How To Become an Emergency Medical Technician

An EMT has a critical and demanding job.  The Emergency Medical Technician is required to assess emergency medical situations and administer the proper care while getting the patient to the hospital.  EMT's are a vital part of a community, they are the people who can save a life and they need to be well trained to do so.  So you want to be an EMT?  The first thing you need to do is  get a high school diploma or GED.  You cannot become and EMT without it. Then verify to yourself that you are agile, emotionally stable, have good dexterity, are physically coordinated and can lift carry heavy loads.  All of this is very important in the emergency medical field.

After that is accomplished, find an EMT training program near you.   You can do this by going to the National Registry of Emergency Technicians online.  Also, check your local community college as training programs are frequently done there. Then, continue your research and determine  that the program is approved by your state and by the NREMT. EMT training is done at three levels, EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, and EMT-Paramedic. Then get going on your training!  Training generally takes about three months to complete.

Financial aid is available for EMT courses, so make sure you check with the financial aid office of the  college or technical school were you will be taking the course.  You may be eligible for financial aid.   An EMT course can cost you anywhere from $800 to $1000, depending on your area.

After you complete your entire course, including all lab work, you will need to register for a NREMT exam which takes place a local testing center.   After taking the exam, you should have your results back within a few days and you can start your job search.   After passing the exam and receiving certification, please be aware that this certification will have to be updated every two years.  Further training may be required to re-certify.  Usually you need to be working as a paramedic or EMT and meet a continuing education requirement.

Now you can start looking for a job.  Job opportunities should be favorable and this is a profession that is always in demand.  You can get an EMT position through a  fire house, the  local hospital, or work for a private ambulance service.   Hours and pay may vary depending on both your experience and the employer.  Keep in mind that EMT's employed through the fire or police department typically receive the same benefits as firefighters or police officers, including pension plans and retirement plans.

Being an EMT is a very rewarding career.  Saving lives and providing care to those in need can certainly be fulfilling and a job to be proud of.  Congratulations for taking the first step.


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