EMT students should be excited about the current prospects offered by their field. Students poised to obtain certification after testing are in prime positions to benefit from the expected growth scheduled for the next six years. Job prospects are great, particularly in cities with private ambulance organizations.
What Paramedics Do
Emergency Medical Technicians can be employed by various organizations. There are numerous lucrative positions available with public or private service providers. EMTs are required to treat patients while they are transferred from an injury or emergency scene to the nearest appropriate medical center. EMTs are the first line of treatment, diagnosis and stabilization for patients.
EMTs are in High Demand
EMTs, like all employees in the medical field, are always in demand. The work is stressful and there are long hours involved. Of course, being an EMT allows an individual to assist patients in need and the community at large. For those special individuals who are called to vocation the rewards are extremely fulfilling.
Job Prospects are Extremely Favorable
Many cities are growing at such a rapid rate that volunteer EMTs can no longer fill the need. These part time volunteers must be replaced with full-time EMTs. Retiring workers also must be replaced in other areas, and the upcoming changes to the new EMT levels could cause some EMTs to avoid renewing their certification.
Competition will still be higher for local government jobs. Fire departments, police departments and private rescue squad departments offer better salaries and benefits for EMTs, causing the best and the brightest to gravitate towards these organizations. EMTs with certifications and advanced education can expect to acquire more favorable prospects, as with any field.
Changes Expected to Continue
The employment rate of EMTs is expected to continue growing at a rate of 9 percent. This is comparable to the average growth rate for most occupations; however this is a welcome change for EMTs. This level of growth is primarily due to increases in call volumes and an aging population of baby boomers.
An extremely large segment of our population is now growing older. As this population ages, medical emergencies increase causing demand for EMTs to increase. The time EMTs must spend with individual patients is also increasing due to emergency room overcrowding. After ambulances arrive, transferring patients into the care of emergency staff is becoming an extremely slow process. This is tying up EMTs and necessitating hiring new personnel.
Additionally, emergency departments are being required to arrange transport for patients to other hospitals when the staff is too overwhelmed to take on new patients. Transit times are growing and more EMTs must be hired to meet the demand.
How to Become an EMT
The requirements vary from state to state, however the changes planned by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s will be changing this a great deal in the near future. Currently, smaller areas utilize volunteer personnel, but this will certainly change as baby boomers continue to grow older. A few other requirements for EMTs may be:
- Clean criminal record
- Good physique
- High school diploma
How Long Does it Take to Become an EMT?
EMT programs can vary from 6 months to 2 years. Advanced two year degrees are available as well as bachelor’s degree programs. Finding a great educational program is essential when embarking on the journey to become an EMT. Before enrolling, research the school’s job placement rates and the school’s reputation. Also, another sign that a school is reputable is it’s involvement with local emergency medical services.
Preparing for Certification after Training
It’s essential for EMT students to bridge the gap between their education and their certification tests. Prep for testing and practice exams assist students in achieving certification.