Getting your foot in the door as an EMS instructor

ExpatMedic0

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Does anyone have experience as an EMT, Paramedic. or Health Science instructor?
If so, how did you get your foot in the door? Was it AHA card classes to gain experience or another way ?
When (if ever) in your career did you gain your NAEMSE Instructor Certification?
If you taught at a community college or university, how was this experience vs a training center or vocational school?
Any tips or info?

Apologies if I'm missing other important starter questions but would love to hear some feedback from those who are doing this or have done it. Thanks.
 
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CCCSD

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I started teaching in the .MIL and at my agency. I wrote the courses and obtained instructor cents: AHA, FLETC, POST, etc. Once I started, I offered allied agencies slots in my classes, then got sought out to teach at the Academy. Now I ***** out all over the place on my time…

For my College gig, had my Masters and lots of teaching/on the job/schools as required by my state.
 

mgr22

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I started working as a paramedic instructor the year I graduated from the same program. I'm pretty sure we were required to become ACLS, PALS, and PHTLS instructors, too. Some of us took on additional responsibilities as members of the university and county faculties. It was a great opportunity for a new medic like me to learn by teaching. I did that for 11 years while working in the field. I didn't have any formal credentials as an educator, but I had a BS degree. That probably helped hook me up.

If you're interested in teaching, I suggest you treat it as any job that interests you. See what's available, talk to prospective employers, update your CV, and stay flexible about starting salary and responsibilities.
 

DrParasite

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Does anyone have experience as an EMT, Paramedic. or Health Science instructor?
yes, EMT Instructor
If so, how did you get your foot in the door? Was it AHA card classes to gain experience or another way ?
applied when the local community college (which runs EMS classes in NC). AHA classes can help, but aren't really required (but they are a good way to make extra money).
When (if ever) in your career did you gain your NAEMSE Instructor Certification?
never, nor do I plan to, unless my employer pays me my hourly rate to attend (I am already a level II fire instructor and dispatch/EMD instructor, which my state accepted in lieu of the NAEMSE course)
If you taught at a community college or university, how was this experience vs a training center or vocational school?
Any tips or info?

Apologies if I'm missing other important starter questions but would love to hear some feedback from those who are doing this or have done it. Thanks.
You have a masters degree, which likely qualifies you to teach at the college level.

To be perfectly honest, it depends on your state, and where you want to work. when I was in NJ, the EMT instructor processes involved a 3 month unpaid internship assisting in a class, then with a positive reference and eval from the lead instructor, along with NAEMSE I, and you could get awarded your EMT instructor license. Since then, they have made some changes, likely due to the lack of EMS instructors in the state.

North Carolina is much different... you need the following:
• Current EMS Credential at the level of application or higher • Three (3) years of EMS experience at the level of application or higher that has been completed within the last five (5) years • EMS Instructor Methodology or National Association of EMS Educators Level I Course • One hundred (100) teaching hours at the level of application, or equivalent in an approved EMS Educational Program • OEMS Instructor Workshop completed no greater than 12 months prior to application • High School Diploma or HSE.

Most EMS program directors hire people they know, or who work in their local EMS systems as instructor aids, pay them during their time, and once they complete all of the requirements, they get their cert.

If you want to be an instructor, I would contact someone who runs an EMT course in your state, and ask them what is needed. There is some "who you know" involved, but it's always easier to ask someone who has gone through it in your area what they typically look for to get hired as an instructor.
 

DesertMedic66

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Different schools are going to have different requirements on who can teach. My pathway has been: EMT school -> Teaching skills at the school i went to. Paramedic school -> Teaching skills at the same school I went to. Many programs get their instructors this way which may not always be the best option.

I did the NAEMSE level 1 class. Now I am just debating on taking the NEMSEC exam.

The requirements to be a primary instructor at my college are: Current Paramedic license or higher, at least 3 years of experience in ED or 911 ambulance, minimum of an AS degree, and NAEMSE Level 1. The higher the degree level the more favorable you will be looked at. The higher your license level the more favorably you will be looked at. ACLS/BLS/PALS/PHTLS instructor is more icing on the cake.

The NAEMSE recommends at least AS for EMT primary instructor, BS for AEMT and Paramedic primary instructor, and a Masters to be a program director of a Paramedic.

im pretty sure college-level programs are required to post their position openings in every department for the public to see. So you can look up the local programs next to you. You could also call into the program and inquire if they have any openings for skills/psychomotor instructors as it is a way to get your foot in the door and be informed on any upcoming openings. Openings are usually not as easy to come by as open paramedic positions. In the 10 years I have been involved in my local EMT/Paramedic program we have had 5 openings for Primary instructors at the EMT level, 4 at the paramedic level, 1 EMT Program director, and 1 paramedic program director.
 
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ExpatMedic0

ExpatMedic0

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Thanks for the feedback everyone! Very helpful!
 

Tigger

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I started with assisting with EMT classes with a local hospital network, which keeps a long list of 1099 instructors. There only requirement was to be certified as an EMT and attend two instructor development courses per year. I don't recall the jobs ever being posted, I just knew a guy who was a primary instructor (still 1099) and he got me set up.

I got my Colorado EMS instructor soon after I started doing this, my job paid for it and it seemed like a good thing to have. Also got all my AHA instructor certs soon after that. I have not taken the NAEMSE class.

The hospital also provides continuing education courses, which they preferred paramedics to teach regardless of agency level. There's still no actual instructor certifications needed. If I was interested in teaching that month I'd get some learning objectives and a canned powerpoint that I was under no obligation to use. How we taught the classes was up to us so long as the objectives were met. I found this much more enjoyable than EMT classes, but it was the EMT skills instructing that got me this opportunity.

I also teach for the community college. I have a BA so following extensive paperwork I was conferred as "adjunct faculty" which means I can be the primary instructor for any class in the EMS division. I am not sure why this works the way that it does, but it pays great. Mostly I just lab assist for the paramedic program, which still pays pretty good. Everyone that participates as an educator for the paramedic program must be a BLS/ACLS/PALS instructor but weirdly does not need to be an EMS instructor till year three, when you must show proof of education CE to keep your "teaching credential." These jobs are not posted anywhere which I don't imagine is in keeping with the community college's regulations. There's only two paramedic schools in town, folks that didn't go to the CC's program still seem to know who the program director is and reach out. The director does an interview and makes a hiring decision and then passes the info to HR and they do the paperwork.

Full-time instructor opportunities at both places are rare but are almost always filled from the part-time/1099 ranks. There is a lot to be said for getting any sort of employment with a CC network, it's a pensionable position here and you can get lots of education related CEs for free. The hospital network doesn't really compensate in anything besides cash.
 

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