Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) deal with accidents such as automobile accidents or incidents such as heart attacks, burns, fractures, childbirth, and gunshot wounds that require immediate medical attention. EMTs provide life-saving care and transport the infirm to a hospital or any medical institution.
A 911 operator dispatches EMTs to the emergency scene. They immediately assess the nature of the patient’s condition. Following proper rules, protocols and guidelines, they transport the patient to a medical facility while giving medical care. EMTs operate in emergency medical services systems under the guidance and direction of a physician. In hospitals, emergency medical technicians send patients to emergency rooms, provide medical-related information about the patients, as well as report any observations and other data related to individual cases. They document the trip, replenish used supplies and recheck equipment after a run. They decontaminate the van if the transported patient has a contagious disease and then they report the case to the proper authorities. The responsibilities of EMTs depend on their skill level (qualification and training) certified accordingly by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). There are five levels First Responder; EMT-Basic; EMT-Intermediate and Paramedic. The EMT-Basic trains to care for patients at the accident scene and transports them under the guidance of more qualified personnel. The EMT-Basic evaluates a patient’s condition and provide temporary solutions to cardiac, respiratory, or trauma emergencies. The EMT-Intermediate has more advanced training but their tasks differ from state to state. Paramedics on the other hand, can administer medications by mouth or intravenously, evaluate electrocardiograms (EKGs), do endotracheal intubations and operate complicated equipments, besides carrying out work that EMTs do. Their roles also may differ from sate to state.
Education and Training Requirements
Candidates need a high school diploma to qualify for a formal emergency medical technician training program. EMTs and paramedics require a license to practice their profession.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements
To become a good EMT, one must have emotional stability, dexterity, agility, and physical coordination, strength and good eyesight.
EMTs work both indoors and outdoors, facing different types of weather conditions. They are required to be physically fit because their tasks involve kneeling, running, bending, and heavy lifting. They are at high-risk contacting contagious diseases and assault from mentally unstable and violent people.
An emergency medical technician makes $37,000 annually on average. Factors such as size of company, location, nature of the industry, benefits and experience may cause salaries to vary considerably among emergency medical technicians.