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EMT license

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Pathologist, Jan 7, 2001.

  1. Pathologist

    Pathologist Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Nov 29, 2000
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    Lately, I've become kind of interested in getting an EMT license. How long does the program for it take? How do I go about getting one, basically where can you go to get one? Also, what's the difference between an EMT and a paramedic?
  2. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Membership Revoked
    Removed 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2000
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    Resident [Any Field]
    You can train as an EMT through several sources. Local fire departments, local EMS services, and even private training centers all offer courses. Local community colleges also offer courses. I would suggest calling your local EMS service provider and just asking them
    The training can last from several weeks to several months, depending on when the courses are offered. Mine took me several months, going a few nights a week and every other Saturday. I forget the exact number of hours it took. Lets say I started in September and was certified in February.
    A Paramedic is an EMT, just the highest level of EMT in the EMS service.
    You have EMT-B, EMT-I, and EMT-P (Paramedic). These are the general guidelines for EMS certification. (There are others..EMT-D, etc) Each level up you can do more due to your higher level of training.
    In order to be a Paramedic you must complete so many hours as an EMT. (I think this is still a rule) Then you must complete another, much lengthier training course.
    In order to become a Paramedic, you must put in many hours of service and training. I contemplated becoming a Paramedic but I felt that it was't worth it for me because I would not really be working as a medic at all. I did, however, work with many wonderful medics who were also in PA school or were trauma nurses, etc. Most are wonderful people.
    It is a tough line of work. I have seen people burn out in less than 2 years, depending on the type of area they work in.

    I hope this post helped a little.

    Best of luck to you!

    Joshua Paul Hazelton, CNA, EMT-B
    [email protected]
    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (2002)
    "D.O. Wannabe"
  3. RichO

    RichO Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Dec 28, 2000
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    In Florida EMT is 1 semester or 2 depending on where you take it. It is offered only at Community Colleges and Private Institutions here in Florida. Paramedic is 3 semesters here. We do not have any of that EMT-? stuff. You are either a EMT-B (basic) or EMT-P (Paramedic). Thats It! Paramedics are trained in Advanced life support (IE DRUGS ETC ETC) and EMTS are BLS (Basic Life Support)--Kind of like a back up to someone with more training in the Emerg. Medicine Field. I work as a tech in an Emerg. Dept. and its provided me good contacts and experience

    Richard Olexa EMT-B
  4. rdennisjr

    rdennisjr SDN Super Moderator
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Nov 26, 2000
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    Just for those who don't know:

    Training Levels from ground up...

    First Responder = First medically trained responders to a scene - typically a non-medical professional - ie - A cop who has taken the firs-responder course. CPR, a few basic skills.

    EMT-B = Emergency Medical Technician - Basic
    Entry level medical stuff - more than the first responder. No drugs (Okay - a few - Oxygen, Oral Glucose, Activated Charcoal.) No advanced airway management. Backboards, bandages, CPR, Bag-Valve-Mask, etc.

    EMT-I = Emergency Medical Technician - Intermediate.
    Mid-level pre-hospital provider. EMT-B training + advanced stuff...this one is a bit harder to define as some states use this and some don't, and their is a new curriculum coming out. However, add advanced air way managment (Endotracheal Intubation, Combi-tube, etc.) Also add IV skills including intra-osseus. Again, this one varies by state - in the near future, cardiac drugs are going to be part of this program.

    EMT-P = Emerg. Med. Tech. - Paramedic.
    The gods of pre-hospital medicine. All of the above, plus drugs 8) Defib qualified also (manual - all levels including First Responder can be AED qualified)

    Basically - EMT-B - asses, O2, bandage, transport.

    EMT-I - trauma management trained + EMT-B skills

    EMT-P - Medical management trained + EMT-I + EMT-B

    Other stuff:

    EMT-W - Emerg. Med. Tech - Wilderness (No national standard yet)

    EMT-D - Emerg. Med. Tech (Basic) plus Defib qualified - not too many of these out there - typically in the rural volunteer squads where there are long response times and few paramedics available.

    Other Certification courses:

    ACLS - Advanced Cardiac Life Support
    AMLS - Advanced Medical Life Support
    ATLS - Advanced Trauma Life Support
    PHTLS - Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support
    BTLS - Basic Trauma Life Support
    PALS - Pediatric Advanced Life Support
    and the list goes on and on and on...

    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...

    10+ Year Member

    Dec 1, 2000
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    Medical Student
    As mentioned already, there are several different levels of EMTs. However, I am only familiar with the EMT-B. With an EMT-B certification, your responsibilites are restricted due to your limited amount of training. Essentially your responsibilities encompass basic life support, which includes CPR and delivering O2. It also depends on where you live in the US. From experience, each region of California has slightly different restrictions on what the EMT-B is permitted to do. I did inter-facility transport for an ambulance company and I found it to be utterly boring. Some ambulance companies have a larger juristdiction on Code 3 calls, which are more exciting than just inter-facility transports. So before seeking employment with an EMT certification, look into whether the company maninly does inter-transport or code 3 calls. You can also apply to be an ER tech, but hospitals usually require prior experience before they hire you. So right off the bat, you are limited to doing inter-facility transport until you gain some experience. During the school year, the EMT course is one semester long at the local jc, but I took the course during the summer. I had class four days a week for six weeks, five hours per day. In addition, I had 10 hours of ER clinical experience and maybe 12 hours of ambulance ride-alongs. The course, books, health clearance, and certification costed about $500. I found out I didn't want to be an EMT because the pay sucked and I found more enjoyment volunteering in the ER at UCSF and doing research. My advice is to make sure this is something you want to do. It is a large investment of time, effort, and $. (I apologize for being long winded and I hope my two cents worth is of some use) =)

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