Our nation is built on the strength of those who step forward to serve the community around them. Our history is structured around heroes that put other people before their own needs, and share a concern for others that cannot be found in the common man. Since the attack on the world trade center, there has been a massive surge into this industry – everyday people stepping forward to join the ranks of police, fire and EMS. For those who choose this lifestyle, the path begins with the EMT training course.
The Emergency Medical Technician is the corner stone of pre-hospital care in every community, city and state. What was once a very simple position held by volunteers with little training other than CPR, the EMT is quickly becoming a respected and honored professional career. Academies that cater to emergency personnel are cropping up all over the Unites States, and many community colleges and major Universities are adding the EMS certification courses to their curriculum.
For those that opt to join this special class of citizen, you can guarantee that you will be receiving an in-depth education in the most appropriate areas to ensure quality patient care. The Department of Transportation is the organization that regulates the quality of service and education within the pre-hospital EMS system, and in conjunction with National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, has developed a standard of practice and care. Over the last twenty years, this standard of care has improved the education and knowledge of the standard EMT, and subsequently the level of care that we are able to deliver to patients in the field.
Regardless of where you take your courses, you will review the same topics from beginning to end and will be tested according to a national standard.
The content of the EMS courses includes extensive study on:
• Anatomy and Physiology
• Respiratory Emergencies
• Behavioral Emergencies
• Endocrine disorders (like Diabetes)
• Special needs (such as Elderly patients)
• Basic Cardiology
• Medical and Trauma Assessment
• Patient history and physical exams
• Advanced airway management
• EMS Operations
• Ambulance Operation
• The History of EMS
And the list goes on. Your instructor will work closely with you to ensure that during the written study and lecture you are able to grasp the knowledge and information provided to assure the highest level of patient care when you complete the course.
Course instructors typically obtain the assistance of proctors to handle clinical study in the classroom, also known as “labs” in some colleges and universities. These clinical settings provide hands-on skill training and assessment, allowing the student to test their skills as well as learn the function of specialized equipment that they will be handling in the field.
Community members look to emergency medical personal for assistance in the worst of times. When we are called, the situation rarely has a pleasant outcome. It is vital that EMS personnel have a strong grasp of their equipment and how to use it. Likewise, an EMT will learn how to apply it in various situations that may require adaptation on the fly.
This is why instructors require constant practice, often during each classroom session. Students will handle equipment such as:
• Combitube – Used for controlling and maintaining an airway for a patient
• BVM – Using a Bag Valve Mask to breathe for or assist a patients respiration
• Epinephrine Auto injector – Epipens for providing assistance to a patient at risk for severe allergic/ Anaphylactic reactions
• AED – Automated External Defibrillator for managing cardiac events at the basic level
• Airway adjuncts – Simple Oral or nasal airway devices to keep the airway open
• Trauma devices – Such as the back board, c-collar, traction splint, and other splinting devices for use in traumatic incidents
• Assessments – practicing regular medical and trauma assessments in role-play scenarios to master patient assessment skills
There are more hands-on skills that can be tackled with class sessions, and instructors can get as in-depth as they feel necessary to let the students practice these skills. If you apply yourself both in classroom study, during practical/hands-on training and while working at home on course study, then rest assured by the time the class is over you will be fully prepared to handle any state and national level testing required for you to obtain your license.
You are the front line for pre-hospital care to those in need. The EMT is the primary backup for all Paramedics, Police and Fire personnel. Emergency Medical Technicians are the driving force of this ever-growing industry. When you question whether this career is the right place for you, think of every situation where you have interjected to help another person. For an EMT, it is never about the money or the thrill of the chaos. It’s about the long-awaited thank you that so seldom comes.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”