Emergency Medical Technician

Emergency Medical Technician Education Training

Emergency medical technicians have progressive levels of education that provide them with basic emergency skills. These programs involve varying amounts of coursework and include hands-on training. Regardless of the education level, there are licensing and continuing education requirements.

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Emergency Medical Technician Education

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are the first responders to an accident who provide life-saving care and transport to a hospital. There are three progressive levels of education for EMTs that include coursework and on-the-job training. Prospective EMTs may have to meet prerequisites, such as a high school diploma, age requirement, fitness test and background checks.


The first level of EMT education is EMT-Basic. These programs may be completed in several weeks and teach students pre-hospital procedures like patient assessment and emergency management. Students will become familiar with basic equipment, such as backboards, stretchers and splints. Clinical experience in a hospital and with an ambulance team is also required.


Individuals who hold an EMT-Basic certification may enter an EMT-Intermediate training program, although there may be experience requirements in some states. EMT-Intermediate programs may refresh upon topics included in EMT-Basic training, but will teach advanced emergency topics as well. Courses in biology, anatomy and physiology may be part of the curricula. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the nationally defined EMT-Intermediate levels require 30-350 hours of training, depending on the scope of practice (www.bls.gov).


Paramedic training programs are the most advanced education level and may be offered as an associate's degree program. Paramedic programs require students to earn multiple medical procedure credentials, such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Associate's degree programs may require significant scientific coursework, including biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology. Many programs require applicants to be certified EMTs and may prefer those who have experience.

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Barron's Educational Series Barron's EMT Exam: Emergency Medical Technician (Barron's EMT Basic Exam)
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Jones & Bartlett Learning First Responder: Your First Response In Emergency Care
Book (Jones & Bartlett Learning)
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