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How to Become an Emergency Medical Technician

Majors Overview November 13, 2012

When there are a medical emergency such as a hiking accident, a heart attack or a car accident, the first level of response comes from an emergency medical technician (EMT). An emergency medical technician’s responsibility is to ensure the safety of those who need help and provide basic medical treatment at the scene. Thereafter, they help transport the patients to hospital for treatment by a physician. In this article, I’ll show aspiring EMTs how they can embark on a career as an emergency medical technician.

Aspiring EMTs must complete a basic training program for certification from the state. Once completed, they can upgrade to the intermediate level and finally to an advanced (paramedic) level.

Basic EMT Course

Accredited community hospitals, universities and colleges offer EMT-Basic courses, these courses require students to complete more than 180 hours of study. Once they have completed the course, the prospective emergency medical technicians are ready to take the certification exam.

The students become adept at various skills such as: how to handle emergency childbirth, what are the first response treatment to give in regard to common injuries, how to handle respiratory problems, how to administer bandages, how to deal with blood loss, how to perform CPR, and how to determine the patient’s condition.

The EMT-Basic course requires students to do several hours of classroom work as well as field-work. Having a high school diploma or GED will allow students to enroll into this program.

Intermediate Course

The EMT-Intermediate course takes emergency medical technician training to the next level. The minimum eligibility requirement for enrollment is the completion of EMT-Basic level certification. Advanced techniques and concepts are introduced to students in the EMT-Intermediate course that include administration of certain medications, the use of a defibrillator, administration of IVs, and airway support.

Supplemental Anatomy and Physiology Course

EMTs who wish to continue their medical education will benefit from a course on physiology and anatomy. This is offered by many colleges and universities as supplemental to their EMT training programs. Emergency medical technician who wants to upgrade to the paramedic level are required to attend this course. They are given an overview of topics such as homeostasis, electrolytes, nutrition, microscopic and gross anatomy. The emergency medical technicians improve their understanding of the human body by attending classes in physiology and anatomy. This in turn leads to improved treatment and diagnostic capabilities when they are required to perform in the field.

Life Support Courses

In some EMT programs, students are offered courses on life support, typically it cover issues that are more specific and sophisticated than the ones offered in basic EMT programs. Modes of treating children, treatment of cardiac arrest, treatment of injuries resulting from trauma, and treatment of trauma are some of the topics the programs may include. In certain instances, the classes can result in certification of a specialized nature, as for instance, a certification in advanced pediatric life support.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT Paramedic) Statistics

medical emergency technician

Top Schools with Emergency Medical Technician (EMT Paramedic) Programs

School Name Tuition Size Degrees Granted Degrees Granted By Type
Santa Rosa Junior College
Santa Rosa, CA
$6,562 23,785 860 Certificate (853), Associate (7)
Broward College
Fort Lauderdale, FL
$2,446 37,453 517 Certificate (396), Associate (121)
Instituto de Banca y Comercio
Guaynabo, PR
Unknown 13,315 512 Certificate (512)
South Louisiana Community College
Lafayette, LA
$5,038 4,084 442 Certificate (431), Associate (11)
Miami Dade College
Miami, FL
$11,309 59,120 416 Certificate (338), Associate (78)
Glendale CC – Arizona
Glendale, AZ
$7,638 20,154 406 Certificate (397), Associate (9)
Front Range Community College
Westminster, CO
$10,741 18,151 395 Certificate (395)
Hillsborough Community College
Tampa, FL
$8,851 26,964 383 Certificate (370), Associate (13)
Delgado Community College
New Orleans, LA
$6,433 16,715 358 Certificate (349), Associate (9)

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