Career change to Paramedic

ALS, ACP, PCP, Etc..
jlmedic
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Career change to Paramedic

Postby jlmedic » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:27 pm

Hi,

I'm currently a software developer but am planning on a career change to become a Paramedic.

I'm looking at the 4 semester paramedic program at Humber (Sep 2016) but I've no idea where to begin. What should I study/review prior to applying (edit: Nevermind, I see the highschool course list - where would you recommend I take these courses)? Do I have to wait till the next school year if I fail the admission test?

Also, what are the job prospects like in Ontario? I heard somewhere that I would have to move to a different province if I want to do this full time.
Last edited by jlmedic on Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Adam82
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby Adam82 » Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:45 am

[quote=""jlmedic""]Hi,

I'm currently a software developer but am planning on a career change to become a Paramedic.

I'm looking at the 4 semester paramedic program at Humber (Sep 2016) but I've no idea where to begin. What should I study/review prior to applying (edit: Nevermind, I see the highschool course list - where would you recommend I take these courses)? Do I have to wait till the next school year if I fail the admission test?

Also, what are the job prospects like in Ontario? I heard somewhere that I would have to move to a different province if I want to do this full time.[/quote]

Hi JL,

Honourable of you to want to switch careers.

If you fail the admission test at any school then you'd need to wait until the next intake or try another school. But I don't think too many people "fail" the tests, per se. If you fail then you've got bigger problems. Rather, they look at the people with the highest scores.

Paramedic schools in Ontario are extremely competitive. You generally need very high percentage marks in your prerequisite courses. I don't know exact stats, but I've heard of people with 90's marks being denied. Obviously some schools are more competitive than others.

One thing to remember is that in Canada we have what has basically become a Canada-wide license for paramedics. It never used to be that way, but it is now, and that's a good thing. What it means is... once you get licensed as a Primary Care Paramedic in any province, you can then transfer to another other province very easily without having to take any exam (other than a jurisprudence exam which is easy and online).

In this respect, it is literally night and day difference between Ontario and other provinces when it comes to becoming a Primary Care Paramedic. While Ontario is a 2 year program that is highly competitive with numerous pre-requisites, other provinces have programs that are as short as 4-6 months with far fewer prerequisites. This includes provinces like BC, AB or SK. Just a thought.

Of course not everyone can leave Ontario to study, but it's something to keep in mind. As for there being no full-time jobs in Ontario for Paramedics, well, of course that isn't true. Ontario is the biggest province in Canada and there's hundreds of spots for PCP's coming up each year. However, it is extremely competitive indeed. Getting hired as a PCP full-time is pretty much as competitive as getting a full-time Firefighter job in Ontario, or almost as competitive, depending on where you want to work. If you want a job up North it may be easier. If you want a job with TEMS (Toronto EMS) or other metro agencies then you'll need to be willing to compete heavily for them and do well at the tests these agencies have in place.

Don't let all of this discourage you though. In reality, paramedicine is a great career to get into and has far less barriers than other health care jobs. Just look into all the training options available. It may be worth it financially to come out west, because even though you'll need to stop working, you would probably need to stop working in Ontario too (taking a PCP program and continuing to work as a software developer would be a disaster), because people flunk out of the PCP course quite often and you want to give yourself the best chance at success.

I'm sure others will chime in here soon and tell you more about the Ontario system.

Labrie
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby Labrie » Sat Oct 24, 2015 10:12 pm

I would caution you against saying it is very easy to transfer between provinces. If you do not hold an AEMCA in Ontario you will have to go through an equivalency process. I would also caution anyone who thinks that a 6 month program would be equivalent to a 2 year program. The 2 year here in Ontario is intensive enough, I personally believe it could easily be a 3-4 year program. A PCP scope of practice here is quite a bit more than it used to be and every year base hospitals are adding more directives and medications.

There are other benefits to doing your training here. If your ultimate goal is to work as a PCP here, I would recommend doing your ride outs at the service you wish to work. In addition to learning the job, you will learn the day to day workings of that service and hopefully gain a good reference from your preceptors which will greatly benefit you come hiring time.

