Emergency medical technicians (EMT) and paramedics are often the first to respond to the scene of an accident, a health crisis or even a dangerous situation where a person has been injured. These professionals provide a service that is often a matter of life and death. For such a significant responsibility, certification through a formal training program is required.
There are 4 top paramedic / emt schools that stand apart from the rest. Touted as one of the best schools for EMS education, Northeastern University provides its students with an intensive program with the end goal of delivering a well-rounded hands-on learning experience. If you are looking to move forward with your career you would be best served by the Associate of Science in Paramedic Technology degree. This program, will allow you a college-level learning experience that goes far beyond traditional training.
The Emergency Health Services program at The George Washington University has a long-standing commitment to the growth and development of the field of Emergency Medical Service. They have achieved this end, through academic excellence and a commitment to cutting edge technologies. Additionally, collaboration with medical providers to practice the ideals of pre-hospital medicine has put graduates of this program at the forefront of services.
Also among the top schools is Stony Brook University on Long Island’s North Shore. The vast majority of faculty members at Stony Brook hold the highest degrees in their fields and create coursework that is relevant and of interest to the providers of emergency medical services. The EMT-paramedic program provides students with advanced credentials in pediatric, cardiac, and trauma life support that are second to none.
Rounding out the 4 top paramedic / emt schools is Brigham Young University, located in Idaho, and boasting a top-rated Associate degree of Applied Science in Paramedicine. This degree offers essential hands-on training in medical emergencies, cardiology, trauma and assessments. Those training to be a paramedic, have the all-important opportunity to participate in hospital clinicals as well as an essential ambulance internship.
There are countless programs offered through schools, colleges and universities that provide one with the necessary framework for certifications. However, not all programs are created equal, and you want to be sure you will graduate from a program that not only provides the framework for success but proactively creates real world experiences for students to be as prepared as possible for the unexpected.
Before you embark on a new professional career, it’s important to understand the power and responsibilities involved. As a paramedic or EMT professional, your role is critical to the safety, survival, and long-term health of any injured or wounded person. But what does it really take?
Accidents happen at work and at play, on the road and on the front lawn, and it’s paramount that a trained professional is only phone call away, ready and willing to care for those involved. Understanding your role as a paramedic / emt is to understand how crucial your presence at the scene of an emergency may be to someone who needs attending to. You are their lifeline until they reach the hospital or other fully equipped medical facility.
Your knowledge, compassion, and ability to manage stressful situations is vital to how the injured will respond to your care. From having a good sense of reason to exhibiting a high threshold for stress, paramedics are expected to be exemplary on a number of fronts in the face of tragedy. But how do you learn how to wear so many hats?
EMT professionals are required to undertake a few years of classes that teach hopeful students about physiology, anatomy, pharmacology, and the important policies and procedures that must be adhered to in order to effectively, legally, and prudently care for the sick and injured. You must learn what it takes to contribute to life-saving techniques and skills on the road to understanding your role as a paramedic / emt.
The ability to diagnose and assess the immediate and emergent needs of the victim of an accident, illness, or other emergency is essential to a paramedic’s responsibilities. Being quick to physically, emotionally, and professionally respond to an emergency is required of all paramedics as they execute life-saving care to those who need them.
No matter the school or program you choose, it’s important to realize your commitment early on to such an important and impactful role. To be a paramedic is to contribute to the medical world. Be sure your program, workload, and career goals are aligned. Talk to other people who have taken the same career path and heed their advice as you seek to understand your future role as a paramedic / emt.
A paramedic is a medical professional who is trained to respond to emergency medical situations. Unlike doctors and nurses who are trained in maintenance care, a paramedic’s area of expertise involves immediate action and treatment. Paramedics work in ambulances and with first response teams, as well as in hospitals. If you are interested in studying to work as a paramedic, it is important to understand the types of classes that you will be taking.
Depending on the school you attend, you will need to take one long class or several smaller classes based on the fundamentals of being a paramedic. These courses give you the first steps of giving a patient emergency care as well as preparing you for the realities of the job. There will also be information on determining a patient’s history and learning how to assess the situation before moving in. Information on how to stabilize the patient may be offered as well. Classes on fundamentals are not always taken at the beginning of your course of study as some classes cover advanced areas.
One important area covered by paramedic’s classes is cardiovascular management. Many paramedical calls are related to heart failure, and these classes teach you about the patient’s heart and circulatory system. Paramedic students are instructed on how to deal with cardiac emergencies and how to use monitoring equipment like electrocardiograms. There is further certification available in this area, should the paramedic student choose to pursue it.
The paramedic student will also be required to have a basic understanding of pharmacology, including how medication affects injuries and appropriate emergency responses. Some treatments that the paramedic student must master include injection, inhaled treatment and intravenous dosing. Assessment is another important part of this type of class work, as the paramedics need to understand how existing drugs in the system affect treatment options.
Classes on dealing immediately with trauma are found at both the beginning and the end of the paramedic’s coursework. Topics range from dealing with different types of injuries, to injuries that affect more than one system of the body to burns.
Paramedic classes also teach paramedic students how to handle their patients. Depending on the situation they are dealing with, people who receive paramedic care may be frightened, angry or even aggressive. Students are taught how to convince the patients to work with them and how to calm them as well.
If you are considering becoming a paramedic, between 18 and 24 months of coursework may be required. Consider the classes that you will be taking and think about how your career goals relate to them.
Paramedics and emergency medical technicians are a critical part of the emergency medicine system. Their knowledge, training and experience leads to the prompt action that saves lives every day. Since 9/11, the first responder role has also taken on an element of national defense. Thus, the skills of first responders must be top notch.
