There are a number of students out there who have elected to qualify as an EMT through EMT online courses. This is a very viable option for a number of reasons. There are also a number of disadvantages. Often the decision about whether becoming an EMT online is the best path for you depends on your individual situation and needs. It is something that requires a lot of thought and time if you want to make the best choice possible. Before you get too excited about this, remember that it is impossible to complete an EMT qualification entirely online. At some point you will need to do the clinical and practical training that is required of you. This raises an additional problem: finding a way to do your practical while studying online. We will examine this problem in more detail later on in this article. Remember that online courses are not necessarily the best thing for you. You need to make sure that everything is in order and that it is the best decision that you can make.
What Is An Online EMT Training Course?
The first step in analyzing the suitability of an online EMT course for you is to know what exactly an online EMT course is and what you can expect from it. Essentially, this is a course that will prepare you to provide assistance in life threatening situations. You will be the one responsible for saving lives in emergency situations. If you engage in an online program you will be able to do the classroom portion of the work online. However there is a large portion of necessary clinical training that needs to be completed in a real-life setting.
Let’s take a quick look at the potential advantages of completing an online course:
- Online courses are exceptionally flexible allowing you to complete your studies over a time period that suits you. This is the kind of flexibility that would suit someone with children or someone who cannot sacrifice their current job in order to study. Online courses allow you to work at your own pace.
- Online courses are often cheaper. With offline courses you often have to pay towards the rent of the building or the equipment and facilities that you use. This is something that will not be a problem with online courses. (Just be aware that sometimes there are hidden costs so make sure you know what you will need to pay for in advance).
Naturally, there are a number of disadvantages as well:
- Although you will be able to create a flexible schedule, you will lose out on that important interaction with lecturers and fellow students that can be so helpful in the learning process. In addition even though you will be able to complete the theoretical portion entirely online, you will still need to make plans to do you clinical training. This will not necessarily be as flexible and still represents a problem in this regard.
- The course may be cheaper, but in some ways you may be compromising on the quality of the course. This is of course not true in all cases, but you need to be particularly careful when selecting an online course. Look into the quality of the tuition carefully. The course you choose can affect your career outlook substantially from thereon out.
Steps For Becoming An EMT Online
There are some fairly basic steps that you can follow if you plan to become an EMT using EMT online courses. Don’t misunderstand our use of the word “basic”. The steps are easy enough to understand. That does not mean that they will be easy for you to complete. Becoming an EMT is something that requires a lot of hard work, even if you are doing the theory work online, and it will not be something that you will be able to achieve without trying. If you go through this process, however, you will eventually be an EMT:
This is a simplified overview of how you could progress through the various stages of your EMT career through online classes. Although fairly comprehensive this section is not definitive and there may be other ways for you to work your way up and other methods of studying along the way. This is just a guideline to give you an idea of what to expect:
- Research the schools that you will be able to attend. Remember that different states have different requirements, so look for online schools that operate out of your own state. Don’t forget to also consider offline courses as they may also turn out to be a viable option for you.
- Time is an issue to consider here as the program could last anything from 4 months t 2 years, so have an idea of how long you are prepared to commit to this educational goal before you start looking.
- Make sure that you choose a program in line with the basic requirements for your state.
- With any online program you will need to do on-campus hands-on training. Do as much of this as possible as you will benefit greatly by doing so.
- Pass the EMT-Basic exam.
- Work as an EMT-Basic for about 2 years in order to build up your experience.
- Take advanced courses to be an EMT-I (EMT- Intermediate) and EMT-P (EMT-Paramedic).
- Go to paramedic school.
Obviously some of the above are just guidelines – you do not have to go all the way to becoming a paramedic. For most of these steps you will be able to do a huge portion of the theory work online which will be easier to fit into your schedule. Just remember that EMT online courses cannot be completed entirely online, despite the name.
