If most Medics are like me they obtained their education from a technical school. Technical school education is one of the main reasons why our profession is lacking in monetary compensation. I have nothing against technical schools, I believe they serve a valuable purpose with professional trade training. My problem is that I view a Paramedic's profession as collegiate, not technical. In my state all you need to be a medic is to be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. That is it, no college foundation courses or anything. Granted I believe it's changing a little to where anatomy and physiology are now a pre-requisite, but in my opinion, that is not enough. We think we are on the same level or better than nurses, but we aren't required to have the same education as they? How can we be better or even comparable? We cannot! Granted, nurses have a choice of just an RN or BSN, but I think you would find that most are BSN or attempting to get their BSN. Paramedics do not have anything like that. If we are to be taken serious about wages, or even professional, we need to up the ante on our education. Not only would it start to secure better wages for our brothers and sisters, but we would start to see better quality medics out in the field, instead of the cookie-cutter, get them out as fast as you can medics.
There is a problem with the idea of better wages for higher education. No employer in their right mind would hire a medic with a BS at $30-40k a year (starting) when they can get a technical school medic for only $20k a year. The only way to bypass that obstacle would be to make it mandatory for all medics to have a BS. Only then would employers find that they can no longer hire medics at ridiculously low wages, there would be a shortage, and wages would increase to lure people into the field. I know it is more complex than that, but it's a start. Educational requirements could be similar to nursing requirements, but with emphasis on Emergency Medicine and Triage. With this kind of educational background, medics can start taking over the ERs like we need to be doing, instead of leaving it to the nurses. I am not anti-nurse, but I do believe that Medics belong in the ER, not nurses.
Hopefully in the coming years as the need for more medics increase so will the educational requirements at obtaining a Paramedic license. Only by increasing educational requirements will our pay be increased as well. We need to take control of our profession and make it clear that minimal pay is not acceptable anymore. I have left a lot of my arguments out because of the length of this blog already. There is so much more reasoning and many more complex issues that need to be ironed out, I just want to start people thinking about it. Have any questions or criticisms please feel free to ask.