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5 tips for recent paramedic graduates

For those about to graduate from paramedic school here are some important things to remember as you transition from EMS student to EMS pro

Updated May 15, 2015

Becoming a paramedic is much more than passing a few tests and hanging a certificate on the wall. You are joining a proud industry with extremely high standards, and to be successful you need to prepare to be the best representative of your profession that you can possibly be. With that in mind, here are five tips to help you transition from EMS student to EMS professional.

1. Thank important people

Graduates of the Cowley College EMT program (image courtesy Facebook.com/cowleyEMS)
Graduates of the Cowley College EMT program (image courtesy Facebook.com/cowleyEMS)

Write at least five handwritten thank you notes to specific people like your primary instructor, clinical instructors, parents, spouse, children, preceptor, mentor, department chief where you did an internship, the supervisor of the emergency department, or the author of your textbook. Write something specific about a person or event that was influential to you during your time in school.

2. Keep learning

Immediately begin continuing education that does more than refresh what you learned during paramedic training. Instead aspire to expand your knowledge. Choose an aspect of paramedicine that you aspire to become an expert.

3. Join state and national EMS professional organizations

The purpose of groups, like the National Association of EMTs (NAEMT) and the Wisconsin EMS Association, is to advocate for and provide to EMS professionals. They will best do that if you are a participating member.

4. Participate in the worldwide EMS community

Establish an online presence through social networks, like Facebook and LinkedIn, that demonstrates your commitment to the profession. Connect with other professionals, ask questions, listen to the answers, and help advance the EMS profession with thoughtful and respectful contributions.

5. Party safely!

Please celebrate your tremendous accomplishment and effort to become a paramedic (or EMT) with friends, family, classmates, co-workers, and instructors. But please always celebrate with a designated driver. Spare your EMS colleagues the emotional pain of caring for a co-worker by making wise choices on your off-time.

Finally, you don't have an instructor or a preceptor looking out for you anymore. Nobody will ever care more about your safety than you care about your safety. Always look out for number one — yourself — to have a long and prosperous career.

Cue the band...Pomp and Circumstance.

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