How do I Become an EMT?

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  • Written By: L. Hepfer
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 January 2019
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An emergency medical technician (EMT) is one of the most important jobs in an emergency. Their job is to provide emergency services to someone who needs them. Emergency services may consist of a car accident, a heart attack, gunshot wounds or other life-threatening situations.

A person who wishes to become an EMT should have a love for people and a strong desire to save lives. They must be able to work various shifts and be available on an on-call basis as emergencies cannot be planned. They must enjoy working indoors as well as outdoors and be able to lift a heavy person if needed.

It is essential for a person who wishes to become an EMT to remain focused on their job in emergency situations and not become overwhelmed with the task at hand. An EMT may work a total of 40-60 hours a week depending on whether they work for a hospital, a fire department or a private ambulance service. An EMT may work as a volunteer or they may get paid for their services.


In order for a person to become an EMT, the training and certification required is basically the same everywhere but may vary slightly from state to state. In order for a person to become an EMT, they must make sure they have a high school diploma or the equivalency thereof. The next step they must take to become an EMT is to complete a basic level EMT training program. These classes teach someone how to respond in emergency situations and what they should do during cardiac, respiratory and trauma emergencies.

An exam administered through the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT) must be passed after finishing the training program. An EMT then needs to become licensed and certified through the state in which they will be working. Most states require an EMT to register and complete educational requirements every two years.

After completing the basic level of EMT training, a person may choose to extend their abilities by completing more training programs. An intermediate level training program is available for those who have completed the basic level training program. The intermediate level teaches an EMT how to administer intravenous fluids and perform more advanced skills.

The paramedic training program provides a higher level of instruction than the intermediate level training program. This program teaches the EMT how to practice higher levels of medical skills and also teaches the full anatomy of the human body. An EMT trained in a paramedic training program is able to deal with any emergency situation and will be able to administer any level of care while transferring the patient to the nearest hospital.



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