5 Things You Should Know Before Enrolling in Paramedic School
You’ve already put in all the work towards becoming an EMT and you want to pursue your dreams of becoming a certified paramedic. Given your previous experience and training, it’s easy to assume that you can just jump into paramedic school. However, this isn’t always the case. While experience in the field is certainly valuable, it will take a lot more to succeed and excel.
Here’s what you should know before enrolling in paramedic school:
1. Be Realistic About the Demands and Challenges of Paramedic School
Paramedic school will require you to complete your EMT training first. Hence, many students don’t anticipate the demands of paramedic training. As a result, most students have trouble balancing their time as they try to complete the program. Paramedic school is demanding—physically, mentally, and emotionally. As fulfilling as the profession can be, students have to go through rigorous training in school. Be realistic about how your time will be affected. Avoid overloading yourself by taking on additional responsibilities that prevent you from dedicating the time needed to learn. If possible, try to get as much exposure and insight into being a paramedic by working closely with a mentor. This can help you get better guidance and understand how you can best handle the challenges that you will inevitably encounter while pursuing your education.
On top of classes, you also need to dedicate time for studying and completing clinical rotations. Learn how to prioritize your tasks and recognize activities that won’t contribute towards your goals.
2. Paramedics Need a Comprehensive Grasp of Specific Subjects—Make an Effort to Really Learn It
Paramedics require a strong understanding of the human body because they will serve as the first point of contact during emergencies; that will require effective life support for ill or injured people. As such, subjects such as human anatomy and physiology are incredibly important during training. The ability to gain a thorough understanding of these subjects can spell the difference between life and death.
3. Thoroughly Research the School That’s Right for You
Selecting a paramedic program means doing intensive research on what school is right for you. Take into consideration factors such as the school’s credibility and reputation. Be sure to check the faculty members to see if they have the credentials to properly train you for a career as an emergency first responder. Another factor to consider is whether the program or school you’re interested in is an accredited paramedic program. This will ensure you’re getting an education from an institution that meets established national standards.
Beyond the academic training you will receive, make sure the school you choose isn’t too far from where you live. Remember, you will have to attend classes regularly and the demands of paramedic school on your time will factor in traveling distance. The school’s flexibility is another point of consideration—do they only offer exclusive classroom instruction or do they have hybrid class programs that combine in-class instruction with online learning?
4. Consider Your Financial Resources
Training to become a certified paramedic requires investment in both time and money. Take the time to do your due diligence and learn how the different programs available to you will cost.
Beyond the amount of money it will cost to enroll in your preferred paramedic program, peripheral expenses such as books, tools, equipment, and even travel expenses have to be considered.
5. Learning Never Stops
Cultivating a lifelong learning habit is important if you want to be successful in paramedic school. This is a profession that requires students to continue learning. This can help familiarize students with common medical problems, symptoms, and treatment options. If you have the option to shadow experienced paramedics, know that the kind of hands-on mentorship you could receive will prove to be invaluable for academic success and career.
The foundation of being a paramedic is anchored on enrolling in a good program, but the learning doesn’t end when you graduate. Preparing yourself for a career where continuous learning is the norm can help you better manage your time and prevent burnout. Lifelong learning is not only critical to excelling in paramedic school, it’s also the key to maintaining a long career as an emergency first responder. It allows you to constantly improve your knowledge and ability to care for patients.
Preparing for paramedic school should begin the moment you decide to pursue a career as an emergency first responder. From choosing the right program to setting up a realistic school work schedule, to ensuring you’re financially prepared to pursue this path, all these will ultimately contribute to your ability to complete your studies.