Training for emergency medical technicians varies somewhat by state. In general, there are three levels of training: EMT-Basic, EMT-intermediate, and Paramedic. Basic training includes basic first aid plus additional training with some of the more common tools of medical rescue. Intermediate training varies more by state, but it may require as much as 350 hours of additional training over basic training. Paramedic training typically requires a two year program which will yield an Associate’s degree. While basic and intermediate training focus on skills, paramedic training expands to include academic topics such as biology, anatomy and chemistry.
Paramedic employment has many requirements beyond the education and training. All levels require licensing by state agencies for employment. Most employers, whether private or public, require criminal background checks. Prior felony convictions constitute grounds for rejection of an application. Depending on the nature of the crime, misdemeanors may also provide grounds for the rejection of an application. Many employers require US citizenship. Almost all employers also require, and many test for, extraordinary physical fitness.
Despite the rigor of the job requirements, it remains popular. Future prospects for paramedics and emergency medical technicians are expected to keep pace with, but not outgrow, job growth in the overall economy. One trend slowing job growth in the occupation is generally increasing safety in both workplaces and on the highway. Another is population density. The quality of fire and paramedic coverage is often controlled by distance to the incident. As population density rises in cities, fewer paramedics are needed per capita.
For their level of education, paramedics have good opportunities for advancement. Many leave daily practice to become supervisors or managers, both in the public and private sector. Some also advance into union leadership.
Wages for paramedic employment vary significantly depending on education and location. The median wage nationally for paramedics was $14.10 in 2008, or about $28,000 per year. However, the spread of wages is much larger than for many other medical technician occupations, with the highest earners reaching over $23 per hour and nearly $50,000 annually.
Paramedics and emergency medical technicians are the first responders for any emergency, be it personal or national. Rigorous training and background checks make sure they are also the best responders.
Emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, are medical professionals who respond to emergency calls, usually by ambulance. Emergency medical technicians stabilize the patient on the scene, then transport them to the appropriate medical facility.
Emergency medical technicians receive formal training at a community college or vocational school. They can receive training at one of three levels. Each level builds upon the last. The levels are:
-Basic EMT. Training at the basic EMT level learn the most elementary skills required for work as an EMT. Examples of the skills they learn include: clerical skills and paperwork, assessing patients, dealing with cardiac and respiratory emergencies, dealing with the most common emergencies such as fractures and lacerations, and how to use emergency medical equipment like splits and oxygen equipment.
-Intermediate EMT. The training students receive at the intermediate EMT level are dictated by state requirements. However, students at this level usually learn advanced skills such as using more complicated medical equipment, the basics of medications, and administering intravenous fluids.
-Paramedics. At the most advanced level, an EMT studies to become a paramedic. Paramedics learn about the basics of human anatomy and physiology, as well as more advanced medical procedures. Most paramedic programs terminate in an associate’s degree.
After the EMT completes a level of training, he or she must become licensed by the state. Most states require recertification every two to three years, as well as ongoing education to keep abreast of the latest medical techniques and state requirements.
They respond to calls about a variety of emergency situations, such as heart attacks, car accidents, burns, falls, and seizures. They assess the patient on the scene, and provide enough medical treatment on the scene or en route to keep the patient stable while they are transported to a medical facility.
When the EMT arrives at the medical facility, he or she files a report about the incident and the medical services that were performed. These records are used by the hospital staff and physicians to treat the patient, as well as to file the insurance claims.
The EMTs may also be responsible for cleaning the ambulance or emergency vehicle, especially if the patient had a communicable disease or if the vehicle became contaminated by blood or other bodily fluids. They may also be responsible to the inventory and restocking of the medical equipment, and reporting any loss or damage of the durable medical equipment such as the stretchers.
An EMT (emergency medical technician) is generally the first responder to dispatched 911 calls. These professionals travel to sites and treat patients that have a medical emergency. They care for those sick or injured, then transport them to a hospital or medical facility for more advanced care if the person requires it. This career requires formal training from an accredited training program, passing a state-administered exam and obtaining a license to practice professionally. If you want to know how to become an EMT, an EMT training checklist can help you get on your way to this exciting career.
Entry-level EMT training is generally referred to as first responder certification. This credential is offered through a variety of technical schools and results in a diploma, certificate or associate’s degree. Before starting a training program, many EMT schools require students to have their cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification. Although licensing requirements for EMTs vary by state, most states require completing this program, then passing an exam administered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Coursework is intense and covers a variety of topics related emergency medical care and the equipment used to provide care. Some EMT training online can be completed, but the majority of an EMT training program requires practical experience in a classroom setting.
After successful completion of an EMT training program, students apply to take the national certifying exam to obtain a license. Students should check with their state’s Board that administers licensing requirements for EMTs. EMT training programs also prepare students for their state’s licensing requirements. There are four levels of exams administered by the National Registry: first responder, EMT-basic, EMT-intermediate/85 and paramedic, which some states refer to as EMT-advanced. The exam consists of two sections: the cognitive section, which is a paper or computerized test, and the psychomotor exam which is a practical, hands-on test. Passing the exams results in certification and national registration as a licensed EMT.
Each level of EMT credentialing is valid for 12 months. EMTs can continue their education to advance in their level. The average national salary for EMTs is about $30,360 per year. Continuing education can lead to becoming a paramedic or working for local and state emergency agencies such as fire rescue, which generally pay higher salaries. The average salary for local government agencies is $38,400 per year, and state government agencies pay an average salary of $50,600 per year.