being a paramedic when I am older. I was wondering if anyone could give me any tips on how to prepare and start training right now. I am from the U.S if that makes a difference. I am not afraid of blood and guts like everyone I know. I am a point guard on the varsity basketball team, and I play year round. I think that has helped me with my quick decision making skills.

Thanks for the help!

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Study anatomy/physiology, biology, chemistry and any other basic sciences that interest you. Go to college and get a degree in some science while you are getting your EMT at night (its about 4 months long depending on where you go). Go to paramedic school. Your science degree with help advance you if you end up wanting to go to other professions and benefit you as a paramedic.

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Finish High School first. If your high school offers a vocational school option with an EMT class then you can do that but if you don't have that option, please wait till you get out of high school to take your EMT Class. You only go to high school once.

But like MCSOU said, anatomy/physiology books are a good place to start. I'm not sure that chemistry would be beneficial for an EMT, biology definately.

You can go to Barnes and Noble or Amazon and get any of the books that you need.

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Do a Running Start college program if you can!! Free college and graduating from high school at the same time. The more education you have the better.

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Depending on where in the US you live you may be able to join an ambulance company or fire department and ride on calls. It's frowned up here, but if it is available, why not take advantage of it?

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Hi everyone!

I am a 16 year old girl who has her heart set on being a paramedic when I am older. I was wondering if anyone could give me any tips on how to prepare and start training right now. I am from the U.S if that makes a difference. I am not afraid of blood and guts like everyone I know. I am a point guard on the varsity basketball team, and I play year round. I think that has helped me with my quick decision making skills.

Thanks for the help!

And you know that you are not afraid of blood and guts...how? Even disregarding the fact that "blood and guts" is a very, very small part of being a paramedic and is one of the less disturbing things that you will see, your implication that you can handle the unpleasant parts of the job is true because...why?

I'm sorry, but being able to make decisions while playing a very simple game with very set rules and expectations does not mean that you will be able to think quickly, accurately, and objectively under duress in the real world, especially in the medical field.

There. Now that THAT is out of the way...

Finish highschool. If you have the option of taking chemistry and biology classes, especially more advanced ones, do so. Physics and english composition courses would also be beneficial, along with psychology, but at the highschool level those would be less helpful.

Look into what options for paramedic school are available to you (this also means considering how bad you want it).

Find out what the medical field, and EMS actually is, and more importantly, what it ISN'T. You can do this by visiting multiple (yes, many many many would be best) departments and doing ride-alongs (if they'll let you at your age) and talking with the EMT's and paramedics about what it is they do, how they do it, what they don't actually do, what they like and dislike, how much they really know about medicine (that'll be hard for you to evaluate), what the career path is in different types of services, what is beneficial to know, what is detrimental to do and so forth.

Beyond that...don't do anything. Finish highschool, have some fun and enjoy yourself. You have lots and lots of time to get into the field, so don't worry about rushing it.

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I got my EMT at 16 and it was the best decision I ever made. Sure it was a lot juggling high school, friends, family, rowing, and the fire department but it truly shaped who I am today. I also took anatomy and physiology in high school, AP Bio and AP physics to get a jump start. I would suggest looking into your area and find out what's available. Take a CPR/First Aid course, work hard at school, keep your nose clean, and pursue your dreams.

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had I have had the chance at 16 to become a emt, I would have jumped at the chance because my father had a scanner and we had the local fire station 8 blocks from our house. We listened to the scanner every weekend and "chased" them on a weekendly basis. I was hooked from age 6 on. Hell if I could have been a fire fighter at age 6 I would have been. The firefighters at station 28 in KC Mo would recognize me 40 years ago but of course, they've come and gone and move up ranks and retired and died.

Past history and knowledge dictates that we learn and live. I'm smarter now though.

if my son were to come to me in high school and ask me to help him get his EMT at 16, I'll help him but I'm going to put caveats and requirements on that help.

1. He has to finish high school, if the school offers the vocational option like I mentioned in my first post, that's ideal.

2. He has to find a service that allows him to work off his time while he rides - so for each 8 hours he rides, he has to work 1 hour in the station doing chores and learning.

3. Every CEU class that the service he rides at offers, he has to take it even if it's ALS level

4. he has to become FF1 and FF2 certified. (yeah I know, but I also see the future and Fire is really where it's at for EMS)

5. He needs to eventually consider a 2 year if not 4 year degree and I'll help pay for it just like my father did for me.

