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How do I become a paramedic?

Paramedic training is great but if it doesn’t end in a job then, I agree with you, what was the point. You can spend a lot of money learning to become a paramedic and just be poorer at the end of it. A diploma in Paramedic science and the vocational entry point we offer is not for everyone. Sometimes you may be better off completing a paramedic degree at university. So what are the “pros and cons” in a nutshell and what should I do? If you follow our 5 point plan you may be able to work out what is best for you.

Step 1

I want to become a paramedic?

Well, sometimes that just ain’t enough if there are not enough paramedic jobs available when you finish your paramedic degree or diploma. Do your job and career research. Look and understand what qualifications and experience employers are seeking. Do they only want experienced paramedics or are new graduates getting jobs? You can get a taste of what is on offer in the job market by looking through Facebook sites for paramedic jobs or websites that specialise in Paramedic and pre-hospital care jobs like paramedic and first aid jobs based in Australia



Consider, can I afford to go back to university as an adult?

Returning to learning is a hard gig, I know I have done it most of my adult life. Lifelong learning is something we think sounds great but it is hard to find the time and the commitment that University study requires. Learning through a Diploma based system with more flexibility and an understanding that the bills of life just don’t disappear because you want to make a career change is a better, more sustainable, viable choice for many adults wanting to change horses midstream.



Do I have the stomach for it?

In more ways than one, you need to have the stomach for it, the internal fortitude and the drive to push through obstacles. It is the hallmark of a good paramedic and it is a natural requirement for an adult returning to learning later in life. As the years leave its experiences and scars upon us we suffer the slings of outrageous fortune that is life.

To be or not to be, whether to float with the tide or to swim for that goal is life’s juggle as we steer a course through our busy adult lives. What weight and measure we apply to these choices and manage the lifelong learning demands of this change driven world we have inherited as paramedics, is often the choice we must make. Helping us to find the right paths should be prudent, supportive and mentoring learning choices to guide us.



“Suck it and See” Put your foot in the water of a new career

Well three years of University and a degree and now you find out you don’t like the site of blood. Jobs are always different on the inside from what we though on the outside going in and never has a truer word been spoken than when you think of a career as a paramedic. Not everyone is going to love you or be pleased to see you. You may be entering the “most trusted profession” but not everyone loves you, In fact, you are entering one of the most dangerous professions as a first responder to emergency situations. Vocational entry allows you to see not only if the uniform fits but gives you the chance to try before you fully commit to a full degree and a HECS debt.


Step 5

Put yourself first “Care for the Carer”

You have to look after yourself a bit you know. Freud talked of an economy of pity and really you can only care for others when you take care of yourself. Find some balance and don’t be driven by the extremes that are the nature of paramedics on the street. Like life education has a middle way.


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Craig Nolan
Craig Nolan

Latest posts by Craig Nolan (see all)

Craig Nolan
Craig Nolan is an educator and manager with overall responsibility for the implementation of the International Paramedic College Group’s training, strategy, initiatives and expansion. Craig is a former Intensive Care Paramedic and Educator with The Ambulance Service of NSW and he is an active Committee member of Paramedics Australasia, the peak body for Paramedics in Australia and New Zealand.
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