As an EMT there are a number of EMT related occupations that you could branch out into if you are considering finding a slightly different career path.
What Is An EMT?
An EMT, or emergency medical technician, is essentially the person who is first on the scene when a medical emergency occurs. Their responsibility is to provide immediate care to the patient and stabilize them for transport to a medical facility if they deem that the patient needs advanced medical attention and cannot be treated on the scene. In addition the EMT is required to determine whether or not the patient has any preexisting medical conditions. This could help explain the medical emergency in question, but this task is also essential in ensuring that the patient is not given any medications or treatments that could conflict with their condition or with the medications that they are already taking for that condition. To a certain degree the most the EMT can do in this case is to look for medical alert jewelry. There are several other EMT related occupations that you could consider joining that are similar to this one. Some require further training and education while others simply require you to have an EMT qualification or similar degree of medical expertise and knowledge.
911 dispatchers are in charge of ensuring that medical (and other) assistance is given when necessary. Consequently the two major roles of a 911 dispatcher are the following:
- Dispatching police, fire and ambulance personnel to emergency situations.
- Monitoring the location of emergency workers from their desk and can relay messages between emergency officials if needed.
Holding an EMT qualification could make it easier for you to begin a career as a 911 dispatcher as you will have a working understanding of what medical situations will require an EMT or another medical professional onsite and which can simply be referred to a hospital. In addition you will be able to accurately relay information when required regarding the patient’s condition and the instructions and observations provided by the EMT onsite. You will most likely be required to undergo additional training in order to become familiar with the specific vocabulary used in emergency dispatch services and in order to ascertain if you have the right personality to handle the job. For example, you will need to be a level-headed person who does not panic in an emergency.
Another line of work related to being an EMT in that you provide medical attention in an emergency situation is that of a lifeguard. Lifeguards are trained to keep their eyes open near large bodies of water and to assist anyone in need of help while swimming or diving. In order to become a lifeguard you will need some special certifications, namely:
- Certified in CPR/AED
- Certified in blood pathogens
- Certified in first aid
- Certified in oxygen supplement
As an EMT you will already have knowledge of these skills. Being a lifeguard is generally not considered to be a career, but it is something that you could choose to do on a part time basis when you are not on duty as an EMT in your usual place of employ. There is a great need to ensure that people, especially children, do not hurt themselves or drown while swimming, and consequently medical professionals with the ability to provide basic medical training are needed onsite in order to provide care in the few situations where it is required.
In many situations a patient will have to be transported from the scene of the medical emergency to a facility where they can be properly cared for. In many cases this can only happen by transporting the patient on a plane or helicopter. This is a situation that wilderness EMTs may encounter regularly. Wilderness EMTs work in parts of the country where there is no immediate access to hospital facilities available. Consequently the patient needs to be stabilized and then, if possible, flown to a medical facility. In some cases a patient may need to be transported to a different state or even out of the country. A flight medic is an EMT who is trained in providing the same basic care that other EMTs provide. In addition to this they are trained in how to deal with any additional medical emergencies that may occur once the patient is on board. In mid flight there is not much you can do for a patient other than to stabilize them until the destination is reached.
If you have trained to be an EMT but have come to the conclusion that it is not, in fact, the best line of work for you to be in, there are other EMT related professions that you could try instead. If the actual medical situations are too much for you, there is an administrative position that you could train for, namely EMS record keeping. Paperwork is a very important part of keeping the emergency medical services running smoothly. In this line of work you will deal with the following paperwork:
- Billing procedures
- Medical records
- Federal and state guidelines governing Medicaid
- Worker’s compensation
- Private insurance as it relates to emergency medical services
This is an extremely important part of the medical profession. It is a behind-the-scenes occupation and you will not receive recognition for it form the general public, but this does not make it any less important. Generally you will need to receive some basic administration training, but the fact that you already have a basic knowledge of medical terminology and so on will help you a great deal.
Ambulance Drivers & Attendants (non-EMT workers)
An ambulance driver could be said to have an EMT related occupation in that they are required to drive sick or injured individuals from the scene where the medical emergency occurred to a hospital or similar place of safety. In addition they are often required to help the MET lift and move the patient and n many EMS services the ambulance driver will also be an EMT. The following skills and abilities are required in this job:
- To do this job it will be helpful if you are an active listener who can understand and follow directions quickly and easily.
