Emergency Medical Technician
Nature of Work
People's lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care of emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Incidents as varied as automobile accidents, heart attacks, slips and falls, childbirth, and gunshot wounds require immediate medical attention. EMTs provide this vital service as they care for and transport the sick or injured to a medical facility.
EMTs assess the nature of the patient's condition while trying to determine whether the patient has any pre-existing medical conditions. Following protocols and guidelines, they provide emergency care and transport the patient to a medical facility. EMTs operate in emergency medical services systems where a physician provides medical direction and oversight.
EMTs use special equipment, such as backboards, to immobilize patients before placing them on stretchers and securing them in the ambulance for transport to a medical facility. These workers generally work in teams. During the transport of a patient, one drives, while the other monitors the patient's vital signs and gives additional care, as needed. At the medical facility, EMTs help transfer patients to the emergency department, report their observations and actions to emergency department staff, and may provide additional emergency treatment.
Beyond these general duties, the specific responsibilities of EMTs depend on their level of qualification and training. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certifies emergency medical service providers at four levels: emergency medical responder (EMR), emergency medical technician (EMT), advanced emergency medical technician (AEMT), and paramedic.
The EMT represents the first response of the emergency medical system. An EMT trained at this level is prepared to care for patients at the scene of an accident and while transporting patients by ambulance to the hospital under the direction of more highly trained medical personnel. The EMT has the emergency skills to assess a patient's condition and manage respiratory, cardiac, and trauma emergencies. The AEMT has more advanced training. However, the specific tasks that those certified at this level are allowed to perform varies greatly from state to state.
EMTs and paramedics held about 239,100 jobs nationally in 2012. Most career EMTs work in metropolitan areas. Volunteer EMTs are more common in small cities, towns, and rural areas. These individuals volunteer for fire departments, emergency medical services, or hospitals and may respond to only a few calls per month. The industries that employed the most paid EMTs and paramedics in 2012 were as follows:
- Ambulance services (48 percent)
- Government (30 percent)
- Hospitals (17 percent)
Employment of emergency medical technicians and paramedics is expected to grow by 23 percent from 2012 through 2022.
Credentials You Can Earn
The Higher Education Act requires all colleges and universities to notify students and prospective students of the all program costs for which they will be responsible. Students will be responsible for the following expenses:
- Nonrefundable application fee ($25)
- Program Placement Examination ($60)
Outside Vendor Fees Prior to Beginning EMSP Courses
- Hepatitis B Immunization ($200)
- Tuberculosis Skin Test ($45 for two tests)
- Equipment (Approximately $125)
- Uniforms (Approximately $75)
- Tuition ($89 per credit hour)
- Accident Insurance Fee ($4 per term)
- Campus Supply Fee ($40 per term)
- Instruction Fee ($55 per term)
- Parking Fee ($20 per term)
- Campus Safety Fee ($25 per term)
- Registration Fee ($50 per term)
- Student Activity Fee ($30 per term)
- Technology Fee ($105 per term)
Throughout the Program
- Background Checks and Drug Screenings (Approximately $110 per required check/screening)
- Malpractice Insurance ($47 per year)
- Textbooks (Approximately $600)
- Supply Fee (Varies — See course descriptions for exact amount)
Outside Vendor Fees at Program Completion
- NREMT EMT Licensure Exam Fee ($70) (AEMT students must take the EMT written licensure exam before taking the AEMT practical and written examinations)
- NREMT AEMT Practical Examination Fee ($125 to $150 depending on modules taken)
- NREMT Written Examination Fee ($100)
- State of Georgia Licensure Fee ($75)
These expenses are based on costs in effect at the time this catalog was published. Prices are subject to change.