EMT in the US

Camora7

Forum Ride Along
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Hey guys,

this is my first thread, so I hope it's in the right place here :)

I'm working as a paramedic in Germany for 3 years now, I completed an PALS, PHTLS, ACLS and BLS course. I also took training in the new "paramedic upgrade" here in Germany (we got
a new level of proficiency here).

My question is now - is it possible for me to work in the US as an EMT or paramedic too? I read that there are "skill sheets" which I can use to verify my current medical skills. I already tried to get some information on the Internet, but everywhere I read something else.

For example, I read that you need an EMT-B and an BLS course in order to visit an AEMT training - but compared to my paramedic course there is nothing new for me in an AEMT course (according to the skill list shown on the various websites). Here in Germany we have some schools which offer "EMT-P" courses, but I am not sure whether they are useful in the US or not.

I always wanted to work in the US for 3 - 6 months to get some experience and improve my medical English.

It would be nice if somebody could give me advice here :)

Thanks !
 

Martyn

Forum Asst. Chief
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Good luck on this...the trouble with EMS in the USA is that every state is different and even counties can be different with their protcols etc. In some states AEMT is not recognised for example, in Florida, there are only EMR, EMT and paramedic whereas in other states there may be EMR, EMT, AEMT and paramedic. It is very confusing over here. I suggest pick a particular state, see what levels they use and go from there.
 

SandpitMedic

Crowd pleaser
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Täg,
You have two problems.

1)If you have an NREMT card- you can probably gain reciprocity in the US.
-If you do not have an NREMT card- you most likely will never be able to work in the US.

2) Once you figure out the requirements to be certified (via NREMT or other) in the US, you must gain a work visa for the US through the State Department which is not easy.

Let's focus on problem number one:

I am not familiar with any system that allows reciprocity from foreign training, even training done in commonwealth or western societies, even if the training is exactly the same or greater than that in the US.

Unlike foreign nursing graduates and international medical graduates, there is no easy avenue for recognizing EMS status because of the way EMS is categorized at the federal level.

In the US all of the training curriculum is designed to meet the law and standards set by the US Department of Transportation. (Don't ask me why it's not under Health & Human Services- it should be). So while the NREMT and local health departments that certify (or in some cases license) individual EMS providers at a given level, they do so under regulations under the DOT and federal law.

The NREMT is a civilian body, it is not a governmental entity. Which is where I think you may have a snafu. Getting a work visa is an entirely different issue. I am speaking directly to the reciprocity aspect, not the aspect of legally working in the US. If I were you I would first contact the NREMT and figure out if you could challenge the exam at any particular level, or if they will accept your training... Unless it was a US taught class I'd venture a guess it's a no-go. But I've been wrong before, so call the actual people that work there and ask.

Most EMS jurisdictions in the US utilize the NREMT card as a sort of step one to becoming certified in their jurisdictions, so I would start there if I were you. (In reality and confusingly enough the NREMT card in itself is not a certification to practice; it is a certification that you have met the minimum standards of medical knowledge and minimum proficiency in psychomotor skills required TO BE certified at a specific care level by a certifying body).

There are states that do not require initially having an NREMT card, but I am not familiar with those areas. That could be a different animal all together.

I have met people in the US working as paramedics who are immigrants... But I'm not sure of their struggles, or if they obtained their training after arriving in the US. Being a German, I think you have a better shot than say, being from Zimbabwe or China, since you are from what is still considered a western society.

Get in touch with someone at NREMT, and start your research there: www.NREMT.org

Good luck and let us know what they say.
 

Scott33

Forum Asst. Chief
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ME ME ME...I am an immigrant (and yes, I do have a green card).

As am I... (minus the green card).

The real question should be, how many people have been able to move to the US solely on the basis of their foreign paramedic qualification (i.e. H1B visa)? I would suggest the numbers would be, more or less, zero. Most people will have been able to immigrate due to having other 'ins' (F-1, J-1, K-1, DV lottery...). I am sure Martyn can attest to the fact that the US is known to be notoriously difficult to move to, if you do not fit squarely into one of their categories of visa.
 
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Medic Tim

Forum Deputy Chief
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As am I... (minus the green card).

The real question should be, how many people have been able to move to the US solely on the basis of their foreign paramedic qualification (i.e. H1B visa)? I would suggest the numbers would be, more or less, zero. Most people will have been able to immigrate due to having other 'ins' (F-1, J-1, K-1, DV lottery...). I am sure Martyn can attest to the fact that the US is known to be notoriously difficult to move to, if you do not fit squarely into one of their categories of visa.
It is not possible. EMT and paramedic are classified as unskilled workers to immigration.
I'm a Canadian advanced care paramedic and paramedic in the USA. I was not even allowed to volunteer in the USA as a paramedic unless there was some sort of special event going on. I live in a border town.
 
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