How to Become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

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Being an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or a Paramedic can be very rewarding, after all what can be more great than saving people’s lives. Becoming an EMT can lead to a very fulfilling career in the emergency medical services field. You can also try or test the waters in the medical field by starting as an EMT, you can then become a nurse or doctor.

The work of an EMT can also be very challenging. Emergency medical care needs to be available 24 hours everyday which requires emergency medical technicians to be working at odd and irregular hours. They would be on call for long periods of time. EMT’s are required to be physically and emotionally capable to deal with extreme situations.

You Need EMT Training

To become an EMT, you need training and certification in your state. Requirements vary from state to state to enter training. Most require the applicant to be at least 18 years of age with a high school diploma or a GED. There are levels of EMT training starting with EMT Basic, EMT Intermediate, the EMT Paramedic. You can’t become an EMT Intermediate or EMT Paramedic until you are a certified EMT Basic. The training for EMT Basic takes more than a hundred hours of training focusing on emergency skills and patient assessment. You will also spend time in hospital emergency department and ambulance. You’ll get to learn how to use common medical equipments life stretchers and backboards.

You Need to Get Certified

After you have completed the state approved EMT Training you will be eligible to take the certification examination. The NREMT provides certification for 46 states and other states provide their own certification. You need to pass both a practical and a written examination to get certified as an EMT. You also need to be re-certified every two years and take continuing education and refresher courses.

After you’ve become a certified/licensed EMT Basic, you can then get advanced training as an EMT Intermediate then an EMT Paramedic.

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