Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are trained to provide first aid and successfully administer medical assistance as the first responder in the event of a medical emergency. This is a growing field with many job openings.
Things You'll Need
- A high school diploma or equivalent.
All EMTs must complete a training course and receive certification to work as an EMT; however, the level of training and the level of certification vary. EMT training can be provided in an on-the-job setting (for basic skills) or can consist of many years of medical school. EMTs are certified based on their level of training. To enter an EMT training program, you will need a high school diploma.
Decide how much time and energy you want to invest in EMT training and what level of training you want. Based on that decision, find an appropriate EMT training program near you. Each state has its own training program and its own set of standards for certification. Some states require licensure. Your state office of emergency services, state office of medical services, or even your local fire department can probably direct you to a training program near you. Check their websites for more information. All EMT training must meet the minimum requirements set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's standards. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) offers certification exams based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards. NREMT exams are used by most states for EMT certification.
EMT training consists of coursework and hands-on experience. A basic EMT training program will prepare you to give basic life support (such as CPR), to administer first aid and wound care, to administer oxygen, to check vital signs, to brace an injured individual and stabilize broken limbs, and emergency rescue procedures. EMT training also prepares you to be a first responder and may include training in emergency transport protocols, safety and hygiene, and patients' rights. A more advanced EMT training program might lead to paramedic certification and would require a greater investment in your education. EMT training programs vary in length, with some fast-track intensive courses lasting only two weeks, while other courses may take months to complete. Some EMTs complete a college degree, which takes years. Paramedic training usually lasts two years (with an A.A. degree). For more advanced certification, an EMT trainee must complete a specified number of ambulance hours.
There are many levels of EMT training. The first level of EMT training, EMT-Basic or EMT-1, trains you in basic emergency response skills, including how to assess a patient's health. The most advanced level is EMT-Paramedic or EMT-4. At this level, you train in anatomy, physiology, and more advanced medical skills. Critical skills taught in most standard EMT courses include 1) Trauma and Cardiac Management, 2) Bleeding and Fracture Management, 3) Childbirth Assistance, 4) Patient Assessment, and 5) Emergency Room Protocol. Many EMTs will also train in how to drive an ambulance.
A basic EMT program requires on-site training, passing a written exam, passing a practical exam, and obtaining the certification. Contact your state office of emergency services or your state office of medical services for more information.
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