How To Become An Emt

Emergency medical technicians (EMT) are very important when a medical emergency arises. They are the first medical professionals to attend to a patient where they provide initial medical care to a sick or injured individual in emergency situations. Due to their training and importance, EMTs are in high demand and are compensated well. According to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), EMTs earned in excess of $30,000 per year in 2010. During the same year, there were more than 200,000 emergency medical technicians in the country; their numbers are expected to grow in the coming years. The BLS predicts 33 percent growth rate in the profession, which is faster than the average growth rate for all other professions. Therefore, if you are thinking of becoming an EMT, you have a bright future ahead.

What Do EMTs Do?
During the course of his/her professional life, an emergency medical technician will perform the following duties:

  • Respond to 911 calls for emergency medical assistance
  • Provide initial medical care to the patient, assess the patient's condition and treat accordingly
  • Provide medical care to the patient in accordance with the EMT's education and training
  • Take care of the patient in an ambulance
  • Help transport the patient to the hospital's emergency and brief the medical staff
  • Create a patient care report
  • Handle medical equipment professionally

How To Become An EMT?
If the profession interests you then you need to know that EMTs are professionals with formal education and training. They are furthermore licensed to work in their states. EMT training is provided by community colleges, technical schools, and online universities. Online EMT training is ideal because:

  • It saves time - the student will not need to commute to class
  • It saves money - online courses may be cost-effective as compared to traditional courses
  • No cancellation - there is less chance that online classes get cancelled
  • Pace yourself - a student can turn off his/her computer whenever he/she needs a break; the student makes his/her own schedule

A high school diploma or a GED and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification are generally the two prerequisites for enrolling in an EMT program. There are two levels of training for EMTs: EMT-Basic and Advanced EMT (EMT-Intermediate 1985 or EMT Intermediate 1999). The former requires 100 hours of specialized training in providing initial medical care and treatment to the patients. The latter requires 1000 hours of advanced level training in the use of medications, intravenous fluids, and complex airway devices. EMTs may further need to take an 8-hour training course before being considered eligible to drive an ambulance.

All states require that an emergency medical technician be licensed before being able to work as an EMT. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certifies EMTs. Obtaining an NREMT certificate requires passing the national exam and a certified training or education program. The national exam has two parts: practical and written. While some states require only an NREMT certificate, others may require an equivalent state certification.

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