In the state of Missouri, where I work, You first become an E.M.T. ( Emergency Medical Technician). This is about 120 hrs. of classroom and practice time with 24 hrs. in an E.R. and an ambulance ride along. Then take a state test, similar to the paramedic one described below.
From there, you can go to school to become a Paramedic. This involves a 300 hr. classroom setting, a 300 hr. hospital clinicals setting, and finally 300 hrs. of riding 3rd person on an ambulance. While in the hospital and on an ambulance, you are allowed to perform various procedures that you've been trained on.
Once you have finished all the class time and clinicals, you can then take your " Practical " test for Missouri, this is a skills, hands on evaluation. There will be Trauma, Medical, and Cardiac stations, as well as intubations, I.V. etc. You get a second chance for any stations you fail. Once you pass these, you can then take a state test. This requires a 72 % or better ( I think )
Working as a paramedic is different throughout the U.S. A lot of services are county or city paid and some are private services that contract with a locality. They both are equal in everything that the state requires and can perform . The only limitation is what your " Medical Director " will allow. Most private service people work 8-12 hr. shifts, where most tax supported services work 24 hr. shifts, except for the inner city services that have a very high call volume.
The average pay in my area of Missouri is, starting for
an E.M.T. is around $20,000. And for a Paramedic $35,000. A lot of paramedics
$45,000-$60,000 a year . Most services have nice benefits as well as health benefits.
As far as the duties of a medic, we come in and accept the " Narc " keys from off going crew, then check our truck to insure you have all the needed equipment ( if you didn't check it it probably won't be there when you need it, Murphy's Law or something like that). We also do " On Duty " training whether in house or at the training center. We also sp end 1 hr . a day map training or area familiarization. From there it's hanging out at your base or in the ambulance in your " Zone ". Some crews eat out a lot where some bring in their own food. We have really nice bases, separate beds and most of the time our own bed room. We have complete kitchen, living room (with cable TV), showers, etc. Basically, just like home, only a really annoying pager that must be hooked to the oven timer or the cable guide. Most bases consist of just you and your partner. So you better like who you're with or it's a long 24 hrs.
Most calls come in as Emergencies but when you get there, they really aren't that bad. Sometimes though you get there to the " OH MY GOD " calls. Next thing you know, your bustin your butt to keep somebody alive. when you get into the business, you'll learn to recognize these people pretty fast. And if all goes well, they'll live long enough to yell at you for tracking mud onto their new living room rug. Once you get there it's downhill from there.
Sure, you will encounter the occasional call where no matter what
you do, they will still die. Some people do this, That's life. But so long
as you keep in mind that you did everything you were taught. You have done
" ALL YOU CAN ".
And that's all somebody can ask of you. But hey most of them live, and sometimes you get to bring them into this world in the back of an amb. or in their house before you get to the amb.
You will work MVC (Motor Vehicle Collision). Most will be minor and no care needed, some turn out to be pretty bad and you have a lot of work to do.
I hope I was able to inform you to all your questions . Thanks and remember, If you love your kids, why not belt them one . Thanks for your time, if you stayed to read this you must be really bored or intersested..........Jeff
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