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What degree do I need to be a paramedic?

Some people have both the stomach and the skills necessary to deal with auto accidents, personal injuries, crime scenes and other disasters day in and day out. Paramedics do, and these medical professionals are relied on to remain cool under pressure as the first responders to a variety of emergency situations. According to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, paramedics are some of the most-educated members of a first-response medical team: They've been trained to provide a high-level of pre-hospital care, administer oral and injectable medication and read tests to monitor heart function.

Paramedics have more advanced skills than other emergency medical personnel, and in many cases, they also have the degrees to prove it. All paramedics are required to complete a formal training program and obtain state licensure, according to the BLS. Training programs for paramedics are generally offered at community and technical colleges and often result in an associate degree. Coursework in a paramedic degree program will likely cover basic EMT skills like assessing trauma levels, opening blocked airways, handing emergencies, and using advanced medical devices. Paramedics may also learn more advanced medical skills, including suturing and administration of IV medication. Additionally, the BLS suggests that most paramedic training programs require about 1,300 hours of training and can take up to two years to complete.


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