What do Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics Do?
Emergency Medical Technicians are the first responders for any kind of medical emergency. They drive their emergency vehicles to the scene of an emergency, assess the situation and carry out the appropriate procedures, which may include administering CPR or medication and bandages.Emergency Medical Technicians are employed by municipal fire, police and rescue squad departments, as well as hospitals and private ambulance services. This career will show the impressive growth of 23% in the next few years, with over 12,000 positions opening up nationwide.
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics Skills and Abilities
Emergency Medical Technicians need to be familiar with the information and techniques for diagnosing and treating injuries and diseases. You must be able to assess symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures. Since this occupation works in public space, you will need to have superior customer service skills to provide quality service and evaluate customer satisfaction. You should be familiar with public safety procedures and policies and be able to follow them in unique and stressful situations. Emergency Medical Technicians also teach emergency medical procedures to individuals and groups so you must be skilled in developing and delivering training curricula. Some of the necessary skills for Emergency Medical Technicians are:
- Coordination – adjusting your actions to work together with others
- Service Orientation – actively looking for ways to help people
- Social Perceptiveness – noticing the reactions of others and understanding why the react as they do
- Problem Sensitivity – the ability to tell when a situation is going wrong or might be about to go wrong
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics Duties
Your primary function as an Emergency Medical Technician is to provide personal and medical assistance and emotional support to patients as well as coworkers and other customers. You will need to make decisions on a regular basis, and enter and record data. You will also be inspecting your equipment to make sure it is in good working condition. Some of the specific tasks you will perform as an Emergency Medical Technician are:
- Operate equipment, such as electrocardiograms (EKGs), external defibrillators, or bag valve mask resuscitators, in advanced life support environments
- Drive mobile intensive care unit to specified locations
- Administer drugs or perform intravenous procedures under a physician’s direction.
- Maintain vehicles and medical and communication equipment and replenish first aid equipment and supplies.
- Attend training classes to maintain certification licensure, keep abreast of new developments in the field, or maintain existing knowledge.
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics Tools and Technology
Emergency Medical Technicians use medical software to research information and for record keeping. You will also make use of medical equipment such as fixed-suction units, litters and stretchers, laryngoscopes, medical oxygen masks, spine boards and defibrillators.
Education and Training for Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics
Emergency Medical Technicians are expected to be fully trained when offered employment, which makes sense as you wouldn’t want a paramedic at the scene of an emergency who had to learn what to do from a partner or supervisor during a life-threatening event. About 70% of Emergency Medical Technicians have some college experience, and nearly 20% have as Associate’s Degree.
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics Salary
The median salary for Emergency Medical Technicians nationwide is just under $32,000. This occupation doesn’t have a wide salary range so don’t expect a large increase in pay over the course of your career. The top 10% earn just under $55,000.
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics Jobs by Geography
The top paying states are the District of Columbia, Washington, Hawaii and Alaska, while the majority of the lowest paying states are in the Midwest. The Western states will have the largest number of new jobs in the near future, with moderate pay.