- You will also need the basic skills required to maintain the equipment that is used on the ambulance.
- In addition you will be required to monitor the machinery in the ambulance and ensure that it is working as it should.
- You will need to have coordination in that the ability to adjust your actions according to the reactions of others will be invaluable.
- Reading comprehension will also be required in order to fully comprehend the tasks expected of you.
- The ability to identify that there is a problem is very important, although the actual problem solving skills will generally lie with someone else.
- The ability to communicate your ideas and observations clearly and unambiguously is essential.
- In addition you will need to be able to easily understand the verbal communication that comes from others.
- A very practical skill that you will need is the ability to keep your hands and arms steady while working.
College Instructors – Medicine & Health Specialties
Another EMT related occupation lies in the realm of education. Generally speaking you will need to have a qualification in the medical sphere in order to teach various medical topics. In comparison to most other MET related occupations, however, this one requires a high degree of skill and educational abilities. You will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in order to be a college instructor, while a master’s degree is often preferred by employers. In additional you will receive very little to no on the job training for a position such as this with the assumption that you already possess all of the relevant knowledge and skills.
Search And Rescue/Fire And Rescue
Search and rescue is generally considered to be a separate part of the EMS industry, but these organizations frequently hire METs or other medical professionals. Consequently, if you live in an area near mountains or wilderness you will have the opportunity to work in the field of search and rescue with your EMT qualification. You will:
- Use your emergency medical training,
- Work with helicopter crews
- Work with law enforcement
- Work with military personnel
- Receive training in avalanche and crevasse rescue
- Receive training in high- and low-angle rope rescue
- Receive training in whitewater/swift water rescue
- Administer treatment
- Stabilize victims for transport to medical facilities
Another job that is related to rescuing those in danger and that can be considered to be similar to the EMT profession in several ways is that of fire rescue. Fire fighters are first on the scene when a fire occurs and have basic medical training in CPR and other areas, allowing them to give basic medical aid until medical professionals arrive.
Emergency Room Triage
Triage is a process for sorting injured people into groups based on their need for or likely benefit from immediate medical treatment. Often EMTs are employed in these situations to assist other medical professionals and in order to maintain order in the emergency room, something which is not always easy to achieve with limited staff. In this setting you could, with an EMT qualification, do the following:
- Record patients’ vital signs
- Help doctors and nurses with emergency medical treatment
- Keep organized notes and records of procedures
This EMT related occupation is one of the most popular options for EMTs. Quite a large portion of EMTs are employed in hospital emergency rooms for the above mentioned purposes. One of the main benefits to working in this setting is that it allows you to develop an idea of whether or not you want to pursue your medical career further by becoming a nurse or perhaps even a doctor. The exposure that you receive will be invaluable in helping you make this life-altering decision.
Medical Tents At Sporting Events
In many cases EMTs will be able to find additional employment outside of their regular job if they need extra money or simply if they want to help others in as many ways as possible. One of the areas where an EMT could be employed while not on active duty elsewhere is in the medical tent at a sporting event. Such sporting events can be held by schools or professional sporting organizations. Sporting injuries occur frequently in these settings and a medical expert will be needed on site in the event that such an injury occurs. You will:
- Assess fatigue
- Assess hypothermia
- Assess dehydration
- Assess hyponatremia
- Assess sunstroke
- Assess heat-related illnesses
- Assess traumatic injuries
You will be able to provide the same immediate and basic care as you would in any other medical setting where EMTs are employed. In addition you will be responsible for determining the extent of the illness or injury in question and deciding whether or not advanced medical care a medical facility such as a hospital will be required.
In addition to the above the following, according to www.myplan.com, can be considered to be “Somewhat” related to the being an EMT:
- Biological Technicians
- Bus Drivers – School
- Bus Drivers – Transit & Intercity
- College Instructors – Nursing
- Dentists – General
- Fish & Game Wardens
- Lifeguards, Ski Patrol & Recreational Protective Service
- Medical & Clinical Laboratory Technologists
- Nursing Aides, Orderlies & Attendants
- Radiation Therapists
- Taxi Drivers & Chauffeurs
- Tour Guides & Escorts
- Travel Guides
However the relation between being an EMT and having one of the following occupations is very loose. The most that can be said is that similar medical skills may occasionally be required.