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EMT Career Facts

EMT Career Facts

A career in emergency medical services as an EMT or paramedic is a demanding one, but for those who enter the field, a fulfilling and greatly rewarding one as well.

Emergency medical technicians are essential to their communities, helping to provide on-scene urgent care that can save lives and prevent tragedies. EMTs work as part of an EMS team and, depending on the size of the community served, location, population, and other factors, can be part of the local fire department, nearby hospitals or their own cohesive EMS unit.

Are you considering a career or volunteer position as an EMT? To help you decide if this is the path for you, read on for some trivia about the profession.

● No two days in an EMT’s career are ever the same. Dispatch calls vary every day meaning you never know what can happen on the job from one minute to the next.
● The 2015 annual median pay for EMTs and paramedics can be around $31,980, or $15.38 per hour.
● To become an EMT or paramedic, you need a high school education and post-secondary non-degree award or certification.
● The job outlook for this field between 2014 and 2024 is 24%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is a much faster rate of job growth than average for other fields.
● The BLS estimates more than 58,000 changes in EMTs and paramedics’ employment status over that same 10-year span.
● The work environment for EMTs and paramedics is described as “physically strenuous and…stressful,” considering the unexpected nature of each day’s work and the likelihood of tending to life or death scenarios.
● EMT/paramedic duties include, but are not limited to: responding to 911 emergency assistance calls, administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation, treating major wounds with urgent care measures, providing other first-aid, operating an ambulance and safely transporting patience to hospitals or health facilities, reporting findings and observations to doctors and nurses at care centers, and more.
● An EMT-Basic is able to assess a patient’s condition and to manage respiratory, cardiac and trauma emergencies.
● EMT-Intermediate is able to complete the same tasks as an EMT-Basic as well as more advanced medical procedures, including administering intravenous fluids and some medications.
● EMT-Paramedics provide more extensive prehospital care. In addition to the tasks of EMTs, paramedics can give medications orally and intravenously, interpret electrocardiograms (EKGs)—which monitor heart function—and use other monitors and complex equipment.

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