Working in emergency medicine is a rewarding and fulfilling profession. My dad has worked as a paramedic for over ten years now and loves it more than when he began. Just this past week he went on a call to a house where an elderly lady was having some chest pains. He and his partner's quick thinking and response to the situation saved her life. How to become an Emergency Medical Technician? Although not all runs are a life and death situation, having a "trained person with a cool head to stabilize the situation, prevent additional injury, and comfort the individual" is calming not just to the patient, but the family and friends as well.

Despite the rewards of working in emergency medical services, many people are still leery of becoming an EMT because they believe some of the myths floating around about them. Even if you are not interested in emergency medical work as a profession, it is still worth volunteering some of your time for the benefit of your resume and the satisfaction of helping others. Some people think if you become an EMT you are on call 24/7, but that isn't usually the case. My dad volunteers in his spare time on the weekends because he has a full-time career in another area of work. If you are an older high school or college student, volunteering as an EMT may be a way to gain extra credit. Most stations are always in need of more people.

Most applicants start out at the EMT Basic level of training. They are taught basic emergency response skills "such as managing respiratory, trauma, cardiac emergencies, and patient assessment." In addition many Basics are "instruct[ed] and practice in dealing with bleeding, fractures, airway obstruction, cardiac arrest, and emergency to use and maintain common emergency equipment, such as backboards, suction devices, splints, oxygen delivery systems, and stretchers." Applicants are trained both in the classroom and while observing and assisting on ambulance calls. After completing all their training an applicant must take a written and practical test in order to be certified as an EMT Basic.

For further training, an EMT moves to the EMT Intermediate level which gives them more abilities and responsibilities on calls "such as the use of advanced airway devices, intravenous fluids, and some medications." The highest level of emergency medical services is Paramedic. "At this level, the caregiver receives training in anatomy and physiology as well as advanced medical skills." Often, completing paramedical training results in an associate's degree for the paramedic and certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).

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