The first thing that you should do is to go to the Training Division website. This is where you will be able to get your hands on all of the course material that you will need to study in order to pass the examination and become an EMT. The instructions on this site are very basic to follow:
- Click on “EMT Basic”. This can be found on the “EMT Training Menu”.
- You will then need to download the basic course software. This can be done simply by clicking on “Add to Cart”.
- Clearly you will have to pay so have your credit card at hand. The price will be something in the region of $950 for course fee and $115 for the online textbook.
- Complete the purchase.
Once you have done that go through all of the work provided in the time period required. Different states will have different additional requirements, so be sure to find out what those are and adhere to them before moving on to the next step. For example some states will require that you have also done some practical training in a health care setting before you can become an EMT.
Register for the certification examination. Each state has its own Institute of Emergency Medical Service Systems. You will have to contact this institute and schedule an exam date which will take place at your state’s IEMSS education headquarters, licensure and certification facility, or an IEMSS field office. Make sure you make this appointment far in advance so that you will be able to get a seat. This will also give you enough time to ensure that you are adequately prepared for the examination. Once you have passed the exam you will be licensed to practice.
According to EMT training guide, these are the main things that you will study in EMT online courses (although clearly some of these things will have to be done in a classroom situation, so a mixture of training is required):
- Patient assessments and evaluations
- Trauma care services
- Degree Finder
- Find Accredited Colleges
- Using basic life support equipment
- First aid and CPR protocol
- Managing different types of medical emergencies
- Hemorrhage and bleeding control
- Managing different types of environmental emergencies
- Stabilization of the spine and fractures after an accident
- Emergency childbirth procedures
- Using defibrillators and other types of medical equipment
- Emergency scene assessment
- Interpreting EKG results
- General patient care
There is a degree to which the above can be taught as a theory subject, but after a certain amount of time you will need to make a plan to do the required hands-on experience. In some cases this can be done by doing an internship in the Emergency Medical Technician field of work.
Clearly a large portion of these essential life-saving skills needed in emergencies cannot be taught online. However an online course can give you the basic starting idea of what to do through:
- Video clips
This is not as good as the real thing. However you will at least have a vague idea of what you are doing by the time you get to the clinical part f your training. Online courses can be surprisingly helpful and interactive and the self-paced lessons mean that you will have all the time you need to fully understand something.
Finding The Right EMT Online Courses
When looking for the right EMT online courses there are some very important things that you should keep in mind:
- Firstly, is the course accredited by your state’s standards? This is important both for online and offline courses. If it is not accredited this will make it harder for you to be employed with those credentials.
- Consider the reputation of the school that is offering the online course. This can be done by carefully examining all of the online reviews that you can find about the school. This will give you clarity on whether or not other students had a successful and enjoyable experience during that program.
- Equally important is the course’s ability to prepare you for the certification exam. This can also be researched online.
These courses can be expensive, usually $500 at the least, not including the cost of textbooks. There are some options open to you in order to finance your studies. Most institutes and companies that offer these courses will provide you with financial assistance if you meet a certain income qualification. This assistance can be given in the form of affordable loans and even grants that do not need to be repaid. If you are a top achiever, you could qualify for scholarships. Your employer may also be willing to help you study further. These are just some of the options that are worth looking into in greater detail if you want to be an EMT.
Of course more intensive research into each specific course that you are interested in attending will also be required if you are to make a success of becoming an EMT online. The above information is just to give you an overview of what you can expect from a course. It is your responsibility to look into all of your options carefully and make sure that you are making the best choice.
Generally speaking it will be better if you are able to attend a classroom based course. This is just because you will get all of the advantages mentioned in this article. In addition you will not have to suffer from most of the disadvantages mentioned above. This is not always a practical solution, however, and if studying online is the only way for you to become an EMT, there are ways in which you can make it work. Choosing a school or course to complete is always a decision that requires thought. This applies to EMT online courses just as much as it applies to any other type of course. There are different ways for you to study, but you must have the right attitude to achieve your goal.