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Age Limit For Medics


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Ok, I usually keep silent. I mostly read the posts, roll my eyes :roll: , laugh :D , and just move on. But some things just get under my skin and I have to break my silence just to relieve the need to yell at the screen when I read some of this stuff.

I will start out by saying that I agree, for the most part, about the amount of education versus just training that EMTs receive. I do believe that there should be more education as to the reasons, indications/contraindications for the things that we are trained to do, more pathophysiology. But that is the education side of it.

As for the age limits, the State of Texas, or at least my area, requires those taking EMS courses to be at least 18 years of age to begin with. But how about the logistics of it all? Many are stressing the raising of the minimum age limit of an individual to enter into the EMS profession. And still more are using this as an opportunity to restress the need for greater education. Changing the structure takes not only time but money. And are we forgetting that no matter how much education you receive, no matter how much time you spend getting that education, most of what anyone of any profession, especially the medical profession, learns is in the field/hospital/clinic? No amount of education or time spent in education can properly prepare anyone for any and every eventuality that can come down the pike.

A minimum age limit? Perhaps to raise the maturity level a bit. But does that not just throw a blanket over the problem without addressing the 35 year old Paramedic(yes I said Paramedic) who knows his stuff, but is the most immature person I have ever been around in my life?

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I see no problems with 18 year olds licensed as EMTs and then finishing paramedic at 19. Many companies will limit hiring to 23-25 for insurance reasons, but not because of the medical care given. I don't care if my new partner is 19 or 35, there will be a learning curve for them to realize that they are not EMTs anymore and there is a certain responsibility in working as a paramedic. It's my job as a FTO or preceptor to make sure that they realize that. Many small community ambulances could not function without their younger EMTs and Paramedic. And while I've had 20 year olds I've wanted to strangle because they won't follow directions, I've had 40 year olds that thought they knew everything and didn't need a preceptor once they got their shiny gold patch. Simply training new medics require a certain amount of patience regardless of the age.

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As far as I'm concerned, if they can do the job, they can do the job. We have all come across people who are extremely mature at a young age, as well as those who never develop common sense regardless of their life experience. Forget the age limit - other than requiring them to essentially be an adult (18), the job of assessing performance belongs to the service they work for.

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I know there are some young medics here, but yah i would trust them over some of the older ones. Then again there are some young ones that i wouldnt trust at all. Depends on the experience level and maturity level. I just had to get my two cents in sorry.

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Most programs are 2 years long to be a medic. To get the maturity level that everyone seems to want I think that everyone that is 18 should join the military. That will show you what is in the world and more. You get your eyes opened up big and realize how good it is to live where we live today.

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Uh oh, didn't I start the "Should There Be an Age Limit" for EMTs topic? LOL That was a disaster! We'll have to monitor this one.... hehehe.

If you all don't remember, I bet that topic is locked. Hmmm.

Then again, why am I in the ALS forum...?

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Minimum age for certification as an EMT in the state of Maryland is 16. Happens all the time. I've see a lot of them who are wonderful providers. They learn faster, are more adept to further education (they're still students themselves at that point), and are often more well rounded than their older peers. I've also seen a few not make it through the class...

I think the younger the better in regards to certification as an EMT. Paramedics on the other hand should be at least 20. Shouldn't be able to start until they're able to handle narcotics, then they should have 2 years of higher education to back it up. I've seen a lot of young minds be turned away from EMS because they realize how stupid some of the adults are that inhabit the ranks of the profession.

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The more I think about it, the more I conclude that age is really a complete non-issue.

The answer to every single problem in EMS is the same: Education.

If EMS education was long enough and comprehensive enough, immature people of any age would very rarely finish. And by the time they had spent at least two years attaining that entry-level education, they wouldn't be kids anymore.

If an sixteen year old completes two years of college and completes a grueling academic course of study, and successfully completes the 1000 hours of internship, then by gosh, he is welcome on my ambo anyday.

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