Plan a Good Career By Taking EMT Training
What is EMT?
EMT stands for emergency medical technician. This is a term used for a health care provider that can give emergency medical services to patients. This is actually a broad term and it covers a wide range of responsibilities that refer to emergency response.
Traditionally, emergencies refer to events that are urgent, critical, or life threatening, but as people’s needs changed, the concept of emergency care is now broadened to include the concept of situations that a patient or a family considers an emergency. An EMT must deal with these situations efficiently, that is why EMT training is extensive, demanding and strict.
EMTs can assume varied responsibilities depending on the training they underwent. They can work as the direct provider of emergency care or they can assume a supporting role to the emergency team. Usually hospitals have a team of EMTs on standby in cases of emergency. Fire departments, police stations and companies may also have the same team on standby in case people need their help urgently. Emergency response is a job that entails high amounts of stress, critical thinking, and physical hard work. This is why extensive training and experience is a needed point on how to become an EMT.
How to Become an EMT
Emergency response, CPR, and trauma care are just some of the situations dealt with by an EMT. Extensive training in advanced life support, specialized education training on medical procedures, and on the job experience are absolutely necessary to gain the expertise to quickly and correctly respond to an emergency situation.
To become an EMT, the candidate must be properly educated on the principles of emergency care. These principles are divided into two sections: Trauma and Medical (also known as non-trauma).
- Trauma involves situations where the patient has damage to their body. Examples include: open wounds, fractures, serious bleeding and even amputations
- Medical involves situations where there is no physical damage to the body. Examples include: cardiac arrest, seizures, and diabetic comas.
Training and education for EMTs vary from country to country. In some places, qualified candidates for EMT training are those who have finished a four year bachelor’s degree (in health care or related medical field) or at least 2 years in a college or university.
In the U.S. this might not be necessary as high school graduates can take the National Registry for Medical Technicians Tests (NREMT) to qualify as an EMT. Checking the regulations in your country or state is very important before you decide to take EMT training. In some states, certain tests are also required to assess your qualification for the training program. The tests would assess your capability to pass the training and eventually deal with emergency situations in real life.
Training for EMTs usually begins with the basics of emergency response. Candidates are trained on the concepts of basic life support and first aid. This training usually involves classroom instruction and practicums or live demonstrations. The combination of these two is necessary so students will better remember the concept and how it can be applied in a real-life scenario by mimicking one in a classroom setting.
What EMT Courses Cover
For the beginner, you’ll typically take training as an EMT-B (Basic). Basic life support training is usually less lengthy compared to the advanced training which involve more classroom and practice hours. EMT-B trainees learn the following:
- How to perform CPR
- When and how to operate an automated external defibrillator (AED)
- How to treat for symptoms of shock
- How to properly splint and immobilize a limb (legs or arms)
- How to fully immobilize a patient with a suspected head or neck injury
- Controlling Bleeding
- Opening and Administering an Airway
- And more…
Levels Of EMTs
In the U.S., EMTs have four levels and each level has a specific scope of practice and competency. EMT–B or EMT Basic for example is the entry level for EMTs. At this level, students are trained on employing interventions that are generally non-invasive. As the student progresses to the intermediate levels (EMT I/85, EMT I/99) the curriculum then focuses on advanced measures for critical care and more invasive procedures such as insertion of intravenous fluids, intubation and administration of emergency drugs. An EMT is required to complete and pass training for that level, before qualifying for the next.
After passing all the classroom trainings, an EMT is also required to do field internships. Exposure to the clinical area (hospitals, emergency rooms, or ambulances) is required so that students can get hands-on experience of the job. This experience is of course supervised by clinical instructors. After completing classroom and field experience, prospective EMTs must then pass the NREMT test to certify them as full pledged EMT. Passing the NERMT is the culmination of your EMT training, and that is how to become an EMT.
Becoming A Paramedic
If the candidate wishes to become a paramedic (the highest level of EMT), then they are required to attend more training and take the EMT-P examination. The main difference between an EMT-B and an EMT-P is primarily the level of skill in administering emergency care and an EMT-P is authorized (in most States) to administer various medications. An EMT-B is not allowed to administer any medication other than oral glucose and activated charcoal.