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*Edited to finish post, after accidentally posting*

We all have different experiences. Much of the exposure/experience you may receive, will vary greatly, depending on your locale. This is my experience only, offer is void where prohibited, no warranty is implied or expressed, always follow your local protocols, and local, state, and federal laws where applicable. I receive no compensation for any product recommendation, The opinions expressed herein are my own and may not represent or reflect the position of any company/department of which I am currently or previously affiliated, results not typical, etc.

On my 16th birthday, I was working my summer job at a roadside fruit stand and bakery. We had just say down to enjoy birthday cake, between tourist buses, when a Chrysler Concord rolled up in front of the shop. It parked perpendicular to the way the stripes were, and started honking his horn. I remember joking "What does this guy want, drive up service?" I put on my best customer service smile and opened the door. In the drivers seat sat a 300ish pound, 60's year old guy. He was flushed and sweaty. He gasped "I need help" I called 911 and EMS was dispatched. He said "I think I am having a heart attack." This was back when the Bayer aspirin commercials had just started, so we dug out the first aid kit and gave him two adult aspirin. The ambulance barn was 8.5 miles away, with volunteer staffing, so what was likely 15 minute response that felt like an hour. I felt totally and completely helpless and wanted to help this poor guy, but didn't know what more I could do. One of the owners of the fruit stand was a captain of the local fire department, which also is a Ambulance service. He suggested that since I was now 16, I should become a Jr. Firefighter. Never wanting to feel that helpless again, I agreed.

That Thursday night was my first fire drill. I remember searching through the station attic and finding my first set of turnouts and trainee helmet, They were 20+ years old when they were issued to me. I also found a pair of nomex coveralls and leather gloves, wildland fire helmet and belt for fire shelter. We ordered a pair of wildfire boots, which were the only equipment I received that wasn't "hand me downs." This was a very small department, where only the officers had radios, and a few had Motorola voice pagers. The rest of us found out we had a call, by the 2 minute air raid sirens blaring and responding to the station. We had a mini academy to get myself and one other recruit to a functional level. This opportunity gave me exposure to public service, and I loved every minute of it.

I had spent nearly every Saturday from November-March at a local ski hill, since I was in 1st grade. One of my friend's dad had been on the volunteer ski patrol for ages and talked me into joining as a Jr Patrol Candidate. The "Outdoor Emergency Care Technician" course by AAOS was based on the EMT course and met the DOT requirements. This gave me a foot in the door to expand my medical knowledge base and allowed me to network with other healthcare professionals.

The ski hill medical program director, was an ER physician and fellow patrolman, graciously offered to allow me to shadow him in ER. Through ny high school, I was able to secure a "school to work" internship at the ER, and was able to collect both school "elective" credits, and could rack up community service hours for my Senior project. I had completed all of the required classes at the school, and simply needed credit hours to graduate.

A few weeks into this, I realized the really interesting cases were coming in via the ALS ambulance service, so I approached the company and the school to see about ambulance ridealongs. The fall and winter of my senior year were spent M-F 8-5 on the Ambulance, and a mixture of weekends at the ski hill or the ER. During this time a First Responder (now called Emergency Medical Responder) class became available, so I took that class, as I hadn't graduated school yet so was ineligible for EMT.

I logged over 1,000 community service hours between the internships, ski patrol and fire department, and qualified for and won the Presidential Freedom Scholarship for Volunteering. These experiences gave me a laser focused plan on what direction I wanted to go after graduation.

I took my official EMT class that fall of 2004. Since that time I have worked or interned in many styles of EMS Systems: Fire based transport, Fire based first response, Private for profit, Private non-profit, Industrial non-transport at an underground Zinc mine, BLS event standby, BLS non-emergent transfer, ALS rendezvous, and even some time doing wheelchair van/Cabulance. I have been in and out of the industry a couple times, but have been active this time since 2009 when I began a degree track Paramedic school, and am currently a Paramedic Battalion Chief for a rural Fire department that transports 50+ minutes to critical access hospitals and 90 minutes to a Level II Trauma center.

I was a total nerd in high school, and didn't really fit in. I found a camaraderie and friends in Fire/EMS that I didn't have with school. That being said, the others are absolutely right, you only get to do high school once. You have your whole life to enjoy a career of your choosing.

Lastly, academically, push your self in the sciences, a functional understanding of Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Communication and English Composition are tools you will use everyday as a Paramedic.

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