Well I think I can tell you about this since I just started my EMT job today.
First you take a course (EMT-B)....it's a 140 hour course - you can take it at a JC and its cheap, or you can save time on an accelerated course it will cost you $500-1000. Look at JC's or call the firefighter department and they can tell you where to go.
Then you take a national test (or a county test) to get certified (btw you must have CPR in order to go on at this point - but that's just 6 hours). The national test is hard and there are two portions (written and skills).
Ok do that and then you go look for a job after paying all this money and studying so hard and the company gives you their own test and once you get past that and the interview, you get a minimum wage job. That's right my friend a job that pays virtually nothing and makes you work at least 48 hours per week (that's for full time, you can get part-time). Oh and you have to be able to lift a lot (that was another test that I remember now along with the drug test).
Oh I almost forgot, cause I haven't done this yet, a test to get your ambulance certificate. Oh yeah and there are some live scans involved along the way. I guess just a lot of hoops.
Now for the positive: job ain't too hard. From what I hear, you get great experience and that is the fun part. You get to ride a ambulance at like 50,000 mph with lights (okay not really).
Sorry to give you so many details - just went through a pain to get this kind of info when I started, so I thought I lay it all down here for you and anyone else that needs it.
Okay just remembered one more thing, so for the sake of completeness here it goes:
don't take the first responder because EMT-B covers everything in that. And as a premed you are probably smart enough to start at EMT and save time. If they tell you its a prereq, talk to prof or look where you don't have to take this, unless you really really want to take it, then just forget what I just said (haha you can't forget it now can ya??).
Now for the next fifteen seconds, try not to think of a pink elephant.
thanks for the info. thats kinda disappointing to hear you only get paid minimum wage for all you have to do i get paid more than that mowing yards but thats not really what im worried about right now, im more interested in getting experience. Also is any prior knowledge needed before taking this class? And just out of curiousity how much do you have to beable to lift? Thanks again for your help.
Are u looking to get paid or volunteer? I just started in an volunteer corps -- it's only on weekends mostly so it fit well with my schedule. ALthough I've only done 2 tours it's alot of fun and very rewarding. Where are you located?
I'll prob. volunteer bc i already have a job and like you would fit in my sched. a little better. What all do you get to do as an EMT? I live in Oklahoma City so if there is any extra info. you could give me I would appreciate it. Thank you.
in new york state if you are a member of a volunteer ambualnce corps the state will pay for your class. im sure this is probaly true in other states as well. my best advice is to call up and join your local volunteer ambulance corps they will be able to tell you what you have to do as every state is slightly different. I have been an EMT-B for 5 years and love it
oh and lifting 45 is useless in new york you are required to be able to lift 125 pounds and there is a reason for this. Try carrying a 300 pound person down 3 flights of stairs with just you and your partner and you will see what i mean.
And most places it is more then minimum wage. Near me people get paid at least 9.50 an hour usually closer to 10.50. I have heard that an EMT-B in alaska can make 70000 a year
It's slightly more than min. wage (actually I have no clue what min wage is right now), but EMT comes out about $8 something an hour. But from what I hear you really make money in overtime (there is always some available since they are always understaffed). For the test, this is a proprietary test by the company I am working for (you've heard of them) - the max if I remember correctly was lifting 145 lbs from 20 in. to 40 in. and hold it there for about a sec or two (supposedly this will be enough for 8 out of 10 calls is their logic). The test isn't too hard and most pass it. The lifting is in the work, there is a lot of lifting (most of the work is just transport with 10% being the REAL calls). Back injuries are the #1 career ender in the EMS industry - a well known fact. You have to lift patients all the time, usually heavy ones, and in weird positions so you can't use proper lifting techniques. That is one reason I didn't want to work as an EMT, but oh well, too late now. I only plan to work a short time for the experience. This info. is for ambulance work.
Now some EMT's are employed in the ER. Another good place but then the whole ballgame changes. The entire environment and what you do is different.
You don't need to know anything before you take the EMT course. Since someone already brought up the other levels, let's just talk about that. Highest one is Paramedic. Usually paramedic school is 1 or 2 years depending on where you are. In LA, it's 1 year program, in san diego 2 years, so depends where you are. However, in order to be a paramedic, you have to have a 1000 hours (about 6 months) of EMT work - that is why they can pay so little, and that is why the turnover is so high. Most people are either becoming paramedics or firefighters or RN's etc. Now what can EMT's do? Well that ALL depends on where you are. If you are in something like southern california, you are very restricted because everything is available. If you are in somewhere like a southern state where there isn't serious EMS available, the EMT may be allowed to do pretty much what a paradmedic can do in Southern California or even more. To find out what you can do, you need to get a hold of the scope of practice for the county you are in. But here is the basic gist - EMT are BLS (basic life support), so they can do basic air management (can't intubate - unless you are in a county where you are allowed) and they can transport, bandage, that kind of stuff. For IV's (at least an EMT-I), and medications you need to be a paramedic (however again depends on where you are). Some places EMT's can do IV's. Sorry if this is at all confusing, this is really the way it is. By the way, where are you? then I can probably answer better.
Lastly, if you want to get a better look at this stuff, get the phonebook and call an ambulance company and ask to do a ride-along. Most companies allow people to do a ride-along, since the EMT class requires this. Some may not let you since you are not enrolled in a course, but be persistent and you will find one (usually they will let you once you have done CPR).
Any other questions, just holler.
Man I gotta move to alaska, great pay no taxes and such beautiful nature......do they have a med school???????????
I can tell you in southern cali, EMT's make about 20,000/yr (there would be a sad face here, but I cannot find one on the smilies thing, I guess that is why they are called smilies). And that is a 48/hr work week I am talking about (4 days, 12 hour shift).
well if we are talking about levels there is another one the EMT-critical that only exists in some states. They can do pretty much everything that a paramedic can do but need to ask permsision from medical control for everything while the paramedics have more standing orders
Oh and since becoming an EMT the first thing i think of whenever walking into an elevator is can the strecher fit in here