An EMT or an Emergency Medical Technician is, as the name itself suggests, a trained medical professional who provides help to the injured party outside of the hospital. That means that EMTs are most often the first responders who show up at the scene. The 911 operators receive the call for help and forward those details to the EMTs. These emergencies usually refer to car accidents, at-home injuries or emergencies caused by natural disasters such as a fire or an earthquake.
The role is nothing if not difficult, as you need to be both physically and mentally strong to deal with these traumatic events. It doesn’t all come down to having the best qualifications—your personality and willpower also come into play. A feeble and overly sensitive individual might not be the ideal candidate for the role. However, if you’ve got the stomach for it and you’re ready to take on such an important task of saving lives, then don’t hesitate to dive into the learning process. If you’re not sure where to begin, then keep reading as we help you figure out what you’ll need to do before you can put your medical suit on.
Check whether you’re eligible for an EMT school
The first step would be to acquire the basic knowledge and skills needed to become an Emergency Medical Technician. A potential EMT should have a high-school diploma and a GED certificate. If you’ve not completed your high-school, make sure you catch up with the curriculum and obtain your diploma so that you can move forward.
Most EMT schools require a high-school diploma, but some may ask you to submit additional documentation, so make sure to go through the website of the school you’ve chosen and prepare all the necessary papers. Don’t enroll in the first school that pops up on Google. Instead, do your diligence and read the reviews to find the most credible school where you can begin preparing for your role as an EMT.
Complete a relevant EMT program
If you already have certain medical knowledge, whether you’ve attended a vocational school or taken some courses, you could perhaps finish an EMT program instead of going to an EMT school. In fact, most of these EMT schools offer accredited programs that provide thorough training and they’ll equip you with the knowledge you need.
Depending on the state you live in, the list of accredited programs will differ, so do check whether the program you’re pursuing is valid in your country of residence. Most of the training is usually done in-class but you’ll still be expected to participate in ambulance ride-alongs which are usually done after the mandatory classes.
Earn the required certification
After you’ve attended the relevant programs and earned a diploma, there are just a couple of more things you’ll have to do. As an aspiring EMT, you’ll be responsible for reacting in life or death situations and whether the victim will arrive safely to the hospital depends solely on your skillset. Therefore, you need to earn your CPR card and familiarize yourself with first-aid as no hospital or clinic will take your application into consideration if you’ve not already obtained these certificates.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be. The good news is that you can apply for the certification online and, by passing a CPR course, you’ll be able to get the desired certificate.
Pass the exams
Your EMT journey ends here—the last step you’ll need to take is to successfully pass the cognitive and psychomotor exams. These are different from the exam you’re used to, as you won’t be expected to learn a lot of irrelevant facts and numbers by heart. On the contrary, your ability to apply everything you’ve learned in theory will be put to the test. For instance, the psychomotor exam is done to test your emergency skills—bleeding control, cardiac arrest management, first-aid, oxygen administration, etc.
On the other hand, the cognitive exam is done on the computer and it includes something in the ballpark of 100 questions that are related and cover the abovementioned emergency skills. There is a time limitation and you won’t pass your exam unless you’ve given the necessary number of correct answers.
The bottom line
Hopefully, you’re one step closer to becoming an EMT after reading our article. If you need any additional information, the Internet is filled with information on the topic so there’s no need to worry. Once you’re certain that this career path is the right one for you, you can gather all the necessary papers and certifications.