Individuals interested in becoming an Emergency Medical Technician need to complete a rigorous program in order to become certified in their field. EMTs are responsible for providing immediate medical care in emergency situations, and also for transporting patients to a hospital or medical center as quickly as possible. EMTs work closely with paramedics, the fire department and an ambulance team to assist injured individuals 24 hours per day. In order to fulfill all of their job duties, they must attend an EMT school and successfully complete a training program before sitting for an examination.
Roles and Responsibilities of an EMT
EMTs typically work irregular hours, are required to perform many of their duties on an 'on call' basis, and are often faced with life-and-death situations. They provide support and care for patients who are in an emergency situation, and typically work in teams with a paramedic, helicopter crew or ambulance driver.
They must be able to communicate effectively with emergency medical personnel upon arrival at the hospital, prepare and disinfect their vehicles, and administer emergency care for cardiac, respiratory and traumatic injury situations. In many cases, they must administer services en route to the medical facility or hospital. EMT training programs and schools prepare students in all of these critical areas.
Reasons to Attend EMT School
EMT schools around the country offer specialized classes so that students can earn their certification with ease. Programs are available in both online and offline formats, and make it easier for students to study for their exam. Some of the key reasons to attend EMT school include:
Receiving specialized training
Getting hands-on training in 'mock' ambulance and hospital settings
Gaining experience in diagnosing health problems and treating injuries
Obtaining comprehensive training specifically for EMT certification
One-on-one interaction with instructors for assistance
About EMT Certification
All states in the United States require EMTs pass their certification exam and then register with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). Some states offer their own certification examination, and their schools may offer the option of completing the NREMT examination as part of the training program.
There are four levels of certification, and training programs include both classroom and hands-on training in an ambulatory care or hospital setting. Certificates must be renewed every two years, and the EMT or paramedic must pay a fee in order to maintain their certification.
Preparing for Certification
Training programs offer skills development and hands-on experience in all areas of patient care in emergency situations. Students must have a high school diploma or GED in order to enroll in an accredited program. Certification programs typically between six months or two years to complete.
Basic EMT programs prepare students to take an entry-level position in the field, but there are several levels of certification programs available. Aspiring EMTs must complete their I-Basic Certification, and can then pursue a two-year associate's degree or take advanced courses to receive the second or third level certification.
Online EMT Training Programs
Anyone interested in completing their certification courses while working full time or raising a family can opt for an online program. These programs are designed to provide trainees with more flexibility and all classroom work is delivered through an online platform. Online programs provide students with the skills and knowledge to complete their certification exam successfully, and cover key subjects including pediatric life support, basic life support, basic health care techniques and medical terminology amongst others.
Some online programs may require students to complete hands-on training at a separate facility so that they can gain skills in working in the fast-paced hospital or ambulance setting.
Types of EMT Classes
The types of classes available through most programs include:
In addition to understanding medical terminology and protocol, EMTs must be able to work in highly-stressful situations, work with a variety of patients, and stay focused under pressure.
Other Information About EMT Education
State training requirements vary significantly, and some online programs may not provide the full range of courses needed to become a qualified EMT for a fire or police department, hospital or private ambulance. All students interested in completing training and obtaining employment after certification should check all state regulations for acquiring a license and for maintaining certification.