An EMT/Paramedic program will train the student in assisting sick or injured patients in an emergency medical situation. There is a difference between an EMT and a paramedic. The EMT title goes to those who receive basic training while the paramedic is an EMT with advanced training and certification. The EMT studies a variety of emergency medical procedures such as taking vital signs, administering oxygen, treating acute medical problems, and stabilizing head and neck injuries. The paramedic goes further and studies advanced medical topics as well as doing rotations in various hospital departments.
Each state and college has its own requirements. However, generally, an applicant to an EMT program needs to be 18 years old and hold a high school diploma or a GED. Students must have advanced training in CPR. Due to the physical nature of the job, most states require students to pass a physical, have up to date vaccinations, and have active health insurance in place.
Some schools may require students to complete basic college classes in English, math, anatomy, and medical terminology. For a paramedic program, the student needs to have an active EMT certification and provide professional recommendations.
The typical jobs available to an EMT or Paramedic are in ambulance services or hospital settings. Some work for private companies while others work for the fire department or emergency services department. The typical types of jobs available to an EMT or paramedic will require weekend and night time work at least part of the time. Schedules may be regular or irregular depending on the employer. Some paramedics work as volunteers for small town fire departments.
Salaries for EMT/Paramedics vary quite extensively due to location and experience. Those who work in urban areas tend to make more than those in rural areas. The median salary in 2010 was $30,300. The job growth for this specialty was expected to be faster than usual for the next few years.
The work of an EMT/Paramedic can be physically strenuous. They are exposed to various diseases and potentially dangerous situations. However, the work is quite rewarding according to those who have done it.
The world of the EMT/Paramedic keeps changing. The procedures and techniques used in emergency medicine keep changing and expanding. That means that a paramedic or EMT needs to keep up to date with continuing education.