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What is a Paramedic Refresher?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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A paramedic refresher is a short course or seminar focusing on the core skills and techniques used by paramedics. In some states, this type of course is mandatory to maintain employment as a paramedic. Paramedics work with emergency medical technicians (EMT), firefighters, and police to provide advanced first aid and medical assistance to the public.

A paramedic has typically completed a 12- to 18-month training program, where advanced life saving techniques and medical assessment skills are taught. In order to become a paramedic, all candidates must have successfully completed the emergency medical technician (EMT) training program. Many schools have a minimum experience requirement working as a first responder built into their application process.

The focus of the paramedic refresher course varies quite widely and can range from a basic refresher of core techniques to specialized seminars. For example, a paramedic refresher course that focuses on heart attack response skills may include training on using the new defibrillator machines. Read the course description carefully and make sure that it provides the appropriate level of detail for your needs. If you are taking a paramedic refresher course to maintain your certification, make sure the course is appropriate and will be accepted by the licensing board. It is important to check these details in advance to avoid wasting time and money.

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Every paramedic refresher course will combine theory and practical application details, in a format very similar to the original training. It is important to grasp the theory and the actual techniques from a paramedic refresher course, as you will be expected to apply these skills in the field. Research in first aid is always occurring and often results in the development of new skills or the refinement of existing skills to improve patient outcomes.

The paramedic refresher course should include a test of the materials covered. This can be either a written or a practical test, but it provides the opportunity to validate the consistently of the skills covered and works as quality assurance for paramedics. The stakes are very high in emergency medical response work, and it is important to really grasp the material so that patients can benefit.

The best courses provide training on techniques or equipment that can be immediately applied in the field and works as anticipated. Another benefit of this type of course is the opportunity to share information, tips, and network with colleagues. The burnout rate for paramedics is very high, and social networking can help to reduce the stress level.

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