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I’m a paramedic with an active state certification, and I adore what I do.
Camilo Jimenez via Unsplash.com
Should I Become a Paramedic?
So you have searched and searched, trying to determine where your place is in the professional world. You have probably seen an ambulance flying past you at a high rate of speed, siren blaring that magical tune, going until those magical red lights disappear into the night. You can’t help but think to yourself that it must be exciting being in the driver’s seat as people move out of your way. You think to yourself, “I wonder where they are going? What are they going to see? I wish I were going.”
The truth is that working in EMS can be a very exciting career at times. Read on to learn the benefits and drawbacks of being a paramedic. Some days, you will do nothing and wonder why you ever applied. The next day, you will save someone’s grandfather and then deliver a baby on the following call.
Being a paramedic has many benefits; the list could go on forever, but I’ll just mention a few that stand out to me as being particularly significant.
1. Saving Lives Feels Really Good
I cannot even begin to describe the overwhelming feeling of seeing that first heartbeat on the cardiac monitor hooked to a once pulseless and breathless human being. I believe this feeling is so strong because, in your mind, this person would have never taken another breath if it weren’t for you. You feel as if you and this person are the only people on the earth, if only for that moment.
2. There Is a Sense of Camaraderie Among Paramedics
The camaraderie between paramedics is unparalleled, and it is essential for patients to be cared for in a timely, safe, and effective manner.
3. You Will Be Respected by the Community
This is not a reason to become a paramedic, but it is definitely a nice pro. You will be respected by everyone. When you appear at your child’s school, all of the other children will just be in awe that their friend’s mom or dad is a paramedic. When you are out and about running errands after getting off shift, you will run into random people.
4. There’s No Constant Supervision
Being a paramedic means being trusted with someone’s life, which often requires you to be alone with one other person for up to 24 hours at a time and never see a supervisor. This type of trust allows things like this to happen because you are trusted that you will be doing what you are supposed to and be where you are supposed to be. This does not mean you have to be perfect, but who wants to have someone constantly breathing down their neck?
5. You Get to Drive Fast
This is one of the few jobs in the world that allows for a little bending of the rules when it comes to being on the road. you get to drive fast, and cops move out of your way. the first time I ever ran lights and sirens, and a cop pulled off the side of the road while I blazed past him at 15 mph over the speed limit, I was sold on this profession.
Now that we have covered just a few of the advantages of being a paramedic, it is time to discuss some of the disadvantages. This category also has many options, but I will focus on a few of the ones that bother me on a daily basis.
1. There Is a Lot of Paperwork
Most EMS agencies are government-run and funded, which means there is a ton of paperwork all the time; this is by far the worst part of being a paramedic; on some days, I just don’t run a single call to avoid doing paperwork; if paperwork weren’t involved, I would not mind running as many calls in a day as I could; and, finally, I have to do paperwork to do my paperwork.
2. People Complain a Lot, and Their Complaints Can Result in Reprimands
The job often feels more like CYA (I’m sure you can figure that one out) so that you don’t get sued or fired, which in no way, shape, or form means that you do less at your job but more of having to go over and do everything for someone who is just using you as a taxicab ride to the hospital. Everyone is sue-happy in this day and age, and you must be aware that you are a target.
3. People Call For Silly Reasons—It’s Not All Saving Lives Day in and Day Out
One of the biggest drawbacks of this profession, in my opinion, is that it simply isn’t what people made it out to be. I blame some of this on TV shows and movies. Paramedics enter this profession believing that they will be performing great life-saving feats almost every day, but nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that most of the calls you run will be things that people could have gotten in their car and driven themselves to the hospitals for.
4. The Salary Isn’t Great
Remember that a paramedic performs extremely stressful tasks in the blink of an eye without a moment to spare in order to save a life. This really is a field that you must absolutely love doing because getting rich will never happen. The wage per hour is typically eight to ten dollars less than a nurse’s.
5. The Job Can Be Hard on Your Home Life
Last but not least, you must have a supportive family to work as a paramedic. You will never get off when your shift ends; you will almost always be at work, sometimes for hours after you were supposed to go home doing paperwork; you will miss some significant occasions, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas because emergencies do not take vacations or holidays; you will have to work weekends and nights; you will have to miss some of those football games that your child may be playing; you will have to work weekends and nights; and you will have
Is Being a Paramedic Worth It?
