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What to Know Before Becoming an EMT



Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are the first health respondents to the sick or injured before transporting them to the hospital for further treatment. A career as an EMT is rewarding for you and others. Below is a list of things you should consider if you want to become an EMT.

Skills Required

The lives of EMTs are fast-paced and require critical thinking and high levels of alertness. You will face challenges that necessitate fast, accurate medical decisions. So, what skills must you possess to become a successful EMT?

  • You must have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certification.
  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You should have a valid driving license
  • You must not have a criminal background
  • It would be best if you were in good shape physically and mentally.

CPR certification is required before beginning your EMT course. So if you don’t have your CPR certificate yet, you can reach out to Hamilton CPR. The requirements listed above will help you gauge how prepared you are and what you need to do to be considered for EMT training. You should also be a good listener and have excellent communication skills seeing as you will be dealing with injured and sick people. Although not on the list of skills required, it helps to be empathetic and patient when you’re in the line of duty. People with Type A personalities seem to excel better at being EMTs because they can quickly take control of a situation.

Training and Examinations

Many schools offer various EMT training courses. However, always check the credibility of the school before you enroll. The first course you will take is designed to give you the essential skill to become a functional EMT and pass the exams. A part of the course requires that you go on an ambulance ride-along to complete the first stage of the training. You can complete the training in 5 months. You will then take the National Registry EMT Certification Exam as soon as possible after completing your training course. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians allows you three chances to take and pass the exam. If you fail the first time, you can wait for fifteen days before retaking the exam. Your fingerprints will be taken when you do a Livescan background check and forwarded to the DOJ. After you have completed all these required examinations, you will be an NREMT card. You then take your CPR card, EMT certificate, and NREMT card to your local EMS agency and apply for your certificate. After you get the certificate, you can now work as an EMT. You’ll be expected to earn NREMT recertification as a way to ensure continued aptitude and compliance.

Scope of Work

EMTs can work with the ambulance services, as a doctor’s assistant, and the fire department. You are trained to perform Basic Life Skills (BLS), which means that you are qualified to;

  1. Stabilize injured victims
  2. Help out in emergency childbirth cases
  3. Administer medication and oxygen as required
  4. Stabilize head, neck, and broken bones

Because of the various accidents and traumatic medical situations you’ll encounter on the job, it helps to have a strong stomach as an EMT. You will primarily deal with injuries resulting from accidents and medical emergencies like strokes and heart attacks. Accidents can happen at any time, and this may result in longer working hours in and out of your working station. As you advance in your career, you will have more responsibilities and employment opportunities.

Salary and Remunerations

The salary for an EMT is decent and depends on the agency you will work for. You also get paid overtime. The highest-paid EMTs work for the local government, hospitals, and ambulance services. You can work towards being a paramedic, the highest certification in the Emergency Response Services industry, and guaranteed better pay and benefits.

You can also become part of this life-saving industry with the right mindset and qualities. It is a great career choice, and as an essential worker, you will be helping out people in their time of dire need. This article will help you make an informed decision.


I'm Nikos Alepidis, blogger at motivirus. I'm passioned for all things related to motivation & personal development. My goal is to help and inspire people to become better.

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