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What You Need To Know About Becoming A Florida Paramedic

Updated on November 8, 2011

One of the most exciting and most in demand jobs in the medical field today is that of a Paramedic. Due to the stress that most people attribute to the job, some people are leery about the profession. Ambulance services everywhere are in need of good paramedics to work on their ambulances, but that is far from the only place paramedics are needed.

Are you interested in being a paramedic? Below you will learn what paramedics actually do, what they earn, and what training is needed to become one. These jobs range from 24 hour shifts to working 8 hours a day in an office environment, so their are paramedic jobs that can suit just about anyone. Keep reading and find out if this truly exciting profession is the right one for you.

What Do Paramedics Do?

Most people have a good idea of some of the duties of a paramedic, but as the field has changed and matured, few people know how much the paramedic can do medically. Forty years ago paramedics basically would throw the patient in the back of a hurse on a stretcher and drive as fast as possible to the local doctor. Although fast driving and "load-and-go's" still occur, there is much more that the paramedic can do in certain cases.

These days, paramedics do EKG's en route to the hospital and, depending on the service they work for, have between 20 to 40 medications including narcotics that they can administer. In some cases, paramedics can perform surgical airways, insert chest tubes, and often have to drill into bones to give fluids.

Yes, the paramedic field has changed, and continues to change, but one thing remains the same: this field is great for people who love to help others, especially during emergency situations.

What Are Some Average Paramedic Salaries?

Paramedic salaries vary greatly based on the area they serve and the call volume of that area. In the state of Florida, for example, paramedics in the panhandle begin at $36,000 - $42,000, yet paramedics in South Florida begin at around $55,000.

Another factor in paramedic pay is other certifications or specializations. Flight medics, for example, make around $5,000 dollars more per year than a paramedic on an ambulance. Also, in some areas, paramedics that are also firefighters may make more money. Similarly, paramedics that work in a doctor's office, emergenc room, or at a surgery center can make more money for obtaining extra certifications that can help in that particular area of the medical field.

What Training And Certifications Are Needed?

For any paramedic job, you must have completed an accredited paramedic course. Many of these courses have prerequisites such as Anatomy & Physiology and/or Pharmacology. Along with that, most states require that you act as an EMT a certain amount of hours prior to certification as a paramedic.

In many states, you must be NREMT certified. This requires you to take a test that is given by the National Registry for Emergency Medical Technicians. This certification will generally allow you to practice in any state. If they do not totally accept the NREMT certification, it will at minimum allow you to challenge their own state boards exam.

Other certifications needed to practice as a paramedic may include ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support), PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support), or others.

What Is The Most Interesting Medical Job In Your Opinion?

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