How Do I Become an EMT?

If you are interested in a type of career where no two days are the same and you are providing first response care to a variety of people, you may be wondering, “How do I become an EMT?” This career choice is not for the faint of heart, since you will be seeing patients who are sick or injured as part of your job.

When an emergency call is received, EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) are dispatched to the scene. Before starting treatment, they observe the scene to determine whether it is safe, as well as the number of victims and the type of injuries they have sustained. In a situation where the EMTs are on scene before law enforcement personnel arrive, they will need to set up road flares, remove debris and direct traffic around the scene.

Emergency Medical Technicians assess a patient’s injuries and may administer the following types of treatment, depending on his or her condition and the nature of the illness or injuries:

• Administering oxygen
• Assisting with childbirth
• Bandaging wounds
• Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
• Opening an airway
• Treating shock
• Ventilating a patient

EMTs accompany the patient to the hospital and monitor his or her condition while en route. The EMT is also responsible for restocking the ambulance with supplies and making sure that it is ready for the next run.

Basic Qualifications to Become an EMT

All EMTs must meet the following basic qualifications:

• Minimum of 18 years of age
• Valid driver’s license
• High school diploma or GED

EMT Education Requirements

There are two ways you can get the education required to become an EMT. You can enroll in an approved EMT training course or go to a community college. If you choose the community college option, you will be in school for two years; the EMT training program will be shorter and may be offered on a part-time basis.

The curriculum for the Associate degree program will include courses in the following:

• Anatomy and Physiology
• Business Computer Applications
• Cardiology
• Emergency Pharmacology
• EMS Operations
• EMS Research
• Introductory Sociology
• Medical Emergencies
• Patient Assessment and Airway Management
• Special Populations
• Trauma Management

Online Emergency Medical Technician training programs are also available. A student would start take classes by viewing Powerpoint presentations, listening to audio clips or watching videos. Assignments would be submitted online. Students will be able to interact with their instructors and each other by posting on discussion boards. If you are interested in the online course option, look for one which includes some time spent in the classroom for practical training.

A number of EMT students get practical experience by volunteering with a company. All EMTs need write certification exams before receiving their EMT-Basic designation, which is required before you will be able to start working.

The work that EMTs perform is important and requires mature individuals who can stay calm and think logically in stressful situations. The answer to the question, “How do I become an EMT?” is that you need to complete a training program and certification exams.

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