Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are responsible for the emergency care and transport of patients who have suffered an accident or medical trauma. EMTs usually work in teams of two. A career as an EMT will require that one of the partners drive the ambulance while the other administers life saving procedures to assure that the patient will arrive at the hospital in a viable condition for additional treatment.
Primary Focus of an EMT
In all cases, both EMTs on a particular route will have the same level of training, and will alternate cases where one will drive while the other works on the patient. The primary focus of a career as an EMT is to assess the current condition and medical history of the victim when arriving on the scene. Quick thinking and coordination with other medical personnel from 911 operators to hospital staff to assure the comprehensive care of the patient is critical. Once the patient is released to the hospital staff, the EMT’s job is over in regard to that patient.
A medical career as an EMT is a roller coaster ride consisting of down time while waiting for emergency calls to come in and intense pressure and activity while stabilizing the patient and transporting him to the hospital facility. Persons who have trouble shifting from low gear to high gear in a work environment should not consider a medical career as an EMT. In addition to administering typical techniques of life saving, the EMT may also be talked through special procedures by doctors at the hospital over the radio while transporting the patient to the hospital.
Training for a Medical Career as an EMT
Training as an EMT requires certification by an accredited EMT institute which will prepare the student to take the National Certification exam upon graduation from the program. Educational programs preparing the student for a career as an EMT include classroom lectures, labs, clinical rotations and periods of riding with actual EMTs to survey the career field. Coursework and training for a career as an EMT include basic life support, basic first aid, prevention of disease transmission and handling of hazardous materials, and can usually be completed over the course of one college semester. Requirements to enroll at an EMT training facility include a high school diploma, proof of health insurance and a valid driver’s license.