The field of emergency medicine is growing by leaps and bounds as we move into the new millennium. Many of the Baby Boomers will be retiring and leaving the workforce over the next 7 to 8 years. As they become older, many of them will develop health issues that will require emergency medical technicians to respond to their residence. Therefore, more and more ambulances and emergency personnel will be required to meet the demand.
Those individuals who choose to become an EMT will reap the benefits of job security with excellent opportunities for growth and promotion. There are many fire departments and ems divisions throughout the United States who are seeking qualified and certified emergency medical technicians. With the right education and training, you can set your career in motion in a positive manner.
The first step to becoming an emergency medical technician is to find an EMT program that will suit your day to day schedule. Some of these programs have an online component with minimal classroom time. This requires you the student to be very disciplined because you will not have an instructor who will push and demand your best while enrolled in the course. Studying the Online EMT material is a bit tougher than a traditional classroom because there isn’t an instructor present to answer your questions week in and week out. However, you will have access to the online discussion forum and chat room.
Traditional EMT programs will meet twice a week to cover power point presentations and hands-on application. Written tests are giving each and every class to continuously evaluate your progress throughout the program. To be successful, most students will have to study their text book approximately 16 to 20 hours per week in order to graduate the EMT program. While there are many study guides to help you succeed, there is no substitute for excellent study habits. In addition, medical dictionaries and anatomy and physiology books are excellent resources to expand your knowledge.
As the EMT program progresses, you will begin to to clinical rotations. These clinical rotations usually require you to ride a set number of hours on an ambulance. The national curriculum requires students to complete a set number of hours via an ambulance according to their scope of practice. Also, you have to complete a set number of patient assessments and render emergency medical care accordingly. Paramedics and emergency medical technicians who are on the ambulances will help you perfect your skills and knowledge.
Upon completion of the course, 49 of the 50 states require you to challenge the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician cognitive as well as the psycho-motor exam. The cognitive test is a computer based exam which evaluates your response and each question is weighted and given a set numerical value. There have been many EMT students who have taken the cognitive exam and have the computer test cut-off at 85 questions and some students have seen as many as 130 questions. The psycho-motor exam requires the EMT student to pass 4 skill stations which evaluate your ability to implement care in the field. As a final note, select a program that will accommodate your schedule and meet your needs as a student.