How to Become a Emergency Medical Technician
There are different levels of EMTs, however all must know how to assess the emergency scene, control bleeding, assist with childbirth, apply splints, administer oxygen and perform CPR and other basic life support skills. Although a GED or high school diploma is needed to begin the process, you'll need to complete an accredited EMT program, usually a 6-month to 2-year certificate, diploma or associate degree program depending on the level of certification. EMT Basic is the first level of the Emergency Medical Technician system. An EMT I-Basic program will provide you with plenty of hands-on experience in how to perform physical exams, assess trauma, administer oxygen, perform airway maintenance and semi-automatic defibrillation, and administer medication.
The EMT Intermediate (EMT II and EMT III) have more advanced training and thus have more responsibilities. They are allowed to administrate intravenous fluids, use of manual defibrillators to give life-saving shocks to stopped hearts, and applicate advanced airway techniques and equipment to assist patients experiencing respiratory emergency. Paramedics (EMT-paramedic) have the most training and administer more emergency medications and perform a wider variety of procedures.
EMTs of all levels must have good physical strength and skills. It is important that they have good vision and are emotionally stable. EMTs work in all types of conditions and weather and are often required to do considerable kneeling, bending, and heavy lifting. EMTs employed by fire departments work 40-50 hours per week; those employed by hospitals frequently work between 40-60 hours per week; and those employed by private ambulance services work between 45-50 hours per week.
The US Department of Labor predicts career opportunities for EMTs will grow faster than average through the year 2014. Paid EMTs will continue to replace unpaid volunteers because of population growth and urbanization. Employment opportunities are available with fire and police departments, hospital emergency departments, ambulance services, and clinics. The best opportunities will be for those individuals who have advanced certification because of the higher level of care needed before arriving at the hospital.
How Much Does a Emergency Medical Technician Make - Emergency Medical Technician Salaries
According to the American Medical Association EMT salaries range between $40,000-$46,000 annually.