Making the commitment to become a Paramedic is one that will take up a great amount of time in your life. While the process leads to the rewarding experience of saving lives, getting to that point is a roller coaster with curves and dips that will leave you tired emotionally and physically. Since your teachers have literally gone through the whole process themselves, they are looking forward to your success as they mold the next group of leaders in the emergency response field. These tips will help ensure that your journey to the final exam is easier and more likely to end in success.
  • Be ready in all aspects of your life. Going to school to become a paramedic is a commitment. It will take up a great deal of your time. It will limit your social life. And it will often leave you feeling stressed. Before you make the commitment, be sure that your life is in order. Don’t overload your life at home, since your school and field internship life with be completely chaotic. Take the process seriously. From the moment you sign up for the course, be committed to putting in the time, effort, and work that it takes to complete the process.
  • Keep a positive attitude. While this can help in almost all aspects of your life, it will keep you from getting burnt out during the road to your certification. Long hours in class and in your field internship will leave you tired, stressed, and feeling over worked. Remember, the process is temporary and the reward will be well worth it. Ask how you can help in the field to make this an experience that you are engaged in. Showing those around you that you are positive about this experience will make them want to teach you. Most importantly, believe that you can do this and you are halfway there.
  • Be a leader in the classroom and on the streets. Remember, after you are certified you will be the one who is usually in charge on the scene. Use the time in field training to practice properly managing emergency situations and finding ways to be as productive as possible on scene. In the classroom, encourage your peers to bond as a group. Create a class spirit that will not only help you succeed together as a group, but will enhance the leadership roll you are looking to attain. Prepare together as a group and remember this is a hands-on experience. The more you engage, the more you will get out of your experience.
  • Have a desire to learn. Ask questions. Make sure you understand what you have learned before moving on. Study to apply what you learn not just to remember what you have taken in. Be open to advice. Your teachers want to see you succeed. Many times, failure results from a person’s inability to listen to those who have made and learned from the same mistakes. Take notes in the field. Not only will this help you to remember what you have learned, it will show your teachers that you are engaged and active in your learning.
  • Own your mistakes. Find your weaknesses during the learning phase so you can perfect them before you go off on your own. Once you have identified your mistakes, prepare for your test by making sure your areas of weakness are addressed. Be honest with yourself. If you don’t look to improve yourself, it is only you who will suffer because of this. Make sure you thank your instructors. Not only does this show them that you appreciate their efforts, it makes them want to teach you and see you succeed. A student who demonstrates the ability to recover from mistakes and move towards improvement makes the perfect candidate for the field of emergency medical services.
  • Be prepared. Read. Do homework. Practice. Study throughout the process and stay on track. Trying to cram everything into a few days before the test will not allow you to pass. Remember to go into the test with a clear head on a good night’s sleep.
  • Lead where you can. Know the protocols, have a working knowledge of the medication you are carrying, be aware of what hospitals are in your area, and control what you can. Your job will eventually be to manage the scene on your own so your instructors are looking to see those abilities in you during your learning process.
  • Enjoy the journey. While this process should be taken very seriously and tackled with as much focus as you can put into it, the experience is a rite-of-passage into your new venture as a Paramedic. You will have a whole team of peers, teachers, and co-workers cheering for you. They will become your family and your success is part of the group’s success. While this might be the most difficult journey you have gotten yourself into, it will end with the reward of going out every day to save the lives of those in need. The reward will certainly be worth all the effort you put into the process of taking your Paramedic exam.