Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) / Paramedic

Emergency Medical Technicians – aka EMTs – and Paramedics are called upon to save lives and bring calm to difficult situations every day. They are the first line response in a medical crisis, whether it is a road accident, a violent attack, a woman in unexpected labor or a person suffering from an emergency medical problem such as a heart attack or stroke; every day brings something new.

What do EMTS and Paramedics Have to Do?

Ambulance

When a call comes into any 911 emergency center and medical assistance is required the telephone operator will quickly access the basics of the situation as best they can and dispatch a crew. The EMTs and Paramedics have only the limited information that the phone operator has been able to obtain so as they rush to the scene they do have to be prepared for anything both physically and mentally.

People's lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics. Incidents as varied as car and motorcycle accidents, heart attacks, slips and falls, childbirth, and traumatic wounds from guns or knives require immediate medical attention or the story may have a tragic rather than a happy ending. EMTs and paramedics provide this vital service each and every day as they care for their charges for the duration of the trip to the nearest medical facility.

There are two levels of basic certification for EMTS – Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support – while Paramedics represent the elite of emergency medicine. Paramedic training affords them the certification and expertise to make crucial patient assessments on site and while they are not MDs Paramedics and paramedic level trained EMTs follow many prescribed physician protocols and can perform airway management and administer lifesaving treatments or drugs. Additionally, it is fairly common for paramedics to pursue a respiratory therapist degree or a similar degree on top of their basic certifications.

Learn more about Paramedic/EMT training

 

Who Do EMTs and Paramedics Work With?

Both EMTs and Paramedics must work very closely with other branches of the emergency services – the police and fire crews – as well as with all levels of other medical staff. It is the EMTs and paramedics who are responsible for informing emergency room staff of their findings so that effective treatments can begin immediately.

The actual day to day duties performed by a professional working in this field depend very much upon the level of schooling they decide to complete. It is not uncommon however for a person to begin working as an EMT in the field while they still continue to take classes to advance to the higher paying and more responsible level of paramedic.

Learn more about EMT/Paramedic Schools