Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics are necessary parts of emergency care in hospitals, and represent a fast growing employment opportunity in one of America's only remaining growth industries. Though EMTs and Paramedics work strange hours, they are responsible for the expedient and educated care of people in need.
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics are the first people on the scene for immediate medical attention to events like accidents, gunshot wounds and heart attacks. They provide on site care, attempt to stabilize the patient and transport to a medical facility.
Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians usually work in concert with other 911 dispatched servicemen, like firefighters and policemen. When called, EMTs and paramedics are responsible for analyzing the situation and attempting to stabilize the patient. They do primary diagnostic work, determining the nature of the present condition and checking for any existing medical problems, then transport the injured party to a hospital, where emergency room doctors take over.
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics begin their education with a high school diploma. Workers must attend a training program, but do not need a college degree to enroll. All states require training and education, but the amount of each varies by region.
Employers are most likely to hire EMTs and Paramedics with higher levels of experience, and advanced certifications. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians is the largest provider of certifications, though some states also offer private programs. In general, the certification is divided into five stratum: First Responder, EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, which is subdivided into 1985 and 1999, and Paramedic. EMT-Basic is the lowest level, and paramedic is the highest.
Emergency Medical Technicians with Basic certification are allowed to provide transport, care for the patient at the scene of the accident and during transit, and is trained to manage conditions. Basic level EMTs, like the other levels, are allowed to maintain respiratory and cardiac function during an emergency, and are also qualified to deal with trauma, like broken bones. The next level, EMT Intermediate, requires more education and training in order to perform more complicated procedures, as dictated by state law. EMT-Paramedics have the highest level of education of Emergency Medical Technicians. They can administer medication, use equipment and can perform procedures.
Emergency medicine is a strenuous line of work. EMTs need to be physically prepared for the position, and should be able to life heavy loads and perform additional demanding tasks as well, in rain or shine. Because of the strange hours and inhospitable conditions, work as an EMT is not recommended for the faint of heart. Furthermore, paramedics and technicians need to be able to make rational decisions quickly in order to save a life. Anyone interested in the field should be comfortable with the responsibility for a person?s life.
EMTs and Paramedics who work in the public sector, rather than pursue employment through a private hospital, typically earn a better wage and have better benefits. The average EMT earns approximately $34,870 a year.
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