Adam82
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby Adam82 » Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:00 pm

[quote=""Labrie""]I would caution you against saying it is very easy to transfer between provinces. If you do not hold an AEMCA in Ontario you will have to go through an equivalency process. I would also caution anyone who thinks that a 6 month program would be equivalent to a 2 year program. The 2 year here in Ontario is intensive enough, I personally believe it could easily be a 3-4 year program. A PCP scope of practice here is quite a bit more than it used to be and every year base hospitals are adding more directives and medications.

There are other benefits to doing your training here. If your ultimate goal is to work as a PCP here, I would recommend doing your ride outs at the service you wish to work. In addition to learning the job, you will learn the day to day workings of that service and hopefully gain a good reference from your preceptors which will greatly benefit you come hiring time.[/quote]

Of course you can't transfer out if you don't have your AEMCA. I thought that would be obvious.

As far as the 6 month courses go, they meet all NOCP requirements and they are CMA accredited. The Ontario programs are simply "fluffed up" with A&P and Pathophysiology courses. They are shoved down your throat so the college can get more tuition. The same education could be had by taking the 6 month program and then supplementing your own education afterwards if needed, e.g., take an A&P course or Patho course at your local college, or online through a university like Athabasca.

Honestly, it seems like you have just bought into the koolaid theory that because the Ontario PCP program is longer it must be better. If a course is CMA accredited, then it's all the same.

jlmedic
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby jlmedic » Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:12 pm

Thanks for the comprehensive reply.

I was planning on studying and working in Ontario if at all possible.

I do have some money saved up and will be saving more money and maybe apply for OSAP if needed. I'm thinking if I can't find a job in Ontario for more than a few months after graduation I'll look to BC.

WolfmanHarris
Posts: 200
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby WolfmanHarris » Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:20 am

I wouldn't go short, the profession is set for a big shift in educational requirement with the document that will be replacing the NOCP. 2025, PAC is proposing that entry to practice for Paramedicine will be a Baccalaureate degree similar to the transition that has occurred in Australia and as RN's did decades ago. For better or for worse (I'm not 100% convinced it's for the better) While I'm sure older Paramedics will remained grandfathered, expect the lack of degree to eventually become a barrier to advancement; HR departments and management being what they are. EMR will be moved outside of the Paramedicine competencies and be treated as a separate discipline. You don't to risk finding yourself lagging. Consider the corner pre-EMCA Paramedics who didn't upgrade are in; only grandfathered at current job, not able to switch jobs and retire and return part-time. (Not that there's a lot of them left)

Labrie
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby Labrie » Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:33 am

[quote=""Adam82""]Of course you can't transfer out if you don't have your AEMCA. I thought that would be obvious.

As far as the 6 month courses go, they meet all NOCP requirements and they are CMA accredited. The Ontario programs are simply "fluffed up" with A&P and Pathophysiology courses. They are shoved down your throat so the college can get more tuition. The same education could be had by taking the 6 month program and then supplementing your own education afterwards if needed, e.g., take an A&P course or Patho course at your local college, or online through a university like Athabasca.

Honestly, it seems like you have just bought into the koolaid theory that because the Ontario PCP program is longer it must be better. If a course is CMA accredited, then it's all the same.[/quote]

Lol, really?

I don't know what job you are doing but in mine A&P and pathophysiology are fundamentals. You think they are fluff and in the same breath recommend people to take them as courses at local college or university?!

I know it's obvious that you can't work in Ontario without an AEMCA or be deemed equivalent but I can quote your initial post if you like, where you stated it is very easy to transfer among provinces without having to take a test.

It sounds like you think you know more than you actually do, about being a paramedic in Ontario.

Adam82
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby Adam82 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:48 am

[quote=""Labrie""]I don't know what job you are doing but in mine A&P and pathophysiology are fundamentals. You think they are fluff and in the same breath recommend people to take them as courses at local college or university?![/quote]

Huh? All PCP courses contain A&P and Pathophysiology. If you think the A&P and Pathophysiology in western PCP programs is inadequate then perhaps you should write a letter to the CMA accreditors, because they disagree with you. The Ontario programs contain extra amounts of A&P beyond the requirement.

[quote=""Labrie""]I know it's obvious that you can't work in Ontario without an AEMCA or be deemed equivalent but I can quote your initial post if you like, where you stated it is very easy to transfer among provinces without having to take a test.[/quote]

Ok, go ahead. Quote my post where I said that. I said once you're licensed (e.g., once you have passed your exams and are WORKING as a paramedic) then you can transfer to any other province without taking exams. What do you feel is untrue about that statement? What else do you think "licensed" means??? If you aren't licensed then no, you can't transfer provinces. But who isn't licensed?

