Career Transformation Later In Life: A Guide to Becoming a Paramedic

By on November 23, 2020
Career transformation

Are you considering a complete career transformation? Do you already work in the healthcare industry and want a change? Becoming a paramedic is a hugely rewarding career move, allowing you to help others, gain knowledge, and truly test yourself as a person. If you think this may be right for you, here is a guide to becoming a paramedic, regardless of age or experience.

What is a paramedic?

Paramedics are usually the first to arrive when an ambulance is called. They perform a number of tasks, including assessing the situation, treating patients, assisting family members, and managing the public. Paramedics differ from EMTs in that a basic EMT can continue their training to become a paramedic. As first responders in an ambulance crew, you have to be calm, prepared, and fast thinking. 

How long does it take?

Requirements differ depending on where you live, so it is important to check these before you begin. Usually, basic requirements that need to be fulfilled include a high school diploma, CPR certificate, immunizations, and various background checks. Basic EMT training is 120-150 hours, which can take between 6 months and 3 years. After this, advanced EMT training of up to 300 hours is required before training for your paramedic license, which is over 1000 hours of training. Due to this, it is often more practical to complete a paramedic studies associate’s or bachelor’s degree. 

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What courses and available?

There are several pathways into becoming a paramedic, and what you choose will vary depending on your location, availability, accessibility, and budget, among other factors. Training courses are available online, which is great if you need more flexibility and want to work from the comfort of your home, but these lack the hands-on experiences. A full bachelor’s degree is a comprehensive way to gain all the qualifications and experience required but may not be financially viable or suitable for all ages. 

What is the uniform?

The uniform of a paramedic needs to be protective and durable. Specifics are laid out by a paramedic’s employer, but there is usually a combination of combat style ambulance trousers, polo or button-down, safety boots, and a hi-vis jacket. Accessories include gloves, extra fleece layers, helmets, and hi-vis waistcoats. Everything is designed to be clearly identified and practical while keeping you as safe as possible. Clothing is usually made of polyester, which is long-lasting and tough, and boots are a combination of leather, PU, and shock-resistant steel.

Is this the right choice for me?

A rewarding and challenging role, becoming a paramedic requires a lot of in-depth knowledge, compassion, patience, and strength, both physically and mentally. There will be a lot of ups and downs, but if you are truly passionate about helping people, you may thrive as a paramedic. Why not have a look at some practice tests to gauge the kind of knowledge involved, or start looking at getting a CPR certificate in preparation for your application? Hopefully, the above information has made the choice of changing career later in life a bit simpler, as there are plenty of options as to training and courses, and you can make your education fit around your life as much as possible.

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Career Transformation Later In Life: A Guide to Becoming a Paramedic