EMT paramedic training is essential for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the emergency medical services in the role of paramedic. In fact, training to become a paramedic requires first completing EMT training; in most states, paramedic certification is the fourth level of emergency medical training, although there are additional intermediate levels of EMT certification in some states. If your goal is to work as a paramedic, the first step is to complete EMT-Basic training (often known as first responder training).
While a paramedic and EMT perform much of the same duties; namely, to provide immediate medical care and first aid to injured or ill persons in the very situations where the need it the most. EMTs and paramedics are often the first people on the scene at accidents and other emergency situations and need to be equipped with the skill and know-how to stabilize patients and transport them to hospitals or other medical facilities for further treatment.
The chief difference between EMT and paramedic certification is the level of medical treatment that these individuals are trained to provide as well as the extent of the training required to receive these certifications. For example, somewhere between 120 and 150 hours of training are required to complete EMT-Basic training, while a paramedic will need to complete anywhere from 1200 to 1800 hours of training in order to receive this certification.
As mentioned above, the type of medical procedures that EMTs and paramedics are trained to administer differ. In most states, an EMT is not permitted to administer injections or other invasive treatments, while a paramedic is permitted to provide injections, start intravenous lines and other more sophisticated treatments than those which can be provided to patients by those individuals who have only completed EMT training.
On many ambulances, there will be crew members with EMT training as well as those who hold paramedic certifications. Only an EMT-Basic certification is required to simply transport patients; people who hold this certification are also trained in providing first aid and as such, they can provide some supportive care and treatment to patients before and during transport. However, if more advanced treatment is required to stabilize the patient, a paramedic will need to step in.
Naturally, there are different rules in place in different states as to what kind of EMT or paramedic certification is required of individuals to provide specific types of emergency medical treatment, though the basics are essentially the same in every US state.
Earning your EMT-Basic certification is only the first step in the process of becoming a paramedic, but if you aspire to become a paramedic and provide emergency medical care above and beyond what an emergency medical technician is permitted to administer as well as to enhance your career options, then it is well worth taking the time to work your way up to a paramedic certification. With persistence and determination, you can ultimately earn your certification as a paramedic after a few years of dedication and comprehensive EMT paramedic training.