When an accident or any other type of emergency occurs, different professionals arrive at the scene to help those who have been injured and need medical assistance.
They are known as first responders, and they can come from diverse backgrounds, such as police officers, firefighters, paramedics, EMRs or EMTs.
In the next few sections, we’ll first define Emergency Medical Services and then continue to focus on EMTs, what you’ll need to become one and how much you can expect to pay in order to obtain training and certification.
Table of Contents
What Are EMS?
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is an area of medicine that focuses, as its name indicates, on medical emergencies that happen outside medical facilities.
It involves different professionals whose main job is to offer medical care to people who have been injured or have a need of medical assistance before they can be transferred to a hospital or other clinical setting.
Some of these professionals are EMTs, EMRs, paramedics and firefighters, among others.
What Is an EMT?
An Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is a healthcare professional that provides medical assistance to people that have been injured or present any type of medical emergency outside a hospital setting.
Some of the most common duties an EMT has are to evaluate the condition of a patient, give necessary medical care, determine what the person needs, transport them to a medical setting, document what happens, and also respond to emergency calls.
There are other emergency medical professionals that sometimes are confused with EMTs, such as EMRs and Paramedics.
However, it’s important to indicate that depending on the state, these professionals may vary, as well as the requirements to start training and obtain certification.
What Is the Difference Between an EMT and an EMR?
EMRs or Emergency Medical Responders are usually the first to arrive at the scene of an emergency.
Their main responsibility is to offer immediate basic life-saving assistance to people who present a medical emergency.
EMRs training is basic compared to EMTs since they are the first to arrive at a scene before other EMS professionals can provide more profound support.
What Is the Difference Between an EMT and a Paramedic?
Paramedics have the highest knowledge and training of EMS professionals.
They are able to give more comprehensive medical assistance than EMRs and EMTs because they have been training for longer periods and can perform more complicated and invasive procedures than those professionals.
What Do I Need to Become an EMT?
In order to become an EMT, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or an equivalency diploma, such as the GED (General Educational Development) test.
You can then start training and then obtain certification.
As previously mentioned, certification requirements might change according to the state where you live.
EMT training is usually offered by community colleges, where students can learn about basic medical concepts and anatomy, as well as how to handle and operate basic medical equipment found on ambulances.
The training tends to last between three weeks and a semester, depending on the previous medical knowledge the student has.
Working at a hospital or other emergency setting is also required before being able to take the NREMT test.
To obtain certification, you must pass the NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians) test, which is a computer-based cognitive exam.
After completing your studies and registration on the NREMT website, you can select a date to take the exam and become certified.
How Much Does It Cost EMT Training and Certification?
The cost of EMT training generally depends on the city where you live, the institution where you want to study and the duration of the training program.
The typical cost of training is from $950 to $3,000.
The NREMT test fee is $98.