Right now, Paramedic Education is somewhat in flux, because recently the National Registry has required Programs to be accredited for students of those programs to test the National Registry.
Here is more information about that...
In my experience there are two camps when it comes to education in EMS.
There are those that see it as a barrier to working, and those that see it as a benefit.
Not to be cliche, but lets say you have a child or a parent that needs EMS. When the paramedic shows up, they are wearing a t-shirt that says "I chose to be educated at a program because it was the fastest and/or the cheapest!"
Would you trust that Paramedic?
The opinion of anyone who doesn't think that accreditation of Paramedic Education is a good thing should be questioned. Once we can be held to higher standards, we can start asking for what we are actually worth. Look into the history of Nursing.
But anyway, if you read the article in the link above, it talks about the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or CAAHEP.
This group does accreditation for a bunch of different education programs, the list is here.
So how do you know if the program you are looking at is fully accredited? Just search your program here
That is a neat website, because you can search for programs that are newly accredited, recently lost accreditation, as well as programs that have something called a "Letter of Review".
Here is what CAAHEP has to say about that...
Letter of Review is NOT a CAAHEP accreditation status, it is a status granted by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP) signifying that a program seeking initial accreditation has demonstrated sufficient compliance with the accreditation Standards through the Letter of Review Self Study Report (LSSR) and other documentation. Letter of Review is recognized by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) for eligibility to take the NREMT's Paramedic credentialing examination(s). However, it is NOT a guarantee of eventual accreditation.
Now I understand money is money, but I remember calculating it out. When I started school, the company I worked for would foot the bill for Paramedic School if you were in good standing. They called it a "scholarship" but really they would deduct funds from your paycheck until you had paid them back. But if you worked for them for 3 years, you would supposedly get your money back.
But here is the kicker. The bump that I would've gotten in pay, not including any overtime, would've have been more than enough to cover the cost of school within the first year of working as a Paramedic. So the 3 year commitment made no sense.
So anyway, the point to this anecdote was to show that money really shouldn't be much of a consideration when it comes to Paramedic School, because that money will be made back pretty freakin' quickly. If you think $10000 is a lot of money, go ahead and ask your friendly local intern at the Emergency Department about student loans. Obviously doctors make a lot more money, but it takes a significant amount of time to pay off their loans, even at the higher paycheck.
I don't know if I've already told that story here.
But anyway, I remember hearing some guy on NPR talk about the "Student Loan Crisis" and he said that your total student loan load shouldn't be more than your expected annual salary getting out of school.
I hope that anyone reading this is going to be making more than $10000 a year.
Granted, the only experience that I have is my own, but it was nice to here from preceptors "Yeah, students from (my program) are usually really good. Some students from other places didn't have a f**k'in clue"
Wait a minute....what did they mean by "usually"?
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