Time stands still for no one, and it doesn’t, especially when you work as an EMT. The emergency medical technicians who refuse to advance, are actually moving backward because the field doesn’t accommodate people who refuse to improve their skills. Regardless of the job position you locked, it’s vital to grow other skills, develop your aptitudes, and advance. And the statement is even more accurate when you work in pre-hospital medicine because you decide if your patients live.
Becoming an EMT or paramedic is a great career choice because you work in a growing field that provides access to a myriad of jobs. And because you work in a vast area, new job opportunities arise daily. You can advance your skill set and apply for a paramedic position. Or you can take it a step further and become a doctor. Your potential as a medical specialist goes much further than riding in an ambulance and being the first responder to emergency calls. You can also work in a field like firefighting, police medicine, EMT instructions, military medicine, or management.
As with any other profession, it’s understandable that you reached a point when you want to explore more opportunities in your field.
How can you enhance your career prospects when working as an EMT?
Grow your credentials
At a minimum, all EMT workers need at least an associate’s degree. Enroll in EMT training courses to get started as soon as possible. All employers require basic EMT training when hiring personnel for riding on ambulances. Go a step further, and after you complete your EMT training, get a bachelor’s degree to earn extra points when competing with other candidates for the same position.
To advance in your career, get additional certifications that go above, and beyond the skills and aptitudes, your current job is requiring. Research the market and check job descriptions to find out what employers are looking for. If you have the right certificates, you can apply for a side gig as an instructor or adjunct faculty. Your set of skills can take you from the field provider position to the educator. Get as many certifications as possible to grow your career and access new job opportunities.
Content takes your name out there on the market
You live in the era of content (text, video, audio). To draw attention to your name, create valuable content for websites and EMS publications. Write short articles for the local newspaper, start your blog, vlog or podcast, and review submission guidelines. Do anything that gets your name out there. During your free time, review books, attend courses and events, teach during training sessions, and write how-to articles to educate your community, review apps, or register on social media and answer people’s questions. Once you make a reputation as an expert in the field, employers will discover you, and new job opportunities will come.
Find the niche you enjoy the most
Most EMTs know a little about everything because the situations they encounter in the field are various and different. But if you want to advance in your career and pick another path, finding the niche you like the most is a good starting point. Choose a niche and learn as much as you can about it. Do you want to be a surgeon? Do you want to work with children? Do you want to change the protocols for heart failure? Don’t limit yourself to the tasks you complete when working on an ambulance. You can even switch paths and work in marketing, finance, or IT.
To enhance your career opportunities, aim for mastery. Grow your expertise through degrees, certifications, and publications.
Get rid of debt and improve your physical fitness
It’s challenging to advance in your career when you have debt. Paying rent, moving to a new city, and attending training courses can be difficult when you don’t have money. Before you start looking for another position, minimize your debt, and pay your credits. It may require to live below your means for a couple of months, but you need money for a fresh start. Pay your debt, and save as much as you can to create an emergency fund, especially if you relocate.
Also, ask yourself if you’re physically capable of handling the new job. Your new employer may require physical capability testing because, in the medical field, you work long shifts that are physically exhausting. Check job descriptions to find out what employers are looking for in their candidates. Most provide materials to inform applicants of the exercises they must complete during testing. Train to improve your health and fitness. Train not only to get a new job but also to boost your health. Increased strength, weight loss, and high endurance boost your self-confidence, and the more confident you are, the higher are the chances to impress possible employers. Your purpose is to be at peak physical and mental condition when you apply for a new position.
Get more education
We cannot stress enough how important it is to augment your education when working in the EMS field. Medical experts think the time has come for EMTs to attend a formal education process that culminates with a degree. Why is a degree essential? First, it gives you more options. When working in the EMS, be ready to experience injury or burnout. At some point, you may have to find work outside the field because your family demands no longer fit your hectic schedule. But there are few opportunities for under-qualified workers or specialists that lack a degree. Most jobs require skills, knowledge, and credentials. When working in the EMS, now is the right time to go back to school and get more education. No matter how much knowledge you have, you can never get enough. Research other fields to improve your skills, adapt to the ever-changing field requirements, explore new paths, and get in touch with experts.
If you’re looking for ways to enhance your career opportunities or want to transition from EMT to medic, paramedic or nurse, get more education and make a name for yourself.