As a former paramedic, I can tell you that the education level of EMTs even paramedics, is low. No pre-requisites to become an EMT and in most states, 120 hours to EMT-B level. There is a dichotomy between public service and healthcare. Public service includes the fire services who devote a lot of time to knowing how to rush into burning buildings and break down doors, as well as cut open cars. That is a different skill set and orientation to medical assessment.
Nevertheless, as over 80 percent of fire department responses are medical, many have devoted time to the two-semester coursework required to become a paramedic. Paramedic training is as rigorous as nursing, but is limited to recognizing and dealing with immediate life threats. There is no training, and I say training as opposed to education, to chronic conditions.
The nature of the work is that 9 out of 10 calls really do not need a 911 response and are the result of the health system medicalizing social problems. Often, EMTs trained to provide emergency, life saving care, become disillusioned with the true nature of the job. Those deeply interested in medicine will move on. Many, due to lack of motivation or aptitude, and often without financial incentives to expand their experience, feel"stuck" in pre-hospital care.
Bottom line is, many have no idea of what they don't know. They are stuck in protocol based "cook-book" medicine, yet putting in brutal hours of work for very little pay. That is not to say there are not intelligent, motivated and dedicated people in EMS. But often, nurses deal with anti-education individuals who devalue "book smarts" and totally underestimate the complexity of many of the issues they deal with.
EMTs see a very small slice of the healthcare continuum, yet often believe they have seen it all. In spite of this, blatant disrespect for other members of the health care team is inexcusable. I am sorry many nurses experience this. If you get it, take it where it's coming from. It's coming from a narrow minded, frustrated individual and is the mark of an underdeveloped mind.
Edit.. PS - the question to have asked that paramedic was "You've seen it much higher? In this patient? Really?