How Long Does it Take to Become a Paramedic?
A paramedic (or EMT-Paramedic, or simply EMT-P) is an emergency medical responder who is trained, licensed, and qualified to deliver a higher level of on-scene and in-ambulance care to patients than is an EMT-Basic (or EMT-B).
Paramedics are some of the first responders, if not the very first to arrive, to emergency scenes involving individuals in crisis, vehicle accidents, fires, and other types of traumatic events. Becoming a paramedic involves a great deal of study and training hours, but for those of whom feel the urge to spend their lives helping others and serving their community, it is a destination well worth the journey.
How to Become a Paramedic
To enroll in a training program to become a paramedic in the state of Florida, first an individual must meet certain prerequisite requirements. Applicants must:
● Be 18 years of age or older
● Have high school diploma or GED
● Have a valid driver’s license and clean driving record
● Pass a criminal background check and physical test
● Demonstrate understanding of English to a certain standard
● Complete an HIV/AIDs training course
● Obtain a CPR and BLS certification from the American Red Cross or American Heart Association
For many traditional students, these steps can be completed around the time of typical high school graduation. For non-traditional applicants or those seeking a career change later in life, this may entail a slightly longer process.
Following the successful completion of prerequisites, students may apply and enroll in a health institute’s program for paramedic certification, such as the comprehensive one offered at HCI.
Training at HCI
At HCI, the paramedic program is a three-semester journey that explores the roles and responsibilities of working as an EMT, legalities and ethical concerns, industry communications, and more. The more hands-on courses explore the medical care paramedics often provide, including cardiological and spinal emergency care, pediatrics, and more.
The training program includes 400 hours of practical training in a medical setting: 240 hours of ambulance or “riding” practical, and 160 hours in a hospital setting. The program culminates in a pass/fail exam, after the completion of which successful candidates must schedule the state licensing exam, the NREMT.