The decision to become an EMT may be an easy one when you consider how much you will help people the adrenaline of it. However, when it comes to completing an EMT course, you may realize it is not all fun and games. The EMT program at any college is a full time one and usually consists of about 15 to 20 weeks of study and coursework.
This program is usually followed by an internship, both in a clinic and in the field. The clinical internship will take place within a hospital environment where the EMT will be taken trough the operations of a hospital and be shown the emergency rooms, operating rooms and other places that they may need to work. The field internship will involve the student going out with qualified EMTs to see what they will have to do in the field in future.
State Requirements To Become An EMT
When you look at EMT programs by state, it will have its own requirements to become an EMT. Most do require a high school diploma and a certain grade point average. Some will also require some form of prior knowledge, while others will let in anyone who shows an interest. Each school will also have their own way of teaching these EMT candidates and some may be better than others.
Some of the top rated schools for EMTs include:
- George Washington University – sent in Washington, DC, this school specializes in EMT programs which can be completed in just one semester. Completing this program will give students a basic EMT qualification and once they have passed their exams, they will become registered EMTs.
- Stony Brook University – located in the heart of Long Island, this program prepares EMTs for the world of world by providing them with the correct certification and experience working in hospitals. Here, they will learn how to care for children, and life support in trauma situations amongst other things.
- Brigham Young University – this university in Idaho is affiliated with a church and trains potential EMTs in dealing with medical emergencies.
In essence, any good school can provide a student with the knowledge they need to become an EMT, but not all of them know how to help EMTs once they graduate. Before you choose your schools, you should ask questions to determine how much they can help you, for example: how experienced are the lecturers in this school? Can you help graduates find jobs once they graduate? And do you assist with financial aid for these courses?
All of these questions should lead to a site visit where you determine what you like and do not like about the school. You may think that for such a short course there is no need to do a site visit, but as too many EMTs have found out, the school you go to has an impact on your career. If the school is not correctly accredited with the state and with the federal government, you may struggle to find a job.
Requirements To Enter An EMT Program
If you are planning to study to become an EMT, there are some requirements that you will need to follow, depending on the state that you are in. An EMT must be licensed and this requires formal training at three levels, namely, the basic, intermediate and paramedic level. All of these requirements are available on the national EMT website, but it is a good idea to check what requirements are needed in the state in which you live.
The basic EMT level teaches students how to handle urgent and emergency situations. This includes just about anything from car accidents to natural disasters and will help these students learn how to sustain life in these situations. There is a fair amount of anatomy study within this, so that EMTs can determine which body part to work on and what is most urgent. Most programs will also teach students how to do basic CPR or cardiopulmonary respiration so that if someone has been badly injured and does not appear to breathing, they can assist them even before they get to the hospital.
The intermediate training is more complex and requires students to put in more time. Depending on their state, they will be taught life support in greater detail and will be able to deal with traumas. This type of training is determined by state because of the nature of that state. In New Orleans for example, EMTs may have to focus more heavily on natural disaster training, since the climate is so unpredictable. In a state such as New York where there is a prevalence of crime, an EMT may need special training to deal with knife wounds or injuries caused by criminals.
The highest level of training in this field is paramedic training and while this is not a requirement in every state, it is an important part of learning to excel in this field. These programs are much more intense than the basic and intermediate levels and do teach not only administrative skills, but also advanced medical care in the case of sever injuries.
Once you have completed your EMT training, you will need to pass an exam in order to be considered qualified. Each state will have its own licensing exam depending on the national requirements. These exams comprise a written and a practical portion and the EMT will need to renew this certification every two to three years, depending on the state in which they live.
Surpass The State And Go Online
Some EMTs will tell you that it makes more sense to go online to study, rather than picking a school. This does make sense in one aspect when you consider that some states pay less for those EMTs who have studies outside of that state. However, this may need further research, since the views about studying EMT online are mixed.
The online schools of course can only provide you with the basic education and theory you need to become an EMT. Practical knowledge then has to be gained through work. However, even in theory, these online schools are beneficial to students as they provide a variety of media forms for them to use. They can access forums with other students, can access web videos for the dogs and will be able to work their way through web notes that show them how to do their duties.
These schools prepare students for a career as an EMT by giving them the basics of wound treatment, how emergency equipment works and the basics of relaying information to doctors and hospitals as is needed. They also learn how to use monitoring machines so that they can monitor patients’ progress on the way to the hospital.
The major difference between these online programs and the physical ones is that the online programs prepare EMTs for work in police and fire stations rather than hospitals, while the physical program prepares EMT for working in a hospital environment.
Salary Affected By State
Did you know that depending on which state you qualify in, your salary is affected? If an EMT works in the same state in which they have qualified, they can earn more than their counterparts who have qualified in other states.
Of course, some EMTs prefer to move to larger states where they will be faced with a higher volume of work. This is because of the higher salary and the prevalence of job opportunities available to them.
The process of becoming an EMT is a short but difficult one. There is a lot of information that is crammed into a few short weeks and each state will focus on different things. To gain a comprehensive knowledge, students may find it valuable to study to become an EMT in one state and then attend courses in other states, since the curriculum in each state is different.
If you are considering becoming an EMT, it makes sense to research all of the requirements and programs in your state and in others, so that you can choose the program that best suits your needs. By doing this, you will probably also be able to gain a lot of information about what is expected from EMTs. Some states will simply send you through the EMT program while others will make an effort to find you a place of work once you have graduated.
Becoming an EMT can be a very rewarding career choice as you will be helping people on a daily basis. When you study though, you need to ensure that you are making the right choice of school and of state so that you gain a comprehensive overview of the duties required and you get the skills you need to succeed. Research your options and be sure to check out online forums to find where EMTs are most valued and where they can prosper. The answers you get may surprise you and you may find that it is your state that has the best EMT program of them all.