An EMT (emergency medical technician) or ambulance technician provides medical care outside a hospital.
These medical professionals utilize ambulatory vehicles to assist patients in diverse locations.
It enables them to extend a person’s life until they can receive advanced care at an emergency facility.
EMTs receive non-invasive medical training to provide immediate off-site care.
As a result, they provide basic life support and other non-invasive procedures to patients with injuries, illnesses, and ailments.
EMTs respond immediately to emergencies and can arrive at the scene relatively quickly.
Once they arrive, EMTs perform life-saving care and transport patients to a nearby facility for essential medical treatment.
EMTs work alongside registered nurses, practitioners, and physicians to ensure adequate patient care.
As a result, they must have excellent communication and organizational skills.
Finally, these medical professionals work in various settings to reach emergencies quickly.
It includes hospitals, fire departments, public/private ambulatory services, and government organizations.
Before beginning EMT training, candidates must possess a Diploma, GED, or equivalent and are generally 18 years old.
Some programs also require candidates to earn their CPR certification and take an introductory EMT course before beginning the program.
During the Program, EMTs Learn:
- Ambulatory care practices
- Basic onsite care
- CPR & AED training
- Cardiac emergency care
- Emergency pediatric care
- Patient stabilization & transport techniques
- Patient assessment
- Splint and Bandage training
- Spinal mobilization
- Trauma & injury treatment
And a variety of other medical-related practices.
Overall the EMT program takes 8 – 12 weeks to complete.
However, the total program length varies depending on the state and the curriculum.
Upon completing the program, students must take and pass a state exam before earning their certification.
Notably, EMTs must take continuing education courses (CEUs) regularly to maintain their certification.
It ensures they remain updated on the latest technology, practices, and procedures.
Several EMT training levels enable emergency medical technicians to pursue advanced careers.
These certifications provide additional opportunities to earn more money, accept more responsibility, and have leadership.
These levels are basic EMT (EMT1 – basic EMT), intermediate EMT (EMT2 – EMT3), and Paramedic (EMT4).
Highly trained EMTs may also accept roles outside of direct EMT care.
It includes becoming EMT supervisors, directors, or educators.
Being an EMT requires a lot more than excellent training and educational background.
In addition to training, students must be physically, mentally, and emotionally competent.
They must also have excellent organizational, team management, and critical thinking skills.
Lifting and handling patients and coping with emotionally stressful situations are standard parts of the job.
Therefore, EMTs must be prepared to handle these situations with care and professionalism.
EMTs must also be ready, willing, and able to work in uncomfortable spaces in hot, cold, snowy, rainy, or stormy weather.
How to Find a Good Program
Various community colleges, technical schools, and vocational schools offer EMT programs.
You can also find EMT programs at healthcare centers such as hospitals and government entities like fire departments.
Those interested in becoming EMTs should look for an accredited facility.
An organization such as the CAAHEP typically vets these educational establishments.
Candidates may also look for programs by trusted colleges, fire departments, and hospitals.
After you find several programs, you’ll want to narrow your options to those most suitable for your needs.
Ask the program organizers about resources offered by the institution and the success rate of students participating in their program.
Also, see if any online resources provide additional information on the school’s training and student success rate.
It can help ensure you attend a program with a good track record.
Lastly, determine the options available to pay for the program.
Determine whether the program offers financial aid, scholarships/grants, or student loans.
In some cases, an EMT program may provide a work-study program.
It enables you to obtain free training for an agreed-upon work arrangement.
Program Cost Factors to Consider
The EMT and Paramedic programs have several associated costs you should consider when applying.
Some of these costs include:
- Program cost
- Uniform & Supplies
- NCLEX-PN exam
As mentioned earlier, consider the financial options available to make your transition into an EMT as easy as possible.
The Importance of EMTs in Healthcare
EMTs save thousands of lives annually and play a vital role in patient healthcare.
These professionals provide life-saving care to patients needing immediate emergency support outside hospital settings.
As a result, patients acquire necessary medical intervention and life-saving treatment until they reach a healthcare facility.
EMTs are highly mobile and can quickly reach emergencies, hazards, and crises via transport vehicles like ambulances.
It enables them to provide pre-hospital medical care to onsite locations where they are needed.
EMTs perform tasks such as applying splinting and bandages, basic CPR, and transporting patients via stretchers.
They also coordinate with other medical professionals like paramedics who perform more complicated procedures.
It includes providing advanced cardiac support, performing emergency childbirth procedures, administering medication, and giving intravenous treatments.
EMTs are typically known for their heroics in emergencies.
However, they also provide a range of non-life-threatening medical procedures.
It includes assisting patients with broken limbs, providing additional support to individuals suffering from allergic reactions, and tending to people with less severe illnesses or diseases.
Finally, EMTs act as a liaison between the patient and the healthcare center.
They gather patient information, perform pre-hospital care, and monitor patient vital signs.
As a result, they can provide additional information to registered nurses, physicians, and practitioners.
It enables them to stay updated, provide immediate care, and quickly determine the best treatment plan for the patient.
EMTs operate under various circumstances to ensure patients receive adequate pre-hospital medical aid.
It includes successfully traversing different environmental situations like harsh weather and natural disasters.
It also comprises medical emergencies such as vehicular accidents, traumas, and diseases.
Without sufficient EMT training and staffing, thousands of people would not receive emergency, life-saving medical care.
EMTs ensure patients make it to a hospital or healthcare center to recover from devastating events.
As a result, these healthcare providers are an essential part of any healthy healthcare system.
Their expert training, discipline, and medical care have given many individuals a second chance at life.