Balancing parenthood and a career is a difficult challenge, and considering that as of 2021 at least one parent is employed in 78.5 percent of families with children, it’s a common challenge, too.
If you’re a mother looking to become an emergency responder, there are many considerations to take into account. Being an emergency medical technician (EMT) or being a paramedic and a mom at the same time is possible. However, like any career, it will take specialized education, continuing training, organization, and patience.
Here are some basic requirements you should be familiar with as you start your professional journey and a few tips for mastering both your job as an emergency responder and motherhood.
Types of Emergency Responders
Two of the most common types of emergency responders are EMTs and paramedics. Both of these careers provide critical patient care, but there are some differences that may or may not make these roles a good fit for your family.
The amount of training required is one of the biggest factors to consider. In order to qualify as an EMT, you’ll need to complete anywhere from 120 to 150 hours of specialized training. Prospective paramedics must complete this same training as well as an additional 2-year course, which adds about 1,200 to 1,800 hours of further education and hands-on practice.
Some good news is that both EMTs and paramedics are expected to experience a 11% growth in employment opportunities over the next decade, a rate that is faster than the national average for occupations.
Balancing Training and Motherhood
If the number of training hours and the prospect of long shifts on the job have you wondering how a stay-at-home mom can become an EMT, paramedic, or another form of emergency responder, have no fear. People do it every day. But, it does take organization, patience, and passion for your job.
Troy Shaffer coaches EMS professionals every day, many of whom are mothers. Here are a few suggestions he has to help parents succeed:
- Get flexible with childcare. Working as an emergency responder means long shifts and irregular hours. You’ll need to have a reliable yet flexible childcare system in place. This system will look different based on your personal family situation.
- Have an organized family calendar. Motherhood is full of appointments, projects, extracurricular activities, and, of course, work. Having a master family calendar with all of these requirements in one place will help you stay organized.
- Keep communication open with your boss. A solid line of communication with your superiors will help you when the inevitable conflict between parenthood and your work comes up. Start forming that relationship now so that you know you can rely on your boss and they know they can rely on you.
- Schedule time for self-care. If you only spend your time taking care of your patients and taking care of your kids, you’ll burn out quickly. Schedule time to do things for yourself; something to recharge your batteries and help you relax. It’s not selfish. It’s smart, and an overlooked key to success.
How ACLS Can Help
At ACLS Certification Institute, we understand that flexibility is an essential part of being a paramedic or EMT mom. That’s why we offer online solutions that give you the convenience of learning where, when, and at what pace works best for you.
For example, instead of completing your BLS certification renewal in a classroom and worrying about commuting and arranging schedules, you can complete BLS recertification online whenever you have time, maybe even after the kids are in bed. Your BLS online renewal will still give you an in-depth and up-to-date education, but you get to finish the course on your terms.
Our accreditation comes through the ADA, AMA, and ANCC in joint providership with the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (PIM). Each of our courses is also accredited by CAPCE. That’s why thousands of healthcare providers have used our program to sharpen their skills, improve patient outcomes, and advance their careers. Explore our ACLS, BLS, PALS, and NRP certifications.
- Employment Characteristics of Families Summary. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Apr 20, 2022. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/famee.nr0.htm.
- EMT vs. Paramedic. Diffen. Accessed on Aug 12, 2020. https://www.diffen.com/difference/EMT_vs_Paramedic.
- Paramedic vs. EMT: Which path is right for you? EMS1. Aug 9, 2021. https://www.ems1.com/ems-products/books/articles/paramedic-vs-emt-which-path-is-right-for-you-nSqJ5Z1ngroThrDy/.
- Shaffer T. 7 things EMS moms won’t tell you. FlightSafetyNet.com. Accessed on Aug 12, 2020. https://flightsafetynet.com/7-things-ems-moms-wont-tell-you/.