Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

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Also known as:  Ambulance Driver-Paramedic, EMT, EMT-B, EMT-I/85, EMT-I/99, EMT-P, Flight Paramedic, Paramedic

ABOUT EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN OR PARAMEDIC CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Emergency medical technicians or "EMT" are the men and women who are usually first on the scene when there is a heart attack victim, a near-drowning, automobile injuries, gunshot wounds, or anything else requiring immediate medical attention.

Working in two-person teams, EMTs drive their amb ...
ulances or rescue squad vehicles to the scene, assess the situation, and execute the appropriate procedures. Those procedures may include administering CPR or using defibrillators to treat heart-attack victims, administering drugs, bandaging wounds, and assisting in childbirth - an EMT must be prepared to handle just about anything.

There are three levels of training: basic, intermediate, and paramedic. Training is offered by police, fire, and health departments, and by hospitals and colleges. Potential employers include municipal fire, police, and rescue squad departments, as well as hospitals and private ambulance services.

If this is of interest to you, don't overlook the many unpaid "volunteer" rescue squads and fire departments that serve so many areas of the country. Few careers are as hectic or rewarding as that of an EMT.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Assess injuries, administer emergency medical care, and extricate trapped individuals. Transport injured or sick persons to medical facilities.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
HIGH
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
MED
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Operate equipment, such as electrocardiograms (EKGs), external defibrillators, or bag valve mask resuscitators, in advanced life support environments.
Decontaminate ambulance interior following treatment of patient with infectious disease and report case to proper authorities.
Drive mobile intensive care unit to specified location, following instructions from emergency medical dispatcher.
Coordinate with treatment center personnel to obtain patients' vital statistics and medical history, to determine the circumstances of the emergency, and to administer emergency treatment.
Administer first aid treatment or life support care to sick or injured persons in prehospital settings.
Observe, record, and report to physician the patient's condition or injury, the treatment provided, and reactions to drugs or treatment.
Immobilize patient for placement on stretcher and ambulance transport, using backboard or other spinal immobilization device.
Communicate with dispatchers or treatment center personnel to provide information about situation, to arrange reception of victims, or to receive instructions for further treatment.
Coordinate work with other emergency medical team members or police or fire department personnel.
Attend training classes to maintain certification licensure, keep abreast of new developments in the field, or maintain existing knowledge.
Comfort and reassure patients.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Personnel and Human Resources Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Therapy and Counseling Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Arm-Hand Steadiness The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
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