Did you know the first few minutes of medical attention can be more crucial than the main treatment itself? While the ER doctors play a big role, it is the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) that is crucial in the first moments of distress.
Few jobs save lives as frequently as that of Emergency Medical Technicians. From the moment someone calls 911 until the handing over of the patient to hospitals, EMTs have a host of crucial tasks to perform.
It is easily one of the most rewarding jobs there is. It can also be one of the most stressful jobs as well. Want to know what becoming and being an EMT looks like? Read on to find information about the job.
What Does It Take to Be an EMT?
There are 4 levels of EMTs and each level requires a different degree of certification. The first level is Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), the licensure of which requires completion of the Emergency Medical Responder training program.
Level 2 is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for which you have to finish an accredited EMT course. Completion of the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician course is necessary to be a level 3 EMT.
The fourth level is the Paramedic. With each level, the complexity of the job and duty increases making the job of the paramedic the most complex in pre-hospital emergency care. One has to complete a nationally accredited Paramedic program.
Apart from certificates and training, there are other vital skills you need like crisis management, interpersonal skills, quick judgment, and emotional strength. These skills are essentials to tackle emergencies.
Since you might need to drive the ambulance and carry people, driving and the ability to lift weight is also necessary.
Working as an EMT: Duties
Hospitals, fire departments, private ambulance services, and other rescue operations hire EMTs. Typically, the job requires you to answer emergency calls and reach the place of incident fast.
Then you must evaluate the patient’s condition, provide emergency care, document information, transport, and handover the patient to the hospital.
Maintaining a clean and well-equipped ambulance and decontaminating it after carrying every patient is also the duty of EMTs. The common cases faced by EMTs are road accidents, childbirth, suicides, assault, and disaster rescues.
Average Pay and Hours
According to a survey, the median pay of an EMT is $37,040 per year. The pay increases as your qualification, skills, and experience increase.
The pay also varies from state to state. According to ZipRecruiter, EMTs in New York are paid the highest with the average being $15.78 an hour.
The work hours and terms of work of an EMT vary widely. Some organizations offer fixed 8-10 hours shifts. On the other hand, some jobs entail you to be on-call for 24 hours followed by 24 hours off.
While working long shifts might look like a stretch, many EMTs enjoy the long breaks that follow.
How to Become an EMT
EMT is the easiest medical position to get into as you don’t need a college degree for it. You can do EMT training after getting a GED or High School diploma.
Following the training, you need to sit for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam, which is national. It is conducted in two parts: written or cognitive exam and practical exam.
When it comes to issuing licenses, the states have their own rules. Many states issue licenses once you successfully clear NREMT while others may require additional testing.
The demand for EMTs and paramedics is increasing 6% faster than other jobs. So, finding a job isn’t difficult once you obtain an EMT license. You can find job opportunities on many online platforms like Indeed, Glassdoor, and UCHealth.
EMTs are frontline workers who play a crucial part in the health care system. You can start as an EMT and learn your way into becoming a paramedic. Nothing can be more rewarding than being able to save lives for a living.