Learn How to Become an EMT
If you would like to learn how to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), then you’re at the right place. Presented below is a set of general requirements you have to complete before becoming an EMT. Read the requirements and decide if this profession is right for you.
Let’s start off with the most basic requirements:
- Have a high school diploma or its equivalent
- At least 18 years of age
- Must possess a current driving license
The first and third are definite requirements. I have not seen any EMT careers that don’t require a high school diploma, or its equivalent (GED), and a current driving license. As for the second requirement—being at least 18 years of age—some municipals do accept applicants who are at least 17 years old. If you are 17, you will need a parent’s/guardian’s written consent.
Becoming an EMT: Getting Started
To be an EMT is a two-part process:
Training involves a series of lectures, coursework, and any in-class activities. But most importantly training involves practical on-the-job training. This includes riding along in the ambulance and assisting actual EMTs in performing their duties. You are required to participate in the on-the-job training for a set amount of hours to fulfill your requirement. Not all states require the same amount of hours, and the hours can depend on what level of EMT certification you are pursuing (Basic or Intermediate).
EMT Basic Training
At the basic level, you will develop emergency skills. You will learn how to manage respiratory problems, provide emergency childbirth assistance, control bleeding, handle trauma and cardiac emergencies, and how to assess the patient to provide the proper care. Additionally, you will be instructed on how to use and maintain emergency equipment such as stretchers, oxygen delivery systems, splints, and suction devices.
EMT Intermediate Training
The intermediate level of training is more involved than the basic. At this level you can expect to take 30 to 350 hours of training depending on the depth of the practice. You will be taught advanced skills as they pertain to advanced airway devices, intravenous fluids and some medications. Once training has been satisfactorily completed, you are ready to go for your certification.
Certification is the result of passing the EMT exam. Once you have submitted your credentials to take the exam, including proof that you have completed training, you are allowed to take the exam, which is both written and practical. The exam is a culmination of everything you have learned. Given the serious nature of the profession you are wishing to enter, please take the certification process seriously. Some of you may have had bad test-taking habits when you were in high school. Drop those habits, study, apply yourself, and good luck!