How to Get a Job as a Paramedic
In this economy, many unemployed workers are considering becoming an EMT because of the relatively attainable training requirements. But there is still a nationwide shortage of EMTs and paramedics. Scott Matin, a longtime paramedic and a member of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians board of directors, says one of the best ways to land a job is to begin as a volunteer to gain experience. "The advantage is they have experience, which makes them much, much more marketable," Matin says. Another way to boost your chances is to dabble in teaching. Matin says teaching is an important part of the job as an EMT or paramedic, so hiring managers will look for general experience as an instructor on your resume. Gaining additional certifications beyond your training program and qualifying for the more-rigorous national EMT license (rather than simply the state-level license) will also give you an edge.
Interview Questions Submitted by Real Paramedics
"How would you describe good patient care?" - Huron Valley Ambulance Paramedic Candidate (Location Unknown)
"If someone was hurt or in danger of physical harm, and you were on duty driving by to another call, you should..." - Priority One Medical Transport EMT Candidate (Modesto, CA)
"What motivates you?" - Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital EMT Candidate (Location Unknown)
What is the Job Like?
Fast-paced. Loud. Bloody. Dangerous. Those are just a few of the words that describe a typical emergency scene. EMTs and paramedics face immense pressure to arrive at the scene as quickly as possible so they can provide care to those who need it most. Clearly, this is not the field for everyone. But for those who can deal with these elements of the job, Matin says work as an EMT or paramedic is quite satisfying. "It is a profession that people feel proud of and are happy to be in," he says. "It's something that's pretty admirable." To effectively execute their duties, EMTs and paramedics must be in good physical shape. The job entails frequent kneeling, lifting, bending, and moving quickly. Due to the nature of the work, EMTs and paramedics are also at a higher risk of contracting illnesses and sustaining injuries than workers in most other professions. Many EMTs and paramedics work more than 40 hours per week, and may hold irregular hours because emergency services are on the clock 24 hours per day.
Real Reviews From Paramedics
+ "Good place to start. You learn patient care, and report writing skills. You also learn the "ins and outs" of the hospital staff and how to communicate with the nurses, dr's etc." - Prompt Ambulance Service EMT-Paramedic (Highland, IN)
+ "Able to work a 40 hour week in a few days." - Fraser Ambulance Paramedic (Des Moines, IA)
- "Old ambulances that spend as much time in the shop as on the road, ancient heart monitors that do not even have 12-lead capability in many cases." - Southwest Ambulance Paramedic (Mesa, AZ)
- "Downfall is the number of calls ran in shift." - American Medical Response Paramedic (Location Unknown)
Review information and interview questions supplied by Glassdoor.