Emergency Medical Technician: Job DescriptionDecember 23, 2013
Emergency medical technicians and paramedics respond to emergency calls, performing medical services and transporting patients to medical facilities. In an emergency, the quick reaction and competent care of EMTs and paramedics at the scene can mean the difference between life and death to the injured.
At the scene of an emergency, EMTs and paramedics often have to work together with police and firefighters. Emergency medical technicians use special equipment, including restraints and backboards to keep patients safe and secure while they are transported to the hospital in an ambulance.
Primary Job Description
As an Emergency medical technician, here are some of the main jobs you will be required to do when there is any emergency:
- Respond to 911 calls for emergency medical assistance, ranging from bandaging a wound to life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Follow guidelines that you learned in training and that you received from on-the-job physicians
- Do an on the spot assessment of the patient’s condition and determine a proper course of treatment
- Use backboards and restraints to immobilize patients and secure them in the ambulance for transport
- Help transfer patients to the emergency department of a healthcare facility and report their observations and first aid treatment to the taking-over hospital staff
- Create a patient care report, documenting the medical care given to the patient at the scene and en-route to the hospital
- Replace used supplies and check or clean equipment after use
When transporting a patient to the hospital, one EMT may monitors the patient’s vital signs and provide additional ambulatory care while the other is drives the ambulance . Some emergency medical technicians work as part of a helicopter’s flight crew to transport critically ill or injured patients to a hospital.
Additional job description
EMTs and paramedics are also responsible for taking patients from one medical facility to another if they need to be transferred to a specialty hospital for specialized treatment or to a long-term care facility, such as a rehabilitation home or a nursing home.
Your specific responsibilities as an emergency medical technician will depend on your level of training as well as the state you work in.
EMT certification is provided by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).
There are 4 levels of certification:
Level 1- EMT-Basic: An EMT-Basic cares for patients at the scene of the crime and while transporting them to the hospital in an ambulance. An EMT-Basic is trained in basic emergency care, which includes assessing the severity of the patient’s condition and managing trauma, respiratory and cardiac emergencies.
Levels 2 & 3 – EMT-Intermediate: An EMT- Intermediate or Advanced EMT does additional training for more advanced skills, such as administering intravenous fluids and prescribing certain medications. There are two EMT Intermediate levels – the 1985 and 1999. Each of these has slightly different responsibilities.
Level 4 – Paramedic: A paramedic is qualified to provide more extensive pre-hospital treatment and care as compared to emergency medical technicians. In addition to an EMT’s responsibilities, paramedics can also interpret electrocardiograms, administer oral or intravenous medications and use other monitors and complex equipment.
Some states may have their own certification programs and use different titles.
Besides, the specific tasks or procedures EMTs and paramedics are allowed to perform at any level vary by state.