What Are the Different Types of EMT Qualifications?

Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann
EMTs undergo a formal training and licensing process.
EMTs undergo a formal training and licensing process.

There are several qualifications necessary to become an emergency medical technician (EMT), from earning a high school diploma and being able to lift heavy objects to the ability to function in a high-stress environment. Other EMT qualifications include having a driver's license, medical training and a clear criminal background. Good physical condition, good eyesight and manual dexterity are also qualifications required to become an EMT. Some EMT qualifications, such as hand-and-eye coordination, agility and the ability to remain calm when communicating using a radio, are all attributes of an EMT.

A cool and calm demeanor in stressful situations is important for an EMT.
A cool and calm demeanor in stressful situations is important for an EMT.

Often, a high school diploma is the first step on the road to becoming an EMT, as this is the foundation of all EMT qualifications concerning education. The ability to enroll and be accepted into an EMT program in college or junior college is often based on the success and grades earned in high school. Other essential EMT qualifications come in the form of natural ability. The nature of the job mandates that any EMT hopeful be strong enough to handle and maneuver injured, unconscious and immobilized patients.

A calm and cool demeanor when facing stressful situations is one of the EMT qualifications that is often tested only when facing a real-life situation. Some successful EMT candidates find out that the field requires more than they have to give only after arriving on their first emergency scene. The requirement of possessing a driver's license is tantamount to operating an emergency response vehicle and cannot typically be waived. A clean criminal background check along with a clear medical exam are must-haves when attempting to become an EMT. Both of these qualifications are typically completed before graduating an EMT training course required of all EMT personnel.

Manual dexterity is one of the EMT qualifications that can make the task of administering medical care easier in some situations. Due, in part, to the violent nature of some accident scenes, the EMT may be required to give an injection with a hand other than his or her predominate hand. Being able to adapt and use either hand to perform some medical requirements can be a bonus. Physical agility when moving across rough or uneven ground to reach or move a patient is another of the EMT qualifications that can help an EMT perform mandatory duties. Being able to respond calmly and intelligibly to patients as well as co-workers, supervisors and other medical personnel is also a requirement of all EMT candidates.

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    • EMTs undergo a formal training and licensing process.
      EMTs undergo a formal training and licensing process.
    • A cool and calm demeanor in stressful situations is important for an EMT.
      A cool and calm demeanor in stressful situations is important for an EMT.