How to Become an Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic in Florida
Paramedics and emergency medical technicians are integral pieces of the Florida healthcare and emergency response system. For team players who seek a rewarding career and the ability to help people every day, this career path may be ideal.
Emergency responders are referred to in a number of different ways, but the distinction matters. Here at HCI, you can become a fully-qualified Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic (EMT-P), the highest level of EMT professional, and begin working in this important and fulfilling industry. A career as an EMT-Paramedic will have you serving your community and making a living at the same time.
Unlike lower levels of emergency responders (Professional Rescuer or Emergency Medical Technician-Basic), EMT-Ps are subject to more stringent and demanding standards for training and licensing.
What is required to become an EMT/Paramedic?
To become a paramedic in Florida, applicants must be 18 years old before seeking training. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent, valid driver’s license, CPR certification and BLS certification from the American Red Cross or American Heart Association. Additionally, candidates must successfully complete an HIV/AIDS training course, background check and physical exam, and demonstrate a standard level of understanding of English, as determined by standardized testing or remedial coursework.
The Paramedic diploma program at HCI is comprised of 45 credits taken over three semesters. In addition to classroom training, paramedic training includes 240 hours of practical time on an ambulance and 160 practical hours in a hospital.
Throughout three semesters of paramedic education, students will be introduced to the roles and responsibilities of EMT-Ps, legal concerns, ethics, communications, and more. Medical emergencies and trauma emergencies including cardiological and spinal injuries, among many others, are included in the HCI curriculum. Candidates must maintain at least a B average each semester.
Getting to Work as an EMT-P
Once coursework, fieldwork, and paperwork are completed as necessary, examinations are taken on a pass/fail basis. A passing status awards a diploma. The next step is the NREMT Paramedic Exam, issued by the State of Florida Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. Paramedic licenses must be renewed every two years.