Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)An Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is an emergency responder trained to provide emergency medical services to the critically ill and injured. An EMT responds to many types of emergency calls, including medical emergencies, hazardous materials exposure, childbirth, child abuse, fires, rescues, injuries, trauma and psychiatric crises. The goal of EMT intervention is to rapidly evaluate a patient's condition and to maintain a patient's airway, breathing and circulation by CPR and defibrillation. In addition, EMT intervention aims to control external bleeding, prevent shock, and prevent further injury or disability by immobilizing potential spinal or other bone fractures, while expediting the safe and timely transport of the patient to a hospital emergency department for definitive medical care.
In the United States, EMTs are certified according to their level of training. On one end of the spectrum, there are fast track programs that can be very intense often demanding a schedule of 8 to 12 hour days for at least two weeks. On the other side of the spectrum are 3 to 4 month training programs whose popular venue is a local community college. Training consists of a few hours a day, couple days a week of classroom time. In addition, field time is also required, where the student must complete specific rotations in the hospital setting, and also gain experience on the ambulance under the guidance of an EMS preceptor. The number of hours in the field varies depending on the state's requirements and the amount of time it takes the student to show competency in their skills. Individual states set their own standards of certification (or licensure, in some cases).
To learn more about the profession of EMTs and Paramedics go to the US Department of Labor weblink at: EMTs and Paramedics