Unsure about going to school for Paramedic now

Ottemt
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Unsure about going to school for Paramedic now

Postby Ottemt » Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:41 am

Hey there big post here, sorry.

As the deadline approaches to accept my program offers, I decided to read a couple posts on this site about becoming a paramedic in Ontario. I currently have offers to Paramedic at St Lauerence College, Practical Nursing at Algonquin College, and Radiology technician at Algonquin college. Paramedic strikes the most interest in me, I'm currently 19 living outside of Ottawa, at first I was pursuing a career with the Canadian Armed Forces as a medical technician but after 3 years of my application not really going anywhere because of a minor youth offender record I had when I was 16, I have decided to pursue a career out of the military just in case my application gets closed or keeps taking forever.

I really would like to become a paramedic, I understand the physical and mental strain it can bring. But the pros outway the cons for me. My main focus is getting a full time job as fast as I can. After reading as much as I can on here, I have come to conclusion that it is nearly impossible to get hired full time in Ontario coming out of the 2yr program. So it leaves me questioning whether or not I should just go into practical nursing to get hired quickly out of school. It interests me but not nearly as much as being a paramedic. If worst came to worst I would not mind working out of the province if that meant full time work.

My question is, in the Ottawa area am I looking at a very hard time to find employment? I am searching on the web but I guess I just don't know where to look. What are the best steps after graduation and completing examinations to aid to get hired full time quicker?

ALSO, I know it depends on the school. But for the most part your program should fully prepare you for the A-EMCA right? Or is further learning required to easily pass? I have read it is very hard, also much harder than the CPNRE for practical nursing apparently. I have always worked hard in school with never having a lower than a 86 average in university classes, I know that isn't comparable to the exam, I am just worried with even hard work this exam will blow me away from reading some peoples experiences with it.

But yeah any advice is greatly appreciated. I am sorry for the big post I am just worried on taking two years and paying alot of money to not be able to find work. I know so many people who took police foundations and just scrapped the idea of becoming a police officer when they were done it because of the waiting around and frustration.

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

Postby Labrie » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:18 pm

Not sure about job opportunities in Ottawa but I think it would be a mistake to train for a career you don't particularly want simply to get full time faster. You're 19...what's the rush exactly? The reality is that most medics in Ontario start as part-time and work their way up to full time. That doesn't mean you won't get full time hours but your schedule won't be consistent. Depending on the service it might not be long before you're into a full time contract or job share.

As for what you can do to get full time faster, not much. Services are unionized and give out positions based on seniority. ACP's generally have better odds at landing a full time position however, I would not recommend going straight to ACP. It is a very tough program and most colleges require some years of road experience to be accepted.

Most PCP programs will have an AEMCA prep component. The multiple multiples style of questioning on the exam is what makes it tricky. The key to doing well and getting a job is simply dedication. The attrition rate for the program is high but in my experiences the students that put in the study time and practice outside of class are the ones that do well and get jobs.

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

Postby Adam82 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:54 am

[quote=""Ottemt""]My main focus is getting a full time job as fast as I can. After reading as much as I can on here, I have come to conclusion that it is nearly impossible to get hired full time in Ontario coming out of the 2yr program.[/quote]

Correct. Very hard to get hired full-time, but not impossible.
So it leaves me questioning whether or not I should just go into practical nursing to get hired quickly out of school. It interests me but not nearly as much as being a paramedic. If worst came to worst I would not mind working out of the province if that meant full time work.
Totally different careers. I mean, totally different. There is zero autonomy as a practical nurse.
ALSO, I know it depends on the school. But for the most part your program should fully prepare you for the A-EMCA right? Or is further learning required to easily pass? I have read it is very hard, also much harder than the CPNRE for practical nursing apparently. I have always worked hard in school with never having a lower than a 86 average in university classes, I know that isn't comparable to the exam, I am just worried with even hard work this exam will blow me away from reading some peoples experiences with it.
Yeah it's hard. The failure rate for paramedic programs is high to begin with. Then, the people who pass the paramedic program sometimes fail the AEMCA. I know two people myself personally who failed the AEMCA exam 3 times each and ended up becoming Respiratory Technicians (see my comment above). It's not a brutal exam though, I don't know what the pass rate is but I'd assume at least 80% or 90% after 3 tries. So 9 out of 10 would get through it I'd guess?
But yeah any advice is greatly appreciated. I am sorry for the big post I am just worried on taking two years and paying alot of money to not be able to find work. I know so many people who took police foundations and just scrapped the idea of becoming a police officer when they were done it because of the waiting around and frustration.
Being a paramedic is a good base for life. It ladders well into many other jobs. Getting hired can be tough, but... if you don't get hired then you can just do what everyone else does in Ontario... go and take your ACP. Theres lots of jobs for ACP's, and even if you need to move to another province you'll find work, no problem. Being a Practical Nurse would suck.

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Inspir
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby Inspir » Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:57 am

Why not skip LPN and go for your RN. RN opens A LOT more doors for you whereas advanced care paramedic may open a few. If I could do it over again I would be an RN. I'm a flight medic now and my partner is a RN. She could do all kinds of cool stuff that I can't and she will never have a hard time finding a job.


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