ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is EMT class like?

Updated on May 25, 2015

What is EMT class?

EMT is an abbreviation for an Emergency Medical Technician. EMTs and paramedics are generally the people who ride and drive ambulances in response to 911 calls, where an EMT is a lower certification than a paramedic, providing basic life support (BLS), whereas a paramedic provides advanced life support (ALS). As someone who recently completed an EMT course, I want to share some lessons I learned:

First off, remember that working as an EMT is a medical job, and that means people's lives are actually in your hands, so I cannot understate the importance of paying attention and studying. I took this class at my local ambulance corps while I was still in high school, and balancing my public school classes with my EMT course load proved itself a worthy challenge, so I would like to draw a comparison: to anyone thinking of taking the class who works a full-time job, make sure you can find a few hours throughout the weeks of your course to read the chapters in your textbook, more so if you have not already completed an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) course, which is a lower level of certification than an EMT. My course was approximately five months long from my first class until I completed my cognitive and psychomotor exams, but there are also full-time courses available depending on your location.

People of all ages sign up for this course! My class consisted about half and half of high school students (ages 16-18) and adults already in the workforce (ages 20 and up). I believe the oldest person in my class was in his early to mid-thirties, but anybody of any age can start any time. However, you do have to be sixteen years old to sign up, and you must be at least eighteen to receive a national certification rather than a state certification (which you actually can't even receive anymore after you turn eighteen because all certifications are now at the national level).

The course consists of all the basics you might imagine a certified professional might need to know in the emergency medicine world. Topics range from cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), shock treatment, trauma assessments, bleeding control, immobilization and stabilization techniques, some pharmacology, all the way to obstetrics (yes, EMTs are trained to deliver babies on the ambulance if necessary), and more but normally not the firefighting section mentioned at the end of the video below. The course contains a plethora of information, which leads me to my next learned lesson.

Short Overview of an EMT Class

Nobody comes out of EMT class a great EMT. The class just simply cannot provide enough real-time experience to mold a person into a seasoned patient-care provider. Especially on the first few calls you run after your class, you are bound to make at least a few mistakes, but that's why ambulance crews never consist of just one person! Hopefully, you will have the help of other EMTs and paramedics running these calls with you (initially if nothing else), and the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) world is always readily waiting to help and teach, so never feel afraid to run a few shifts with people you don't know! Of course, there are a ton of easy calls (assuming you have the patience, and if not, maybe EMS isn't the career path for you) like emotional distress calls, "sick person" dispatches, and even nose bleeds (my first call was actually a ninety year-old man with a nose bleed). Even those calls can seem tricky at first because maybe you never became familiar enough with the equipment in class, and it can take some time to figure everything out. Just remember the skill comes with time and experience that the class probably will not provide.

Most of EMT class, depending on your course provider, actually revolves around lectures. If I had to take a rough guess on the ratio of lectures to skills practice days my class consisted of, I would estimate it to look like 10:1, which is understandable because you will take more written (cognitive) tests than skill (psychomotor) ones, but remember that career EMT jobs are only based on skills! Well, skills and piles of paperwork. Luckily, all the information is normally pertinent to the skill-set an EMT needs and the job he or she will presumably work after completion of the class. However, you are likely to come across information you might feel is ridiculous to spend class time on. One of my last classes was on what an ambulance is. (Spoiler: if you don't know what an ambulance is before the class, you might feel unprepared for EMS). However, learning the skills does not take a significant amount of time compared to the never-ending amount of information there exists to memorize. For the psychomotor tests throughout the course, they should be based on the evaluation sheets found on the NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians) website. You can find the specific link below:

In conclusion, I would like to give a final reminder that everything starts off as basic. The advanced information and skills will come later in the course to provide time for adjustment to the class and ultimately the EMS responsibilities, so try not to feel overwhelmed thinking about hours of lectures on topics you might not have even heard of yet.

I personally found my class to help develop some truly valuable life experiences. While this might just seem like a job, remember that the person you respond to has called 911 and might just be having the worst day of his or her whole life, and you showed up to help. That's what ultimately matters: we're just people who help other people.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Mark 

      3 years ago

      Helpful info

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)