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EMT vs Paramedic vs AS in EMS

EMT vs Paramedic vs AS in EMS

When considering a career in emergency medical services, it can be confusing about where you should start. What are the differences between EMT, Paramedic and an AS in EMS?

Learn more about these exciting education and training options!

Similarities between EMT, Paramedic and AS in EMS


All three credentials are part of emergency medical services. The EMS field provides emergency and prehospital care to patients who may have life-threatening injuries or illnesses. EMS professionals are the first responders to emergency scenes like accidents and natural disasters.

A career in EMS is fast-paced. Some days may be slower than others, but EMS workers know how to handle something as simple as a scrape that needs a band-aid to something as complicated as saving a patient who has gone into cardiac arrest.


Differences between EMT, Paramedic and AS in EMS


EMTs are entry-level EMS workers. They are trained to provide basic life support of patients and work alongside Paramedics in emergency situations. EMTs are trained to give CPR, administer glucose to diabetic patients, give oxygen, bandage wounds and assist Paramedics in more advanced procedures.

You can earn an EMT diploma is as little as four months. With classroom training, hands-on clinical labs, and real-life ride and hospital experience, EMTs are prepared to take on the responsibilities of emergency medical services providers at the entry level.

Paramedics are advanced-level EMTs. Training to become a Paramedic takes around 12 months and includes classroom instruction, more clinicals and even more real-life ride and hospital time.

With Paramedic certification, the EMS provider is allowed to start intravenous (IV) lines, draw blood, administer medications, provide advanced airway management on patients and manage life-threatening conditions like cardiac arrest and trauma. They are allowed to inject patients with medicines, while EMTs are not allowed to do anything that requires breaking the skin.

What is an AS in EMS? Well, the Associate of Science in Emergency Medical Services requires that the student has already been certified as a Paramedic. The courses that are needed to complete the degree are available to be completed online and cover the “soft skills” that employers look for when making hiring decisions.

It gives Paramedics an edge in the workforce. Some employers appreciate when their staff has a degree in their field, and the AS in EMS can open doors to new opportunities in EMS. Paramedics have the opportunity to advance with an AS in EMS.



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