Looking to become an emt don’t know where to start

Brooklyn04

Forum Ride Along
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I’ve been planning to become an emt and later paramedic since my freshman year of hs, but I don’t know where or how to start. For instance, what schools are best? What are the most important facts I should know before applying and after? Should I wait until after college or midway through instead of right away? I don’t have any family member or friends who is an emergency worker or who wants to go into that, no counselors or teachers at my school are any help either and google only takes me so far. You know have to answer all my questions, but any advice would be helpful.
 

mgr22

Forum Deputy Chief
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I’ve been planning to become an emt and later paramedic since my freshman year of hs, but I don’t know where or how to start. For instance, what schools are best? What are the most important facts I should know before applying and after? Should I wait until after college or midway through instead of right away? I don’t have any family member or friends who is an emergency worker or who wants to go into that, no counselors or teachers at my school are any help either and google only takes me so far. You know have to answer all my questions, but any advice would be helpful.
It would be nice to have a college degree if EMS didn't work out for you. If you got the degree first and then pursued your EMT, or did the two concurrently, you'd probably add to your options down the road.

What is it about EMS that you think you'll like?
 

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
Community Leader
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I’ve been planning to become an emt and later paramedic since my freshman year of hs, but I don’t know where or how to start. For instance, what schools are best? What are the most important facts I should know before applying and after? Should I wait until after college or midway through instead of right away? I don’t have any family member or friends who is an emergency worker or who wants to go into that, no counselors or teachers at my school are any help either and google only takes me so far. You know have to answer all my questions, but any advice would be helpful.
Welcome to EMTLIFE! Here is some government provided information about the career outlook for EMS.

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) provides a list of accredited programs in each state.

Each state also likely has a list of approved programs. Here is California's.

Find some local programs and connect with them.

I did a summer-long EMT-Basic academy during the summer after my freshman year of college. The EMT-Basic certification is the first step in the EMS ladder. You can then go on to Paramedic, get a college degree, and beyond.

I ended up pursuing a graduate degree and career in another field, but I still fondly remember my part time EMS gig and continue to use the skills and knowledge I learned almost daily.

Good luck!
 

Lo2w

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I’ve been planning to become an emt and later paramedic since my freshman year of hs, but I don’t know where or how to start. For instance, what schools are best? What are the most important facts I should know before applying and after? Should I wait until after college or midway through instead of right away? I don’t have any family member or friends who is an emergency worker or who wants to go into that, no counselors or teachers at my school are any help either and google only takes me so far. You know have to answer all my questions, but any advice would be helpful.

I came into the career around 30, so some advice from my experience:

Apply to one of the hospitals around you. Most have some kind of entry level CNA/PCA/PCT role that they often provide training for. You'll do things like take vitals for the nurses, help with patient care, maybe some phlebotomy, 12 leads etc. It's a good intro to healthcare with minimal cost or investment on your part. See if you actually want to do healthcare, if you can handle the body fluids, injuries and so on.

Depending on your region, see if you have any volunteer Fire/EMS departments. They'll usually put you through certs and, again, minimal to no cost for you. I did some time with a vollie department that just wanted you to sign up for EMS coverage with 1 24 hour shift or 2 12s. Manageable with a hospital schedule if there's something similar and gives you a bit of a taste of pre-hospital emergencies. Otherwise, take the EMT cert on your own. You'll get a taste of the 911 side with your rides and clinicals. Just set your expectations following completion. You're very likely to work an IFT gig for your first experience, which can be pretty miserable and burn you out. Just keep working towards what you want.

During that whole period, chip away at an associates degree through a local community college. If you decide to go the EMS route and medic, your pre-reqs for medic will be done. If you decide based on your experiences to pursue another area of healthcare, again your pre-reqs are largely done. Or if you realize the work isn't for you, you can easily pursue another educational and career opportunity.
 
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