An EMT, or emergency medical technician, is the first level of response to medical emergencies like car accidents, heart attacks or hiking accidents. EMTs deliver basic medical treatment on the scene and help transport patients back to the hospital, where they report to the physician. They must pass a certified training program at the basic level, which takes about 150-160 hours of training, and obtain state certification. They may then move forward to the advanced EMT level and, eventually, to the paramedic level.
Here is a list of common topics explored in EMT courses:
- Disease transmission
- Scene safety
- EMS system communication
- Standards of care
List of EMT Courses
EMT-Basic courses are offered by accredited community colleges, universities and hospitals, and they usually take 150-160 hours to complete. Upon completion of this class, graduates are prepared for the certifying exam for emergency medical technicians. Course topics include assessing the patient's condition, performing CPR, dealing with blood loss, administering bandages, managing respiratory problems, first response treatment for common injuries and emergency childbirth. The EMT-Basic class includes hours in the classroom and the field. Students are required to have a high school diploma or GED to enroll.
AEMT - Advanced Emergency Medical Technician Class
The Advanced EMT class represents the next level in EMT training. Only students who are already certified at the EMT-Basic level are eligible to enroll in this course, which prepares them to earn certification at the advanced level. The Advanced EMT course introduces more advanced concepts and techniques, such as airway support, administering IVs, using a defibrillator and administering certain medications.
Anatomy and Physiology for EMTs Class
EMTs who wish to continue their medical education may take an anatomy and physiology course, which is often offered in tandem with EMT training programs at colleges and universities. This course may be required for EMTs who would like to transition to the paramedic level. Topics include an overview of gross and microscopic anatomy, nutrition, electrolytes and homeostasis. Anatomy and physiology classes enrich the EMT's understanding of the human body, potentially allowing for improved diagnostic and treatment capacities in the field.
Life Support Class
Some EMT programs offer life support courses that cover more advanced and specific issues than issues covered in the EMT-Basic course. These topics might include treating shock, treating trauma-related injuries, advanced techniques for dealing with cardiac arrest and techniques for treating children. In some cases, these classes lead to specialized certification, such as certification in pediatric advanced life support.