How do I Choose the Best EMT Class?

Ken Black
Ken Black
Paramedics can work for municipalities, ambulance services, or other emergency response providers.
Paramedics can work for municipalities, ambulance services, or other emergency response providers.

Finding an emergency medical technician, or EMT, class is not as simple as choosing CPR training. Much more goes into what a good EMT, or paramedic, does to help a patient. In addition to respiratory and cardiac issues, an EMT class will also teach students how to help in the case of trauma injuries, which may not be related to breathing or heartbeat.

Hands-on experience is an important consideration when choosing an EMT class.
Hands-on experience is an important consideration when choosing an EMT class.

Students in search of an EMT class often face some of the same issues involved in finding any other type of training program. Finding a class that is convenient and affordable is a big challenge with which many students must deal. The things that set an EMT class apart from others, are the types of training offered, and the hands-on experience that is given.

EMTs are often the first responders on the scene of an accident, and must be well-trained to stabilize a number of life-threatening injuries.
EMTs are often the first responders on the scene of an accident, and must be well-trained to stabilize a number of life-threatening injuries.

In order to be truly effective as an EMT right out of school, it is necessary to gain some practical experience. Initially, this is not done by working with real people who have actual, life threatening emergencies, but rather using simulations. These simulations take place in an ambulance using equipment that will mirror almost exactly the equipment used in real-world applications. In order to do this, the key is to first find an EMT school that offers state-of-the-art technology.

Schools and faculty should also be well researched. While much of the EMT class will focus on real-world problems and simulations, there will also be a significant amount of classroom based training. Thus, the quality of teachers, and their experience in applying what they know, is a real a consideration for some students. Some students often do better in an environment that includes real-world examples and stories.

Knowing the local requirements is another important factor, as they vary form state to state. Some states require passing a standardized statewide test before an EMT is completely certified. This should be discussed with the school of choice. The student should understand how the EMT class will help him or her when it comes time to take that test. Those who fail the test will, by necessity, be putting their career on hold. Therefore, it is vitally important to understand exactly how the class will prepare the student.

Finally, finding a school that includes ongoing training may be an important factor for some students who feel they do better in a familiar environment. All states require some type of continuing education for paramedics. Further, those who want to advance from the basic designation of EMT 1 to EMT 2 or EMT 3 may want to find a school that can offer that as an option down the road.

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    • Paramedics can work for municipalities, ambulance services, or other emergency response providers.
      By: Tyler Olson
      Paramedics can work for municipalities, ambulance services, or other emergency response providers.
    • Hands-on experience is an important consideration when choosing an EMT class.
      By: Miriam Dörr
      Hands-on experience is an important consideration when choosing an EMT class.
    • EMTs are often the first responders on the scene of an accident, and must be well-trained to stabilize a number of life-threatening injuries.
      By: corepics
      EMTs are often the first responders on the scene of an accident, and must be well-trained to stabilize a number of life-threatening injuries.