A Day in the Life of an EMT
Most people dread receiving the types of calls Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) answer. Someone is hurt. Someone is dying. Emergency assistance is needed. Every day EMTs receive calls to assist someone in need. Calls could be simple or life-threatening, but responding to them all in a professional and confident manner is what an EMT does. EMTs are are modern day heroes.
There are very few ordinary days for EMTs. Routines can change on the fly. Although most calls aren’t as dramatic as those shown on TV, EMT personnel can attest that hours of calm can end in receiving an emergency call that gets adrenaline pumping. Life is rarely dull for an EMT.
EMTs must assess a patient and transport them to medical facilities if necessary. Upon arriving at the scene of an accident or medical emergency, EMTs must evaluate patients to determine priorities. Stabilizing a patient is the primary goal; in order to do this, EMTs must determine whether a patient can breathe, if they are conscious, or if there is uncontrolled bleeding. If any of these factors are present, emergency medical care could be required.
EMT Training and Certification
The training and certification an EMT receives dictates what care an EMT can provide for patients. There are various available levels of training for EMTs, from EMT-Basic to EMT-Paramedic. Entry level EMTs won’t have the same skill sets as EMTs with more advanced levels of training. However, even an EMT with EMT-Basic training can still be responsible for administering life-saving procedures.
There are essentially three levels involved in the EMT field, EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and EMT Paramedic. Each level of certification allows the EMT to perform various medical tasks. Higher certification levels equate to more responsibility. EMTs are certified through testing and can benefit from test prep and practice scenarios.
Individuals with EMT-Basic training often handle the following:
- Behavioral emergencies
- Cardiac emergencies
- Respiratory emergencies
- Cardiac issues
- Diabetic emergencies
- Allergic reactions
- Suspected poisonings
Characteristics of Successful EMTs
EMTs must be able to remain calm in stressful situations. They must be capable of obtaining a patient’s medical history and discovering whether or not they are currently taking any medications. This requires EMTs to be intelligent, calm, organized and strong. EMTs must be able to lift heavy weights and kneel periodically. Working as an EMT can be physically exhausting, but the feeling of making a difference is extremely rewarding.
Life is Never Dull for an EMT
While most emergency calls won’t require encountering hazards, it can happen from time to time. EMTs are trained to respond to risky situations in the safest manner possible. EMTs are trained to handle a variety of situations in a professional manner. Students leave classes with a high level of confidence and capability.
EMT Earnings and Benefits
EMTs usually earn between $21,000 and $35,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The salary an EMT receives generally reflects the differences in skill levels and responsibility. Additional training and certification can increase earnings exponentially. For EMTs who join the ranks of police and fire departments, benefits can increase dramatically.
Being an EMT Offers Job Security
EMTs can be employed in a variety of settings. Many individuals find work in industrial positions as well as entertainment and sports. Pre-hospital, hospital, and healthcare settings are the most common, but private agencies, fire departments, and police departments also hire EMTs.
Finding employment as an EMT isn’t hard. The field is essentially recession-proof and many cities and municipalities are suffering through shortages of EMTs currently. Being employed as an EMT offers individuals a level of job security that most fields don’t have.