Emergency medical technicians or paramedics are rarely seen until there is a disaster. This is why many don’t even consider this as a career choice unless they know one personally or were saved by one. Here are three reasons to become a paramedic. All of them are far beyond the mere thrill of riding in the ambulance and seeing a variety of situations.
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Quickly Become a Medical Professional
When someone is considering a career path, they tend to focus on the most prominent and highest paying options. Someone who wants to work in technology assumes they must be an IT graduate student or engineer and overlooks technician jobs. If they are considering medicine, they think about becoming a doctor or nurse, ignoring all the medical technology jobs and nursing support positions they can enter while spending a fraction of the time in school. Emergency medical technicians train in handling a wide array of medical emergencies but don’t have to learn how to diagnose strep throat or handle mundane issues. This allows them to complete their training in anywhere from a few months to a year and a half at most. However, you’ll need to take continuing education courses as procedures on handling hazardous conditions change, new tools are developed, and legal requirements evolve.
You Gain an Accessible Career
Medicine is one of those careers where there is demand anywhere you find would-be patients. You can find a job as a paramedic in any city or suburb. You’ll probably find a decent paying position in any small town. Pay rates for paramedics vary based on where they are working and the training they have. For example, an EMT with a certified nursing assistant degree could work in a hospital ward in addition to the emergency department and be better paid as a result. Consult a health care salaries guide to find out what is applicable to your situation.
Depending on where you live, another benefit of being an EMT is the shifts they are assigned. A paramedic working with a fire station will typically share the same schedule, working several days on and then several days off. This is an excellent schedule for those who want to have uninterrupted time with their families. It also supports the development of a small business as demonstrated by the moving companies and restaurants often staffed by firehouse personnel when they aren’t in the firehouse. Or, you may work with an ambulance service and be able to pick the shifts you want to work.
You’re a Respected First-Responder
One of the benefits of becoming a paramedic is that you’re considered a respected first-responder. You rank up there with police and firefighters as modern heroes. In some jurisdictions, if you’re injured or killed in the line of duty, like a police officer or firefighter, your family will receive the same “first-responder” tax breaks or disability payments. The fact that you don’t face the same personal risks is a bonus.
Becoming a paramedic is one of the most fulfilling and accessible healthcare positions you can find. It offers you a chance to become a fully qualified medical professional in a matter of months and make a difference in the world every day, one patient at a time.