This is a good question. Just as the name would imply, an EMT is an Emergency Medical Technician. They are generally the first responders to an emergency situation via ambulance or sometime helicopter depending on the situation and nature and location of the emergency. They are the ones who are generally responsible for being able to stabilize a patient for transport to the nearest medical facility based on need and injury type. They can start iv lines if needed, and depending on training can administer certain meds as would be the case if there was an over dose call and the patient were in need of Narcan. Basic emergency training and some first aid and medical training are needed in order to become an EMT.
An EMT's (Emergency Medical Technician) main job is to respond to emergency calls, provide life-saving care wherever someone needs it, and then transport that person to the hospital.
Respond to 911 (in US) calls
Assess a person’s condition in an emergency
Document what happened to them
Determine treatment they need
Provide emergency first aid
Give life support if needed
Bring people to the emergency department to receive medical care
Give the medical staff at the emergency department a detailed report on the person
Transport patients from one medical facility to another
In US, a person has to have a High School Diploma or a GED (General Educational Development). The person also must take an EMT course from an accredited institution. These courses are usually between 120 and 150 hours and take less than a year to complete. They also need to have completed a CPR certification after a few hours of training with an organization like the American Red Cross or at a local hospital.
After completing the EMT training the person then must take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam. However, this may not be enough for a few of the states as they might have their own exams. So, they might have to pass those exams designed by that particular state.
The person still has to undergo 8 hour additional course to get a special driver's license which will enable them to drive an emergency vehicle.
After becoming certified as an emergency medical technician, they can get more training to become an advanced EMT. Also called EMT-intermediates in some states, these professionals can do more in the field, like administer IV fluids and some medications. Advanced EMT training is about 400 hours.
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