For those who are interested in entering the medical field but don’t have the time or money to become a practicing physician or nurse, there is the option to become an EMT or paramedic. An EMT, or emergency medical technician, is usually the first responder in emergency situations like 911 calls and disaster relief. Not only can EMTs make a huge difference in a local area, they can also find ways to help people across the country and around the world.
What Can EMTs Do?
There are three levels of EMTs. EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, and EMT-Paramedic. Each level depends on experience and training that the personnel has received. Beginner EMTs can do basic work like splinting broken bones, handling severe bleeding, and supplying oxygen administration.
Intermediate level EMTs are able to practice cardiac monitoring and IV therapy. Once an EMT is at the paramedic level, they are allowed to perform all the acts that the lower levels can do as well as other advanced procedures.
Although being a certified EMT does not mean that you can be an EMT anywhere in the world, it does mean that you can at least be useful at various locations. Many countries have different professions and qualifications for their emergency medical services and instead of having EMTs in an ambulance, have a nurse and a physician.
However, the Red Cross likes to utilize the knowledge from EMTs in disaster situations. Trained EMTs, whether beginner, intermediate, or full paramedics, make for great first responders for disaster relief. After natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina or the Haitian earthquakes, EMTs are vital for helping with injuries while hospitals quickly fill up and cannot attend to all the medical needs in the area. Using portable medical technology and other advancing technologies like thermal cameras EMTs are extremely capable in the field.
In addition to helping with disaster relief, some certified EMTs can also teach the skills they know in locations around the world. EMTs often make good teachers to people of third world nations who do not have immediate access to medical services. The EMTs give these citizens a basic knowledge of wound and injury treatment so that they will have better survival rates in the event of a disaster.
Private or Volunteer Jobs
EMTs can not only work for specific cities, but also as volunteers or for private companies. Volunteer EMTs are sometimes necessary for small cities or towns where they cannot afford to have a fully staffed EMT department or if the citizens are too spread out to have government funded help everywhere. Factories and mines often hire industrial medical services to keep their employees safe on the job. These services, according to 911 Industrial, are private companies that are certified with the proper business and medical organizations to provide services for hazardous work settings.
Along with volunteering for public events and working for private businesses, EMTs can also be hired to work at National Parks Services. Depending on skill sets, they are opportunities to be part of the National Ski Patrol or a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician. This allows them to work outdoors while still utilizing their training as an EMT.
EMTs can make a difference in specific communities by providing the necessary medical services. However, they can reach beyond just one location. Their area of expertise allows for them to make a difference to people in different parts of the country and even, through the correct channels, internationally. Becoming an advanced EMT-Paramedic can prove to be a fulfilling career for those up to the challenge.