Thursday, June 26, 2008

Paramedics, continued


So it turns out that a student that came into the office this morning has a significant other who is a paramedic. Jackpot! I've always wondered why paramedics make so little; here's what I gleaned:

- Salary information was, on the whole, accurate. She mentioned paramedics in larger cities make more, but I'd doubt it's much more than a rough cost-of-living adjustment.

- It turns out that you don't need that much training to be a paramedic, or at least not as much as I was imagining. In order to be an EMT (the one who drives the ambulance), it takes one year of night classes, and depending on the outfit you are with, it could take more classes/tests/experience to graduate to paramedic status (the one in the back working on the patient). I don't know what I was imagining, but I think it was more than that. The supply of paramedics/EMTs is not as inelastic as I believed.

- Said significant other, at least partially, became a paramedic as a stepping stone to another job. She verified that it would be a plus on the resume for the job he was going for to have had experience working as an EMT. I (still) think this is the biggest reason to explain the seemingly low wages.

- She mentioned turnover in the paramedic industry was high; that doesn't surprise me. But it does lead to some interesting questions. Is experience not valued? Evidently not; higher wages would retain more EMTs. (On a side note, is it scary that you are likely to have an inexperienced EMT coming to get you when you're in bad shape?) Do new paramedics persistently lack information about the job they are getting into? Evidently, a lot of paramedics get out of that line of work after dealing with not-too-pleasant things day after day (I know I could never do that). Why the constant information shortcoming, i.e., why do people consistently not know what the job entails? Perhaps it's something that existing paramedics don't want to talk about. The fact that a lot of people find out that EMTing isn't for them could explain why wages were low to start with, but not why they would continue to be low.

I'm still a bit perplexed.

8 comments:

Bryce said...

Universal health care is clearly the answer. I bet Swedish EMTs make millions.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled on your post looking for something else. Salaries on a national average are low, but vary regionally based on many different factors. I am an EMT in Contra Costa County in CA.

-An EMT is an Emergency Medical Technician-School time is 6 months to 1 year and can be acquired through colleges or private licensing schools. Continuing education courses are required to maintain licensing. And we hate when you call us "ambulance drivers" :)

-Paramedics are EMT-P Emergency Medical Technician Paramedics can be acquired by an additional 1-and-a-half to 2 years of full-time schooling, plus hundreds of hours do clinical studies and hundreds more doing hands on interning. A basic EMT license is nationally required prior to beginning Paramedic courses.

-Paramedics are essentially a nurse equivalent with some differences: Paramedics specialize in life-threatening EMERGENCY medicine, limited nationally to 45 medications within their scope of practice, but may administer medications without a doctors orders. (Paramedics are licensed by a regional medical directors to administer medications under their license).

-In my region starting salaries vary widely by company and Union contract. At my company:

EMT starting salary: $16.59/hr
Paramedic starting salary: $22.57/hr

Sorry, don't have a blog account.
Lucas

Anonymous said...

I stumbled on your post looking for something else. Salaries on a national average are low, but vary regionally based on many different factors. I am an EMT in Contra Costa County in CA.

-An EMT is an Emergency Medical Technician-School time is 6 months to 1 year and can be acquired through colleges or private licensing schools. Continuing education courses are required to maintain licensing. And we hate when you call us "ambulance drivers" :)

-Paramedics are EMT-P Emergency Medical Technician Paramedics can be acquired by an additional 1-and-a-half to 2 years of full-time schooling, plus hundreds of hours do clinical studies and hundreds more doing hands on interning. A basic EMT license is nationally required prior to beginning Paramedic courses.

-Paramedics are essentially a nurse equivalent with some differences: Paramedics specialize in life-threatening EMERGENCY medicine, limited nationally to 45 medications within their scope of practice, but may administer medications without a doctors orders. (Paramedics are licensed by a regional medical directors to administer medications under their license).

-In my region starting salaries vary widely by company and Union contract. At my company:

EMT starting salary: $16.59/hr
Paramedic starting salary: $22.57/hr

Sorry, don't have a blog account.
Lucas

Viagra Online said...

What a great way of make a living, helping people who are in need, be the first ones when a disaster hit and help.s77v

Generic Cialis said...

This article is incredible because Paramedics do an excellent work everyday they work so hard in order to help and saving lives everyday.

muebles rivas vaciamadrid said...

Oh my god, there's a lot of worthwhile info here!

lisamarieelliott said...

Oh my god, there is really much worthwhile data in this post!

Crystal Saga Gold said...

great pics!!!! very country side effect, love your outfit so chic and lovely!!!