Employment As An EMT Can Jump Start Your Career

If you are looking for an exciting career in the healthcare field, becoming an EMT might be right up your alley. An Emergency Medical Technician responds to all kinds of emergencies in a variety of settings and provides emergency care that can help save a life. If you're wondering how to become an EMT, this article will explain more about the process. An EMT may be required to obtain a state license, a national license or both, depending on where they live and where they will be employed. Make sure that you check your local EMS licensing criteria before you invest in any type of EMT training or EMT schools to ensure that they are compatible with each other.

There are several different levels of Emergency Medical Technicians, beginning with an EMT Basic up to a Paramedic. There are also first responders who are trained in basic CPR and First Aid, which is one level below an EMT-Basic. First responders may also require certification, depending on their state. The EMT-Basic is the lowest level of Emergency Medical Technicians. After an EMT-Basic is an EMT-Intermediate, or EMT-Critical Care. There are a few different levels of pre-hospital care certification that can be built upon each other to enhance your training. Paramedics have to start as an EMT-Basic before they can advance to the level of Paramedic. No matter what your goals are in emergency medical training, you will be required to start as an EMT-Basic, and you can advance from there if you so desire. You will need to enroll in EMT-Basic school and eventually, Paramedic School. Be sure to check that any Paramedic school that you enroll in will meet your state's criteria for certification. 

The first thing I recommend for anyone who is interested in learning how to become an EMT is a personal self-check. An EMT responds to some very dangerous and sometimes emotionally trying situations that can be difficult to handle. EMTs see people at some of the worst moments of their lives and sometimes, during the final moments of their lives. An EMT is required to perform CPR, stop bleeding and help facilitate breathing when it becomes necessary, among a multitude of other tasks. Providing good patient care will inevitably entail constant exposure to bloodborne pathogens and other dangerous materials. The job can be gory and unpleasant at times, especially when the EMT is required to respond to shootings or burning buildings. Take a minute and do a self check to decide if you have the mental ability to handle a large variety of stressful and dangerous situations. This can save you a lot of time and money in the long run, if you find that being an EMT isn't for you.

If you think you can handle the fast-paced world of Emergency Medical Technicians, go down to your local American Heart Association or local American Red Cross and get your CPR certification. A CPR card is a pre-requisite to attend most EMT training schools, so it's a good idea to get it out of the way as soon as you can. Even more importantly, CPR is a skill that you will certainly use on the job. The more proficient you become, the better it will be for your patient care, and it can truly make the difference between a life lost and a life saved. You might be able to obtain a free CPR class through your local fire department, otherwise, you will need to pay for your CPR certification class. You might be able to enroll in a free EMT class if you volunteer enough time with your local fire department.

After you have obtained your CPR certification card, you need to research EMT training schools. Going to EMT school can be expensive, so be sure to compare EMT school tuition rates before you decide on a school. There are also a variety of educational delivery methods, including day schools, night schools and even online EMT training. Some colleges offer a certificate course that doesn't require any pre-requisites to attend. Depending on your learning style, an online EMT course may or may not be beneficial to you. Online EMT classes require a great deal of self-discipline in order to be successful. You will also be required to participate in clinical rotations at the end of your EMT training to apply what you have learned in class in a pre-hospital and in-hospital setting. Clinical rotations can be stressful, make sure that you are adequately prepared for your clinicals before you begin.

Make sure that you have gotten an exam with your family physician and that you have all of your required immunizations before you participate in any clinical rotations. Your physician will examine you to make sure that you are healthy enough to endure the physical rigors of working in EMS. It is a very physical job and requires you to be in excellent physical condition. You will be required to be immunized before you can have contact with patients. These mandated immunizations are for your own protection, as well as your patients. 

Complete your EMT training and your clinical rotations. Depending on your state, you will be required to do a certain amount of ambulance rotations and a certain amount of hospital rotations in order to meet your state's requirements. You will need to have clinical evaluations filled out by your preceptor who supervised you on your clinicals. This will provide evidence that you were able to perform satisfactorily and have received adequate training. Try to take full advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you during clinical rotations; you only get the benefit of being a student once.

Once you have passed all of your exams and fulfilled all of your EMT school's requirements, you are ready to test for your EMT license. You will be required to take two different types of exams: a practical (hands-on) exam and a written exam. Most states require that you take both types of exams with National Registry, in addition to obtaining state licensure. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) provides standards and oversight for those in the EMS community. Holding National Registry is considered the gold standard; many states will grant a state EMT license based off of having National Registry Certification. Once you have passed the necessary practical and written tests that are applicable to your state, you are now an EMT.

Before you search for employment as an EMT, make sure that you are in top physical shape. This means losing a few pounds if needed and get some good cardiovascular training in. Aside from the obvious, many employers administer a Physical Aptitude Test for all new employees. If you fail this test, you cannot be hired as an EMT. Eat healthy and maintain good physical fitness; your job and your patients are depending on it.

EMT School

Before you can become an EMT, you will need to attend EMT school.