Everything You Need To Know About EMT Training

An EMT or Emergency Medical Technician is a very rewarding career if you enjoy a challenge, love doing physical work, get a kick out of helping people and are interested in things medical. EMT Training is essential for anyone wishing to become an emergency medical technician or a Paramedic.

EMTs and Paramedics are usually sent to the scene of a disaster, accident or violent assault by 911 operators, and it is their job to asses, treat and stabilize the patient or patients prior to moving them to a hospital by ambulance or helicopter. The EMT will also continue to monitor and keep the patient stable during transit.

EMT Basic Job Description

When an emergency situation such as a fire, accident, violent assault, sports injury, heart attack or stroke occurs, the first people that are usually dispatched to the scene are EMS services including First Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians and/or Paramedics.

The basic duty of the EMT is to provide initial life-saving medical care, determining the most suitable medical facility for the patient to be transported to and then transporting the patient.

The basic job description of an Emergency Medical Technician

Patient Assessment – The first thing that the Emergency Medical Technician does when they get to an emergency scene is to assess the condition of the patient. They determine the nature and the extent of the injury or medical condition (in the case of a heart attack or stroke for instance). They also check for identification, medical alert bracelets or necklaces and whether the patient is carrying any medication.

Basic Life Support – It is the duty of the EMT to provide basic life-support including ventilating the patient if necessary, airway management, applying cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use of an automatic defibrillator. This includes monitoring the patient and keeping them stabilized during transit.

Additional Care – Additional pre-hospital care such as controlling any bleeding, treating the patient for shock, bandaging wounds and immobilizing broken bones may also be required in order to stabilize the patient before transporting them to a hospital.

Communication with Dispatch – The EMT stays in touch with their dispatch, keeping them apprised of the situation and requesting back-up should the situation require it.

Ambulance Maintenance – Once the patient has been handed over to the medical personnel at a hospital the EMT will ensure that the ambulance is tidied up, cleaned and disinfected if necessary and re-stocked so that it is ready for the next call.

EMTs have to undergo specific Emergency Medical Technician Training in various medical disciplines so that they are qualified to handle different emergency situations. There are different levels of emergency medical technicians and each has had different training and can perform different life-saving duties. The levels are progressive, starting at Emergency Medical Responder and progressively up to Paramedic.

It is of the utmost importance that your EMT Training is done at an accredited institution in order for you to get certified. The duration of EMT National Training Programs is between six months and four years, depending on the level of the qualification that you are doing. Graduates of Community College EMT Courses receive associates degrees, and graduates from a four-year Emergency Medical Technician Training receive a Bachelor Degree in Emergency Medical Technology.

Characteristics Of An Emergency Medical Technician

Being an EMT takes a lot out of one as the hours are long; the job is hard physically and emotionally. It is for this reason that many EMTs eventually move on to other disciplines in the EMT field. It is also for this reason that it takes a very specific type of person to follow an EMT career.

Specific skills that an EMT needs:

Active Listening – EMTs must be able to give their full attention to patients who are speaking to them as they may be trying to give pertinent information under stressful circumstances. This includes asking the right questions when and if needed.

Coordination – An EMT must be able to work in conjunction with others and change their actions in accordance to sudden changes and actions by another.

Critical Thinking – An EMT needs to be able to identify weaknesses and strengths in various approaches by applying logical thinking and analysis.

Equipment Selection – It is crucial that the EMT knows which equipment is best for a particular situation and also that they know how to use it.

Speaking – Part of an EMTs duties is to access information from a patient and to calm them down under what may be harrowing circumstances. This calls for excellent communication skills.

Emergency Medical Technician Training

Apart from first responders, who work alongside police and fire-fighters to give initial preliminary first aid to patients at emergency scenes, there are three levels of Emergency Medical Technicians; Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B), Emergency Medical Technician-Intermediate (EMT-I), and Emergency Medical Technician- Paramedic (EMT).

1. EMT Training – Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B)

An emergency medical technician needs to haveEMT Training an enormous amount of knowledge of the human anatomy, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, and first aid, and must also be able to work well even when under pressure. EMT National Training for the EMT-B consists of a combination of EMT Training in a classroom as well as fieldwork.

Students on these certificate EMT Courses are taught the basic of emergency care such as taking vital signs, applying splints, performing physical examinations, and controlling bleeding. It is also important that EMTs learn how to deal with poisoning, heart attacks, drug abuse, fractures and burns.

Basic EMT Training teaches future emergency medical technicians how to operate oxygen equipment, stethoscopes, nasal and oral devices and extrication tools. The majority of EMT programs work with an assigned medical facility where the students complete their required 180 hours of hours of on-the-job ambulance and hospital training.

Education Prerequisites

  • You must be 18 years old and have a high-school diploma or GED.
  • You must pass a criminal background check.
  • You must submit your current immunization records upon enrolment in an EMT Course.
  • Some EMT Courses require you to have a current CPR certificate and some prior medical experience.