There are many paramedics out there who have been on the job for nearly 40 years; if you ask these people if they would do it again, most will say yes in a heartbeat. Becoming a paramedic is just like any other career out there, and it has lots of highs and lows. This is a career that you must truly enjoy to succeed.
You have reached a point in your life where you are considering becoming a paramedic, and I hope that this article has helped address some questions and concerns that you face with this decision. These people have been performing this public service for so long because they enjoy and love it. They may not love it every minute of it, but overall, they love it. They will tell you that there is nothing like it out there, and they could never see themselves doing anything else.
To the best of the author’s knowledge, the information contained in this article is accurate and true, but it should not be relied upon as a substitute for consulting with a qualified business, financial, legal, or technical advisor or for personal advice.
In a statement made on July 14, 2018, Sherry:
Just as a heads up, you might want to check your spelling, grammar, and frequent use of “there” rather than “their.”
On Tuesday, April 22, 2018, Annie:
Excellently stated! 17 years EMTP.
On May 12, 2016, strong>Ivee/strong> stated:
It makes me reconsider becoming a paramedic because I would significantly miss out on my daughter’s life.
On December 29, 2015, strong>Angela/strong> wrote from Marietta, Georgia:
Your article is absolutely accurate and correct, and as an aspiring paramedic myself, I think it would be a great resource for anyone thinking about the field.
Barbara Purvis Hunter wrote the following on September 17, 2014, from Florida:
Nobody understands how wonderful these professionals are until they need them, so I value and admire paramedics as well as anyone who chooses this profession as a career.
Love to all of them.
June Campbell wrote the following on September 16, 2014, from North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada:
I wish paramedics were paid more because it’s a respected profession.
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Frequently Asked Questions About is being a paramedic worth it
If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic is being a paramedic worth it, then this section may help you solve it.
What drawbacks are there to working as a paramedic?
Cons of Working as an EMT
The Work Can Be Stressful. We won’t sugarcoat it. …
It’s Physically Demanding. It’s common for EMTs to spend much of their shift on their feet. …
It’s Emotionally Taxing. EMTs see people at the worst moments of their lives. …
Non-Urgent Calls. …
It Can Involve a Lot of Paperwork. …
It’s Not Always Exciting.
Why do paramedics resign?
Long hours and low pay are the main reasons people leave EMS, according to Van Dusen, especially since there are other jobs with comparable pay and none of the health risks.
Is paramedic work challenging?
It takes a lot of work to complete paramedic training because the job is difficult and demands physical stamina, mental toughness under pressure, medical knowledge, the capacity for quick decisions, and the compassion to treat patients with kindness even in trying circumstances.
How do you determine whether you’d make a good paramedic?
Key characteristics of an effective paramedic include:
Willingness to learn : You’re always asking why. …
Flexible: You go with the flow. …
Detail Oriented: You never miss a thing. …
Problem Solving Skills: You’re always on your toes. …
Effective Communicator: You know what you’re saying and how to say it.
What percentage of paramedics experience burnout?
Top quotes on EMS burnout: “More than 50% of the staff were exhibiting burnout symptoms; alarmingly, 15% of these individuals reported high levels of burnout in relation to work.”
What challenges do paramedics face?
Nine out of ten ambulance workers exhibit “depersonalization” symptoms, which include “cynicism, detachment, and reduced levels of empathy,” when interacting with patients who require immediate medical attention. This is due to the challenging nature of their jobs.
Why are paramedics paid so little?
Ambulances in rural areas are frequently staffed by volunteers, which lowers wages for those who do pursue the role as a career. Certification is minimal; it only requires 120 to 150 hours of training to become an EMT (paramedics require a great deal more).
What is the average paramedic’s age?
An employed paramedic is 34 years old on average.
What aspect of being a paramedic is the most challenging?
Many of us are quick to attribute the ongoing arguments about broken promises, missed family events, and financial difficulties to a “lack of understanding” on the part of our spouse or significant other, but maintaining a healthy relationship while working an EMS schedule can be very challenging.
What personality traits do paramedics require?
In nurses and paramedics, low neuroticism and higher extraversion are viewed favorably because they have each been found to negatively correlate with burnout.
How long do paramedics typically work?
The average career span for an EMT or paramedic is only five years at this time.