EMT Careers: What Training Do They Require?
Applicants with advanced certifications typically have the best employment opportunities. After all, people's lives depend upon emergency medical technicians (EMTs).
An EMT must quickly assess the situation, attempt to find out if the patient has any pre-existing medical conditions, provide emergency care, and transport the patient (if necessary) to the nearest hospital.
There are progressive levels of training, each one granting the EMT specific responsibilities. EMT-Basic training prepares the EMT to treat patients under medical supervision. Coursework at this level includes learning to handle:
Most programs include spending time in an emergency room or ambulance as well, and at its completion you must pass a written and practical exam.
- Airway obstruction
- Basic emergency equipment (backboards, suction devices, oxygen delivery systems, stretchers)
- Cardiac arrest
- Emergency childbirth
Next comes EMT-Intermediate, which has two levels called 1985 and 1999. Depending on the state, this certification level can require 30 to 350 hours of training, including using advanced airway devices, intravenous fluids, and certain medications.
The most advanced level is EMT-Paramedic. It takes 1 to 2-years, with some programs offering an associate's degree. Once you're a certified paramedic, you can undertake fairly extensive pre-hospital care including administering medicine (both orally and intravenously), interpreting EKGs, performing endotracheal intubations, and using complex equipment.
EMT careers are expected to grow, with private ambulance services likely offering the best job opportunities. The toughest competition is for jobs in fire, police, and independent third-service rescue squads since they typically offer the best salaries and benefits.
The Following Schools Provide Educational Programs For EMT Careers: