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Your First Year as a Paramedic: Things You Need to Know!

Your First Year as a Paramedic: Things You Need to Know!

So you have just about jumped through all of the hoops and made it through your initial paramedic education.  Congratulations!  You deserve as it has been a long tough road for you.  Although you may already be working as an EMT or looking for that first assignment, there are some very important things that you need to know as you move from student to practitioner. 

You are going to want to make a good impression on your employer.  However…don’t volunteer for everything that comes along!  Take your time to become comfortable as the lead person on the truck.  It can be a little frightening as you realize that you no longer have the feared preceptor looking over your shoulder to bail you out if you get in over your head.  Become one with the ambulance and once that occurs, then start branching out with new jobs. 

Be patient…with yourself!  Sounds simple…right?  Let me know how that works out for you!  Being a paramedic can be a pretty stressful occupation.  The calls your run, the long hours you work, the weird times you get to eat (or don’t).  Perhaps you don’t gel with your new partner.  Take all of that and top it off with a case of “newbieitis”.  You’re going to need to be much more patient with yourself as you make mistakes than with anything else.   

SWALLOW YOUR PRIDE!  On second thought…don’t even bring it with you to the station.  At some point in time, you will be working a cardiac arrest and your EMT partner will point out to you that 60 breaths per minute on the BVM is a tad fast, don’t blow up at her!  Thank them that they took the time to watch your back.  When a well-seasoned medic attempts to teach you something new, don’t wave them off–even you already know what they are trying to teach you. They are trying to help you. They don’t know you or your level of education, so they don’t know where to start. Most of all, ask questions. Don’t worry about sounding dumb.

Lastly, don’t stop learning.  The things you are putting into practice today that seem so cutting edge may be considered malpractice or barbaric in ten years.  If you only know what you know today, tomorrow you will be dangerous.  Don’t be that person.  Remember the next newbie paramedic that comes along as well.  One day you will be the teacher, make it a great experience. 

Eastern Kentucky University offers associate and bachelor’s degrees in Paramedicine with three concentrations, Administration, Fire Science or Pre-Med.  For more information about our face to face as well as our online programs contact Bill Young, Program Director at  

Published on July 13, 2015

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