If you are an emergency medical technician or paramedic, you are a highly trained first responder. Your knowledge and skills are highly valuable to the communities where you work. You courageously walk into unpredictable situations and even sometimes step into heroic action when you’re not on duty.
It took a lot of work to get into this line of work. It also takes work to stay certified. Continuing Education (CE) requirements vary by state. Let’s take a look at CE and consider how approaching it as an opportunity and not a chore can make 2018 a year of strong career development for you. Now is the time to think about the best ways to learn new skills in 2018.

The Boston Story

This article from The EMT Spot describes an incident in Boston, Massachusetts. 207 EMTs received temporary suspensions because they falsified training records in order to skip out of requirements. They got caught skipping their required training and paid the price. The article also reveals that many of these technicians had bad attitudes about training and requirements. They considered their punishments for cheating on these requirements to be unfair. Those technicians are fortunate to still have jobs.
In many professions, continuous learning and adapting to new practices is necessary to remain relevant in the job. Medical professionals of all kinds follow state requirements to maintain their certifications and licenses. The requirements add protection for the citizens these professionals serve.

Know Your Requirements

Every state has its own EMT certification requirements. Ohio lists its requirements here. If you live outside Ohio or have moved and not recertified in your current state, use a national resource like this to learn the requirements in different parts of the country.
About two years after your original certification you will need to renew it. NREMT provides full instructions on how and when to start the recertification process. Earning CE credits provides another route to recertification, one you can undertake any time.

Resolve To Grow

The main issue in the opening Boston story was that these EMTs were viewing their Continuing Education requirements as a hassle. Let’s consider the value of CE.
As a professional, self-development offers a path to job stability and growth. Gain an edge on your competition by putting real energy into CE. Or, the generalist path may also lead to advancement as you build experience. You may choose to build your skills in a specific area like burns, cardiac care, pediatric care or trauma. Another choice is to take college-level science classes. You can even earn CE credits by teaching others.
The list of benefits is long, including higher pay, leadership opportunities, and a wide range of opportunities will open to those who embrace the opportunity to take ownership of their own development.
By thinking of yourself as a lifelong learner, eager to understand better methods and new advances, you will have the traits that employers want to invest in.

Encourage Your Team

If you are in a position of leading or guiding others, you can help others to develop themselves. This will establish you as a leader and the combined effort will strengthen your team.
Lead your team in post-training discussions. Ask them to share what they got out of a recent course. Have them explore and consider different options that will complement the team. As this blogger describes, you stand to earn many benefits from making learning and development part of your team’s culture.

Search For Courses Near You

Here are two sites where you can begin your search for your next training.

You are required to train to maintain your license and certification. Make the most of the opportunity!

PHOTO: Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain