Paramedic / Emergency Medical Technician - Job Description, Duties, Education, Skills, Salary, & Growth

Paramedic / Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

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Job Description

 

Paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are the ones who respond to emergency situations, from evaluating and treating a person suffering an apparent heart attack to the victims of a multi-vehicle pile-up on the highway.

Paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) provide emergency medical care for sick and injured at the scene. These health care workers are usually found in ambulances, although they may sometimes provide care for air-lift patients as well.

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Responsibilities

 

Paramedics and EMTs usually work in teams, with one serving as the vehicle operator and the other providing direct patient care when en-route to a medical facility.

EMTs are licensed to perform the following interventions:

  • Administer CPR

  • Administer oxygen

  • Treat diabetic patients by administering glucose

  • Provide interventions in allergic reactions or asthma attacks

  • Extricate patients and prepare them for safe transport

Paramedics are licensed to perform the functions of an EMT, but in addition may include more advanced skills:

  • Administer medications

  • Start intravenous lines

  • Provide and monitor airway interventions for patients

  • Resuscitate patients

  • Provide on-scene care for trauma patients

 

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Skills

 

Team Player

Must be able to work on a team and coordinate care with your teammates. Must work in an effort with others to create the best outcomes.

Communication

Must effectively communicate with your co-workers to ensure the best care and the proper procedures. Must be able to communicate in high-stress environments.

Stress Management

Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.

Physically Fit

Must be able to work for long hours, lift heavy loads, and be quick on your feet, as you will encounter a number of physically demanding situations. 

Preparedness

Must be ready for any situation you encounter. You will come across a number of terrible situations where you will have to use your training and knowledge to produce the best outcomes.

Critical Thinking

Use logic and reasoning to determine solutions and better approaches to problems.

Active Listening

Must listen to your co-workers and be able to take instruction as you will work in high-demanding situations and must respond quickly to orders or events.

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Working Conditions

 

Paramedics and EMTs generally work full time. Their work is usually done in shifts that may include nights, weekends and holidays. Some facilities have paramedics and EMTs working rotating 24-hour shifts.

There are employment opportunities for paramedics and EMTs in both urban and rural settings, with more rural EMT units being staffed by volunteers.

Private ambulance services, fire departments, hospital or other rescue services are potential sources of employment.

Career opportunities are also available in other venues, depending on the system being utilized and the area it covers.

Paramedics and EMTs may also find employment opportunities in areas such as wilderness emergency medical services, special operations, special events, management, handling and clean-up of hazardous materials, industrial safety instructors and inspectors, quality management and other related areas.

Paramedics and EMTs work as part of a health care team, in conjunction with nurses and physicians. They also work with firefighters and police officers.

Due to the nature of their work places them in the first responder position, paramedics and EMTs tend to experience higher than average work-related injuries and illnesses.

As a response to this, may be required to participate in ongoing training, depending on the employer’s requirements.

 

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Salary Outlook