Become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

February 1, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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The sight of an ambulance signals an emergency in progress. The ambulance driver is in a rush to get his patient to the hospital. We’ve all seen medical dramas where the EMTs rush to and from a scene of a medical emergency, and many people have seen EMTs in action in person.  You may have even had your own life saved by an EMT.  If you thrive in a fast-paced environment, work well under pressure, and want to make a difference in the lives of others, then a career as an EMT might be right for you.

Responsibilities and Duties

As an EMT, you’ll be on call to respond to medical emergencies.  Whether an accident on the road, or an emergency in the home or workplace, when a person calls 9-1-1, the EMT is the first to arrive on the scene.  The EMT will assess the patient quickly and administer immediate medical care related to the emergency – whether cardiac, respiratory, or trauma.  EMTs with special training will also administer fluids through an IV. If you have paramedic training, you’ll also be able to administer life-saving diagnostics and treatments such as EKGs and IV medicines.  You’ll be responsible for transporting your patient to the hospital emergency room in an efficient and safe manner.  This usually involves heavy lifting of the patient on a board or rolling bed and safe, quick driving through the streets, and a detailed account of the status of the patient. Once the patient has arrived at the hospital, the EMT passes his patient off to emergency staff.  But the job is not complete – EMTs must then prepare and replenish their ambulance in anticipation of the next emergency call.

Education and Training

If you want to be involved in the medical field, but are not ready to commit to many years of training, an EMT career may be right for you.  EMTs must be high school graduates; they then take a short-term EMT program over the course of one to two years at technical schools or community colleges.  As an EMT trainee, you’ll learn CPR, anatomy and physiology, and how to administer emergency care.  After 150 hours of training, you’ll sit for a licensing exam given by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).  Once you pass this test, you’ll be on your way to beginning your EMT career. But be aware!  If you have a criminal record, your license to practice as an EMT may be denied.

Career Outlook

Emergency Medical Technicians work very hard; however, they are one of the lowest paid medical professionals.  The average EMT earns up for $30,000. There is anticipated growth in this area, and many job are available at the world continues to deal with violence, natural disasters, and accidents.  Additionally, as populations around the world continue to age, the need for EMTs to assist in medical emergency crises will continue to rise.  If you are interested in a fast-paced, healing career, becoming an EMT could be right for you!
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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives, and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.