Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) respond to the medical needs of the sick or injured during an emergency. They need to be quick and competent in providing care in order to save the lives of the people that they rescue. They perform medical services during emergency calls and take patients to hospitals or nearby medical facilities.
Emergency Medical Technician Educational Requirements
Aspiring EMTs must complete a postsecondary educational program. They have to be licensed to work in all the states in the US, although the licensing requirements vary.
Those who want to become an EMT must have a high school diploma or GED and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification to get into a postsecondary emergency medical technician course. Most of these programs can be completed in less than a year, although some may require two years. They are usually offered by community colleges, technical institutes, and facilities that focus more on providing emergency care training. Students who want to become EMTs should take up physiology and anatomy-related courses in high school.
EMT level programs cover subjects that teach students how to evaluate a patient’s condition, helping patients breathe by clearing their airways, handling cardiac or trauma cases, operating field equipment, and dealing with any kind of emergencies. Formal courses usually last for 150 hours of specialized instruction, not only in the classroom, but also in the ambulance or hospital.
Advanced EMT level programs usually last up to 300 hours of instruction, depending on the area of specialty of the EMT. In these programs, students must complete the EMT level program and other advanced subjects, such as handling intravenous fluids, operating complex airway devices, and using medications.
According to the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP), those who are interested in taking the emergency medical training course should inquire with their state’s EMS office. They reported that EMT training usually lasts between 2 to 6 months, depending on the number of hours of training per week and the location of the training site. Some training programs hold classes every day for a few months, while others last longer in order to accommodate students who still have a full-time job or have other responsibilities to attend to.
The typical training requirements for EMTs include the following:
- 40 hours for Emergency Medical Responders
- 110 hours for EMTs
- 200 to 400 hours of Advanced EMTs
Conclusion about EMT courses
EMT training usually include of in-classroom instruction, hands-on practice in clinics or hospitals, and a supervised internship on an ambulance. Emergency medical technician courses are usually assessed based on the competency and performance of the students. Classes aim to teach students about the critical and acute changes in the psychological, physiological, and clinical symptoms in patients that they might witness firsthand in emergency medical situations.