A lot of people are interested in a career as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). Stephen Varanko III was one of those people. He now loves his career but he wishes that people had told him before what was actually involved in the process of becoming one, so he could have been better prepared. This is why he has taken it upon himself to teach others about what to expect.
Stephen Varanko III on What EMTs Do
First of all, it is important to understand that there is a significant difference between an EMT and a paramedic. While both treat wounds, apply tourniquets, perform CPR, and generally be first responders, paramedics are more highly educated and trained and can perform more advanced medical procedures as well.
The Basics of Being an EMT
An EMT is there to help people who are injured and sick and require emergency treatment. It is a high pressure job in which people must act on the spot but with great accuracy. They can work in a variety of different places, but are usually found during natural disaster, after a car crash, during in-home medical emergencies, and at places of accidents. They learn how to treat wounds and provide CPR, as well as transporting their patients to clinics. Latest data shows that there are some 700,000 EMTs in this country who treat between 25 and 30 million individuals each year.
The national median pay for an EMT currently stands at $31,700. The states with the highest pays are Washington, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, and Alaska. There is also expected to be a 23% increase in demand or EMTs by 2022, which is much faster than other professions. This is mainly due to the fact that medical facilities are becoming more specialized and because there is now a larger elderly popularity. Virginia is expected to see the highest growth in demand, currently standing at 47.5%.
Becoming an EMT
There are a few steps to complete before someone can become an EMT:
- Complete basic training, the EMT-B, which takes between six months and two years.
- Become certified through a national or state exam administered by the NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians).
After his, EMTs can choose to take further steps to advance their career, including:
- Completing advanced EMT training.
- Completing a two year full degree program.
- Becoming a paramedic.
There is a lot of training available for those interested in an EMT career, ranging from certificates and diplomas to bachelor’s degrees. Training is offered in community colleges, vocational colleges, universities, hospitals, fire departments, and more. As such, there are a lot of pathways towards becoming an EMT, which ensures people with varying interests and learning preferences have a chance to enter this fascinating career. However, it is not one for the faint of heart and requires not just a lot of hard work and dedication, but also the ability to deal with very difficult situations.