Program Coursework
The basic EMT National Training provides students with fundamental training on how to respond to emergency medical situations and what to monitor when they are helping someone who is injured. The EMT-Basic curriculum consists of:

  • Basic Emergency Medical Care
  • Human Anatomy
  • Patient Stabilization
  • Pharmacology
  • Trauma Assessment

Employment Prospects and Salary

  • Those who have completed their level-one training are usually employed in county fire-departments and emergency departments amongst other places.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment outlook for EMTs is favorable and is expected to grow approximately 12%.
  • The annual EMT salary for those with the EMT-B certification is between $22,000 and $34,000.

Professional Licensing and Continuing Education

  • Once you have completed the EMT National Training you can apply to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians certification exam.
  • The NRET examination is a computer-based test in which psychomotor and cognitive questions regarding basic emergency service care such as paediatrics, cardiology and trauma.
  • EMTs must be re-certified every 2 years and have to be employed to meet the continuing education requirement.
  • Emergency medical technicians with an EMT-Basic certification may take additional EMT Courses and complete another certification examination in order to upgrade to EMT Intermediate level.

2. EMT Training – Emergency Medical Technician- Intermediate (EMT-I)

Emergency life-saving techniques such as the operation of defibrillators and shocks and advanced intubation techniques are some of the skills that are taught on the intermediate EMT National Training. Students in the EMT-Intermediate certificate program are taught how to carry out emergency care for pre-hospital patients and correctly administer intravenous medication under the supervision of a physician via demonstrations, lectures and clinical training.

These EMT Classes build on the skills that were learned on the EMT-Basic course, but students are allowed to choose a specialization such as trauma, cardiac or shock at this stage. There are two further intermediate levels, EMT-I/85 and EMT-I/99 between the EMT-Basic and the EMT-Paramedic levels, although not all states recognize all the intermediate levels. Some EMT Training programs award a technical diploma instead of issuing a certification of completion.

Education Prerequisites

  • You have to have an EMT-Basic certification, have worked as an EMT for at least one year.
  • You must be in possession of current immunization records and CPR certification in order to enrol in an Emergency Medical Technician Training program.
  • You may not have been found guilty of abuse, been convicted of a felony or have had your EMT license revoked or suspended.

Program Coursework
The intermediate EMT Training program builds on the fundamental training from the EMT-Basic course by giving advanced training in basic skills. The EMT-Intermediate curriculum consists of:

  • Administration of medication
  • Advanced life support
  • Airway management
  • Anatomy II
  • Paediatric emergencies
  • Pre-hospital care
  • Trauma

Employment Prospects and Salary

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook is good and the amount of jobs in the EMT field is expected to rise by 12% through 2016.
  • Emergency Medical Technician jobs also open up often due to EMTs leaving to pursue other fields and due to the stresses of the job.
  • The annual salary for those with the EMT-I certification is between $34,000 and $42,000.

Professional Licensing and Continuing Education

  • Both of the Intermediate exams are offered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.
  • Both are computer-based tests and make use of psychomotor and cognitive testing of skills.
  • EMTs need to get re-certified every two years and need to be working as an EMT in order to meet the continuing education requirement.

3. EMT Training – Emergency Medical Technician- Paramedic (EMT)

The EMT-Paramedic training is the highest level of Emergency Medical Technician training and the one with the most training in emergency medical procedures. A certificated Paramedic can start an intravenous line, administer a range of medications and read an electrocardiogram.

Students who do the Para medic EMT National Training do advanced EMT Classes in assessing injury and trauma in children and the elderly, and have a far more extensive knowledge of critical care, the human body and critical care.

Education Prerequisites

  • Students in the EMT-Paramedic program need to gain experience working in a clinic or hospital under the direct supervision of a physician or registered nurse.
  • To enlist in this EMT Training applicants must have EMT certification and it must be in good standing.
  • Paramedic Emergency Medical Technician Training students must have extensive medical services employment and training.

Program Coursework
Those who graduate from the Paramedic EMT National Training program are also exposed to various other aspects of emergency medical care, such as legal issues and ethics. They can also do endotracheal intubations, and employ a big variety of technologically complex equipment in the discharge of their duties.

They do much more advanced training than any of the other levels and are thus responsible for far more at an emergency scene. The EMT-Intermediate curriculum consists of:

  • Assault and abuse
  • Cardiology
  • Communications
  • Facial trauma
  • Gastroenterology
  • Infectious diseases
  • Pathophysiology
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Roles and responsibilities of a paramedic
  • Toxicology

Employment Prospects and Salary

  • Because of their advanced EMT Training, Paramedics are in great demand and can access employment in several fields.
  • Paramedics can be dispatchers, become marketing professionals for EMT equipment companies, become supervisors, or managers of emergency services.
  • The annual salary for those with the Paramedic certification is between $40,000 and $70,000.

Professional Licensing and Continuing Education

  • Once they have completed the Paramedic EMT Training, they can apply to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians-Paramedic certification test.
  • This test is computer-based and seeks to test the skills that the paramedic ahs learned, including and patient assessment, medication administration and cardiac management,
  • Re-certification must be done every 2 years and the Paramedics must be working and in good standing when they apply in order to fulfill the continuing education requirement.

EMT Refresher Course

EMTs need to renew their certification every few years, and they do this by doing an EMT Refresher Course. These EMT Courses are offered by hospitals and community colleges and meet the educational credential requirements for both national and state certification renewals.