[quote=""Labrie""]It sounds like you think you know more than you actually do, about being a paramedic in Ontario.[/quote]

If that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is, coming from someone who sounds like they think they know more about normal length PCP courses than they actually do.

Let's call a spade a spade. In Western Canada, PCP courses are normal length. In Ontario, they are extended. Great. How about this? I just created a 3 year PCP course in BC. It's the same as Ontario, but it has 400-Level university Pathophysiology courses and advanced courses in Microbiology. So I guess now your 2 year Ontario PCP course is totally crap, right?

The bottom line is here (for anyone reading this), what you've got here is someone (Labrie) who is pushing their elitist agenda of "my school is better than yours" or "the way we do things in Ontario are better than BC". It's an arrogant view and makes you look a bit petty. I never said anything bad about Ontario programs, I merely presented another option (shorter, CMA accredited programs).

Shrug.

Labrie
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby Labrie » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:25 am

[quote=""Adam82""]Huh? All PCP courses contain A&P and Pathophysiology. If you think the A&P and Pathophysiology in western PCP programs is inadequate then perhaps you should write a letter to the CMA accreditors, because they disagree with you. The Ontario programs contain extra amounts of A&P beyond the requirement.



Ok, go ahead. Quote my post where I said that. I said once you're licensed (e.g., once you have passed your exams and are WORKING as a paramedic) then you can transfer to any other province without taking exams. What do you feel is untrue about that statement? What else do you think "licensed" means??? If you aren't licensed then no, you can't transfer provinces. But who isn't licensed?



If that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is, coming from someone who sounds like they think they know more about normal length PCP courses than they actually do.

Let's call a spade a spade. In Western Canada, PCP courses are normal length. In Ontario, they are extended. Great. How about this? I just created a 3 year PCP course in BC. It's the same as Ontario, but it has 400-Level university Pathophysiology courses and advanced courses in Microbiology. So I guess now your 2 year Ontario PCP course is totally crap, right?

The bottom line is here (for anyone reading this), what you've got here is someone (Labrie) who is pushing their elitist agenda of "my school is better than yours" or "the way we do things in Ontario are better than BC". It's an arrogant view and makes you look a bit petty. I never said anything bad about Ontario programs, I merely presented another option (shorter, CMA accredited programs).

Shrug.[/quote]

Have you taken an Ontario PCP program? Do you work as a paramedic in Ontario? Your problem is you think you know better because you have read some online course syllabus. I am offering my opinion to the OP as a paramedic who works and was trained in Ontario and knows the type of skill level the services here require and know where they are going in the near future. You are so irate and taking things personally for some reason. I am done with this thread. It was meant for information and has turned into you throwing personal insults.

I will include a link to the Ontario ministry site which explains the equivalency process (tests), which has to be conducted when transferring here from another province even if you already work and are licenced as a paramedic elsewhere. You can't just come here and expect to be handed an AEMCA...

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/pub ... equiv.html

Adam82
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby Adam82 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:02 pm

[quote=""Labrie""]Have you taken an Ontario PCP program? Do you work as a paramedic in Ontario? Your problem is you think you know better because you have read some online course syllabus. I am offering my opinion to the OP as a paramedic who works and was trained in Ontario and knows the type of skill level the services here require and know where they are going in the near future. You are so irate and taking things personally for some reason. I am done with this thread. It was meant for information and has turned into you throwing personal insults.

I will include a link to the Ontario ministry site which explains the equivalency process (tests), which has to be conducted when transferring here from another province even if you already work and are licenced as a paramedic elsewhere. You can't just come here and expect to be handed an AEMCA...

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/pub ... equiv.html[/quote]

Pretty much the reply I expected. Again, pot calling the kettle black, because have you taken a "short" course PCP program? Or are you just looking at the syllabus?

The link you posted proves you do not know what you're talking about. You are completely wrong and it is proof that this entire conversation has been out of your scope of knowledge. Here is the correct link for people transferring to Ontario who are licensed in another province. They use a process called "AIT". And yes, you can expect to be handed an AEMCA certificate.

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/pub ... u/ait.html


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