Paramedic Curriculums Will Vary Widely From School To School
If you're thinking that you might want to try a career as a paramedic, make sure that you choose a paramedic curriculum that will give you a solid educational foundation that will help you throughout your career. There are many schools that are nothing more than paramedic mills that churn out large volumes of undereducated paramedics that tend to suffer when they begin working, or worse, make their patients suffer. A good, solid paramedic curriculum will provide an adequate combination of didactic education and clinical education to best prepare the paramedic student for EMS employment.
What Is The Best Paramedic Curriculum?
There is no easy answer when explaining what the best paramedic curriculum consists of. Anatomy and Physiology is absolutely paramount to a Paramedic's education and is a place where many paramedic schools fall short. When doing initial research on a paramedic course, find out what the pre-requisites are. If Anatomy and Physiology is not on the list of pre-requisites, you might be better off finding another program. The reason for this is simple: most paramedic schools are less than two years in duration. Squeezing detailed Anatomy and Physiology classes in such a tight curriculum can be challenging at best. All paramedic classes will go over these topics to an extent, but to really understand how the body works and how the EMS interventions can be used to benefit the patient, you truly need an excellent understanding of A & P. This will provide you with the foundation that you need to understand everything from the basics of cell structure to the muscles and bones of the body. It is certainly possible to complete paramedic school without having a solid understanding of the intricacies of the human body, but you'd better believe that this lack of education will cost you at some point down the road. There are some very complicated concepts that are built upon Anatomy and Physiology foundations that can make or break your career. In short, make sure that you are getting the education you will need to succeed.
What About Paramedic Clinical Rotations?
Assuming that you have chosen an EMT school that provides adequate didactic learning, you will need to make sure that you will be afforded ample clinical rotations. This is where many Paramedic curriculums fall short. You should make sure that you will be afforded not only ample time in the ambulance, but ample time in a variety of hospital clinical settings. This should include an ER rotation (or two, or three, or ten!), an Labor and Delivery rotation, an ICU rotation and an OR rotation. These experiences are paramount so that the paramedic student can be exposed to a variety of real life patient experience scenarios in a controlled environment. This will ensure that the paramedic succeeds when he or she is exposed to these situations on the street, when the environment is not so controlled.
Your paramedic school will be the foundation of your career. Be sure to evaluate and choose your EMT course wisely, as it will be the foundation of your career. Use caution to avoid being pulled in by a recruiter; you now know what questions you need to ask to make the best choice.