Emergency Medical Technician Jobs

Emergency Medical Technician Job Description

Some of the more specific tasks and duties that an emergency medical technician (EMT) technician is responsible for include:

  • Responding to emergency calls
  • Driving the ambulance to the location provided to the 911 dispatcher, using the quickest route possible, but while observing traffic regulations regarding operating an emergency vehicle
  • Sizing up the scene where the emergency has taken or is taking place to determine that it is safe, the  number of patients, and if he or she should request additional assistance
  • Creating a safe traffic situation if law enforcement is absent
  • Determining which patients or the most critically ill or injured
  • Establishing priority as to which patients should be attended to first and which can wait until later
  • Providing immediate care to critically injured and/or ill
  • Reassuring bystanders and patients by working in a very efficient and confident manner
  • Determining which is the most appropriate facility to bring the patient, unless directed by other staff
  • Transporting patients to a hospital or other medical facility
  • Reporting the nature of the patient’s condition to the facility’s staff
  • Complying with rules and regulations regarding handling the deceased
  • Following each call, replacing and restocking used blankets, linens, and other supplies as well as cleaning all equipment
  • Maintaining ambulance and keeping it in efficient and effective operating order

Since emergency services function at all hours, EMTs will often have to word odd hours. This is simply part of the job.

EMT Training & Other Requirements

A high school diploma is first required before a person can enter any sort of EMT training program. There are generally three different levels of training: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, and Paramedic.

At the first level, the EMT-Basic level, a person will learn about emergency skills such as patient assessment, emergency childbirth, airway obstruction, dealing with bleeding and fractures, and managing trauma, respiratory, and/or cardiac emergencies. Most of the time, training will also include time spend in an ambulance or emergency department. Students are also able to work with a variety of emergency equipment. Graduates must pass a practical and written exam.

At the EMT-Intermediate level, the requirements vary by state. Generally, between 30 and 350 hours of training are required based on the scope of practice. Students will learn an array of advanced skills as well.

At the Paramedic level, you’ll receive training in advanced medical skills as well as anatomy and physiology. Most of the time, the training is done at technical schools or community collages and could result in associate’s degrees.

Whatever level of training you obtain, all EMTs must acquire a state license in order to legally operate as an emergency medical technician. However, the licenses and levels vary state by state, so be sure to do your research.

It’s important to understand that the learning never stops for an emergency medical technician. A successful EMT will continuously attend workshops and conferences to stay on top of recent regulations and technological advances.

EMT wages start around $12/hour and will be dependent on the location, experience and education. Higher populated cities will pay EMT’s more. Becoming an EMT is usually the starting point of becoming a Paramedic and can lead to many other jobs in the medical field, including Firefighter.

If you’re interested in entering the healthcare industry and want to really make a difference, consider training to become an EMT technician.

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