Online Ambulance Training: Overview of Education Options

Essential Information

Online education for emergency medical technicians, which is mainly administered at the EMT-Basic (EMT-B) level and usually includes ambulance training, is offered by private businesses, hospitals and a few colleges. There are also programs available at the intermediate and paramedic levels, though these are less commonly offered via distance learning. Because hands-on practice is required, programs are offered in a hybrid format, and students must get hands-on training and participate in an ambulance ride-along.

A fully-online alternative is an undergraduate degree in healthcare administration. Instead of focusing on emergency response and clinical care, these programs prepare students for office jobs within medical institutions, so they can be completed entirely online.

Ambulance Training through EMT Curriculum

EMT-Basic training provides introductory information for care of patients in pre-hospital conditions, beginning with assessment of the emergency situation and often leading to ambulance transport. An online EMT program will include some hands-on training and an ambulance ride-along.

Program Information and Requirements

Online courses at colleges and universities tend to use a Web-based course management system. Student-instructor correspondence is typically conducted via e-mail and instant messenger services, while class-wide discussions are hosted on message boards or through e-seminars. Private businesses sometimes offer correspondence courses that use downloaded or mailed media.

List of Common EMT Courses

The following courses are typically found at the Initial or EMT-Basic level but may be taught in greater depth in advanced programs:

  • Basic Human Physiology
  • Legal Boundaries
  • Pharmacology
  • Critical Thinking
  • Respiratory Arrest
  • Cardiac Conditions
  • Substance Abuse
  • Childbirth and Trauma

Continuing Education Information

Although only EMT-Basic certification is required to work on an ambulance, advanced levels of training are available. However, these advanced courses are less commonly hosted online. EMT-Bs may wish to pursue EMT-Intermediate (EMT-I) or even EMT-Paramedic (EMT-P) certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).

In basic-level EMT programs, students take online courses that cover human biology, life-threatening medical conditions and their causes; they must also get real-world training by working in an ambulance. A student looking for a fully online program would need to check out related fields instead, like healthcare administration.

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