EMT First Responder Refresher Course

  • EMT first responders work alongside fire-fighters and police officers to administer preliminary emergency medical care until more qualified medical professionals arrive.
  • Refresher EMT Classes review subjects such as bleeding control and stabilization of broken bones, wound care, and CPR, and covers any advances in first response care.
  • EMT first responder refresher courses generally consist of 16 hours of classroom instruction.

EMT-Basic Refresher Course

  • EMT-Basic personnel provide emergency medical care at an emergency site and can also keep a patient stabilized in an ambulance on the way to a hospital.
  • Students enrolled in this EMT Class are taught any updated methods of emergency medical care skills.
  • This EMT Course covers oxygen administration, cardiac arrest treatment, trauma management, triage and emergency childbirth delivery.
  • These refresher courses consist of 24-hour EMT Classes.

EMT- Intermediate Refresher Course

  • EMT-Intermediate is the second highest EMT level.
  • The refresher EMT Courses at this level cover pre-hospital care skills, including airway management and ventilation, patient assessment, needle chest decompression and advanced cardiac life support procedures and ECG interpretation.
  • The duration of this refresher course is 36 hours of classroom instruction.

EMT- Paramedic Refresher Course

  • Paramedic is the highest EMT level.
  • Paramedic refresher courses cover the most topics and are the longest.
  • This EMT Class covers the same curriculum as the lower-level EMT Courses but a paramedic refresher course delves deeper into obstetrics, paediatric, and geriatric care.
  • This EMT Course lasts approximately 48 hours.

The EMT Refresher Course is not only for those who need to renew their certification but also for those whose certification has expired not more than 2 years previously. One can also do an online refresher course, but always bear in mind that whichever type of Emergency Medical Technician Training you do, it must always be done through an accredited institution. You can only sit for the certification exam if the course is accredited.

One of the most renowned online EMT Refresher Courses is the U.S. Department of Transportation EMT Course, which is a 24-hour online EMT Class. The course is presented by Mark Komins B.S.E.M.S., Paramedic, of the EMS Training Institute, who has been an Emergency Medical Services Educator and Provider for more than ten years. The EMS Training Institute is CECBEMS accredited approved EMT School and a BLS & ALS Continuing Education provider for the National Registry.

The course does not have to be completed at once, but can all be done online at your own pace. This EMT Refresher Course qualifies for Instructor Based and CE Training and this will be noted on your certificate.

EMT Paramedic Training

A Paramedic is the person you see rushing around at the scene of an accident or a rescue situation whether it is as a result of an automobile accident, a climbing accident where someone is stuck in a ravine, a fire or any number of natural disasters. Paramedics need to undergo very specific training s they are the person in charge of emergency medical attention at the scene. They are the most qualified and often have to give orders to EMTs.

Paramedics usually work in a team of two people, very often with a basic level EMT. Although both of these Emergency Medical Services personnel are highly trained, the paramedic has much more training than the EMT Basic member of the team, which is why they are in charge. Paramedics have far more years of experience too, as most of them started with EMT National Training to become an EMT Basic and did the job for a few years whilst picking up experience and working their way up the ladder, doing the Intermediate EMT course first and then only going on to do the EMT Paramedic Training.

EMT Courses for paramedics are very intense programs and require that the student has strong math, science, leadership and problem-solving skills. EMT Paramedic training programs generally last 1-2 years and frequently culminate in an associate’s degree. Paramedic training is offered at technical schools, community colleges,

Requirements for EMT Paramedic Training

  • Applicants must be 18 years or older by course completion date.
  • Applicants must hold current national certification as an EMT-Basic
  • Applicants must be in possession of a high school diploma or a GED.
  • Applicants must be currently CPR certified and have Physiology and Anatomy from an accredited university or college.

EMT Course – Paramedic

The EMT-Paramedic certificate training is offered full-time and part-time, which may suit some people who would prefer to continue working whilst they are doing the course. The full-time course is two semesters and includes academic and practical studies.

The course covers:

  • Introduction to Advanced Practice
  • Anatomy & Physiology for Paramedic Practice
  • Assessment Based Management
  • Cardiology
  • Clinical I, II, III & IV
  • Emergency Pharmacology
  • EMS Operations
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Patient Assessment & Airway Mgmt
  • Special Populations
  • Trauma Management

Once the Paramedic EMT Classes are completed graduates need to sit for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians paramedic exam. This exam is a 2-part test which comprises of a practical, psychomotor portion and a written, cognitive portion. Certain states may also require you to write a state exam in order to work as a Paramedic in that state. Licensure needs to be renewed every 2-3 years and this is done by earning attending refresher classes and continuing education credits.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 45% of paramedics in the US are employed by ambulatory services, and many others work in hospitals and local governments. The amount of jobs available for paramedics is projected to rise by 9% in the 2008-2018 decade.

Hopefully the above information on EMT Training was of some help to you. Now that you know what it takes to become an Emergency Medical Technician, the only thing that you have to do to take the next step is to source an accredited EMT National Training program and start your very worthy career as one of America’s heroes!

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