All Paramedics and EMTs are required to complete a postsecondary educational program. Specific licensure requirements may vary by state but all states require EMTs and Paramedics to be licensed.
EMTs and paramedics must complete courses in Anatomy and Physiology, Cardiology, Medications and common medical procedures. Courses include classroom studies, skills training and clinical or field internships.
Course work for EMTs generally require between 120 and 150 hours to complete. Paramedic courses are more in depth and take considerably longer, usually requiring a coursework commitment of between 1,200 hours and 1,800 hours.
There are four specializations recognized by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians:
EMT Basic Training (EMT-B) takes from six months to two years to complete. You can take these programs at technical schools, or community colleges and include 120-150 hours of coursework.
During your time in the course, you learn how to assess patients and handle emergency situations. It is heavy in hands-on training and teaches you use of equipment and how to work in the field.
Some programs make you get CPR certified before taking classes, while other include CPR training in the program.
Depending on your state, you will have to either pass a state exam or a national licensing exam. To be eligible for the exam you must first complete an accredited EMT or Paramedic course and pass a background check.
The test is given through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). EMTs or Paramedics take a computer-based exam and a practical skills examination to become certified in their state. Once certified, you are required to re-certify every two years.
This course requires 300 hours of course work where you will cover the EMT Basic topics along with:
If you want to become a Paramedic, you should consider this path. The education is more rigorous and includes completing an associate degree from a community college or technical school. Some programs require that you work as an EMT for 6 months prior to going to school.
Coursework covers the following: