EMT vs. Paramedic: What’s the Difference?

EMT vs. Paramedic

Deciding on a career in the public sector is an important process for anyone looking for their ideal job.

With a number of nuances in the career paths available to you, it’s important to understand the differences between each and which you are better suited for, as well as what steps you’ll need to take to make your career goals a reality. If you’ve begun considering work in emergency medical services, breaking down the differences between a paramedic and an EMT is an important starting point.

The Basics of EMT and Paramedic

EMT, or emergency medical technician, is often used colloquially as a term interchangeable for both EMT-Basic and EMT-Paramedic. Paramedic may also be used to describe EMTs in casual speech, but there is an important distinction between the two. While they are both emergency medical technicians, paramedics receive a higher level of training that allows them to provide patients in emergency settings with more advanced care.

The Similarities of EMT and Paramedic

For both EMT-Basic and paramedic credentials, diploma programs are offered at HCI to prepare students for the board exams. An associate’s degree in emergency medical services (EMS) program is also offered, which combines the paramedic curriculum with other general health coursework to prepare candidates to work as paramedics. To enroll in either program, students must meet certain age and basic education and clearance requirements. As far as schooling is concerned, the EMT program is a prerequisite for the paramedic program; this does not mean that an EMT program on its own cannot prepare prospective EMTs to do great work in their field.

The Differences in EMT and Paramedic

The job prospects and demand of each position varies with location and community. Being that they receive longer training and more advanced education, paramedics may find more success in certain communities than EMTs, simply due to the need in different areas. Paramedics are trained to attend to greater patient emergencies and can deliver acute care EMTs may not. Paramedics are the highest-skilled pre-hospital care providers, meaning they are licensed health practitioners who may give medical services on par with those of an emergency room. They receive more than quadruple the amount of training hours than do EMTs.

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