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Amazing Medical Careers Often Start with Becoming an EMT

While many people start out as an EMT, they often pursue their education and move onto other medical careers.  Becoming an emergency medical technician can be the first step to an amazing and fulfilling medical career!

The basic EMT certification is an EMT I (or basic), after taking more courses and certifications one can become an EMT II or III.  EMTs can also take “bridge” programs to become a paramedic.  Paramedics can then continue on to become a registered nurse.  Since firefighters have to be EMT certified this is another field a technician can look into as a career path.  We will cover in this article information on how each career promotion can be achieved.

First we will start with the paramedic transition.  You will need to have at least an EMT I certification to start a bridge program to become a paramedic. Some schools will require certification as a National Registry Emergency Medical Technician – Intermediate though.  The amount of time it will take depends on what certifications you might have.  These programs recognize the skills and training you have already received.  By allowing credit for your previous training, they can decrease the time needed to obtain your paramedic license training.  The program usually includes a review of Fundamentals and EMS operation while also covering Medical Emergencies, Cardiology, Special Considerations, and Trauma courses.  The average 584 hours of training consists of 321 didactic hours, many times these are offered in an online format, 97 hours of hands on practical laboratory, and 166 hours of clinical rotations at squads and hospitals near you.  Upon completion you will be eligible to take the NREMT paramedic certification exam.  These programs may also count toward an associate’s degree.

Next is the paramedic to RN (registered nurse) bridge program.  There are many bridge programs for paramedics wishing to pursue their nursing degree.  You will need to be a licensed Paramedic in the state you wish to go to school. Some schools will require paramedic to RN transition courses; these include 3-4 credit hours.  Candidates that have successfully finished those courses will be accepted into the second year of the RN program; based on qualifications and completion of prerequisites.  Most of these programs are found at local community colleges and technical institutes.  It won’t be long before you have your associate’s degree in nursing.  These credits will be transferable to a 4-year bachelor’s degree program if you wish to continue your education.

Most firefighter programs require applicants to already have their EMT certification prior to applying.  They will require your transcripts from an accredited program and your current EMT certificate before admission.  Some programs will also encourage students to complete the following classes prior to applying:

Successful completion of the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), you can go to this website for more information: www.cpatonline.org.  Many schools also ask you to complete a Physical Education Fire Science Conditioning class prior to applying as well.  This class will usually be offered at their school.  These programs fill up fast to be prepared before starting the application process and sign up as soon as their registration opens.

So if you are thinking of becoming an EMT, know that this could be the first step in an amazing medical career.

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