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9 Tips for Succeeding in EMT School

The path to becoming a certified EMT isn’t an easy one. Sure, it’s a deeply rewarding profession, but getting there can be tough. As an EMT, human lives are in your hands, and being a first-line medical and emergency responder is demanding. You have to be confident and competent in what you do, think fast on your feet during high-pressure situations, and be exceptionally well trained. Achieving all this means you first have to succeed in EMT school.

Here are a few tips to accomplish that:

1. Anticipate the volume of reading required for training

EMT training is a combination of hands-on, practical experience, and comprehensive classroom instruction. There is a lot of material to cover, and extensive reading which serves as the foundation of your learning. This requires you to be attentive and diligent regarding your studies. Teachers and instructors will expand on what you learn through textbooks. The success of your classroom instruction and hands-on training will greatly depend on how well you understand the concepts introduced in the reading materials.

2. Avoid cramming

Set aside time to study. An EMT education requires extensive dedication. If you don’t prioritize your studies, readings and assignments can accumulate to a point where it will be impossible to keep up. Avoid cramming months of readings, lectures, classes, and seminars in a short period of time.

3. Hone your communication skills

Succeeding as an EMT is much more than just training and earning your certification. In addition to the skills you learn during training, the job requires clear and professional communication with patients who are often in distress. Honing your communication skills can help you stand out as an EMT student. Make an effort to improve your interpersonal skills, especially if you’re naturally reserved. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and remember that your ability to communicate clearly and with compassion is just as important as executing your lifesaving skills.

4. Practice makes perfect

EMT training requires a combination of academic and technical instruction that needs to be practiced to perfect your skills. Take every opportunity to practice even the most basic EMT tasks so you can conduct them with ease and proficiency.

5. Approach your education and training with a positive attitude

Training to be an EMT can lead to a rewarding profession that lets you make a real difference in people’s lives and contribute to the community. That said, some days you might feel overwhelmed. While the training can be tough, seeing it through with a positive attitude means you can attend class every day knowing you’re one step closer to achieving your goals.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

It’s important to be confident about your skills and knowledge, but there will be times when you won’t know exactly what next steps should be taken, or how to address or respond to a certain situation. In such cases, be self-aware enough to know that it’s acceptable not know everything and there are people you can ask for support. Whether it’s addressing a point in a lecture, asking for additional clarification after a tough reading, or requesting extra time to practice hands-on skills, be open to asking for help and learning from it when you need it.

7. Learn how to work within a team

When EMTs are out in the field, they work closely together. Teamwork is critical when you’re responding to emergencies. Even when you’re not running to the scene of an accident, you’ll be spending hours with your teammates every day, and learning to work together as a cohesive team. Consider finding a study partner or join a study group to start building rapport with your classmates. Learning how to work well with others amid challenges and pressure can be practiced as early as EMT training. Build relationships with your fellow trainees and use these skills in the real world.

8. Embrace the idea of lifelong learning

The healthcare industry is constantly evolving. Year after year, new lifesaving techniques are being introduced, scientific discoveries are being rolled out, and advancements in healthcare improve how things are done in this field. Completing your EMT training is a great baseline, but know that the nature of the job demands that you pursue learning consistently, even after you obtain certification. Being open to lifelong learning is critical to your success and longevity as an EMT. It allows you to continuously improve your knowledge and ability to care for patients.

9. Learn how to manage stress effectively

EMT training is stressful. The coursework can be challenging and often takes up a lot of your time. Training is tough and the pressure of having human lives in your hands can be intense. Learning how to manage your stress levels as you complete your education is crucial to your success as an EMT. You’d be hard-pressed to succeed in this profession if you can’t handle the stress and pressure of the training.

Learning is work—and committing to becoming an EMT is a serious endeavor. It’s tough but very rewarding. Remember, the time, effort, and energy you put into your education will ultimately translate to becoming a successful EMT.

If you’re interested in enrolling in a comprehensive EMT program, visit HCI College to learn more.

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