EMT: What Are They and What Do They Do?

Most people know what EMTs are, but there are some that are not aware that an EMT is an Emergency Medical Technician, and they have no real knowledge of what’s required of them, or what EMTs do. They are, in a sense, the first response teams that aid victims throughout a crisis.

More often than not, they’re required to help a patient directly at the scene of the crisis, as well as in an ambulance or other moving vehicle, on the way to the hospital. These emergency workers are most generally on-call during the course of their shifts, which may vary from several 24 hour shifts followed by a few days off, to a daily shift often lasting from 12 to 15 hours.

Because of the stress level and often difficult working conditions, it’s imperative that these workers maintain an expert, calm and decisive manner whatsoever times. Quick decision making is a must, and leaves no room for mistake. In many cases, an EMT is required to treat the victim immediately, these requires the ability to accurately evaluate the seriousness of the problem at hand, and figure out which treatment is most suitable. As soon as the EMT has escorted the victim(s) to a medical facility, they are required to report their observations, their plan of treatment up to the moment of arrival, and they occasionally give additional help if required.

There are 4 levels that are registered with the NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians) and these four levels are dependant upon the persons knowledge, skills, and successfully completing the proper certifications and courses for each particular level. The basic capabilities that all EMTs are needed to know and have the ability to perform are a few as listed: treat wounds, CPR, administer oxygen, deliver babies, control bleeding, apply bone splints and anti-shock suits, have the ability and knowledge to properly subdue people exhibiting violent behavior, as well as be able to deal with allergic reactions. The rest of the skills are based upon which level the individual is licensed to practice. The 4 levels, as previously mentioned, that are registered with the NREMT are the First Responder, EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, and EMT-Paramedic. The first level EMTs is the level that covers emergency employees, fire fighters, and police, as well as a few volunteers. This level consists of the most basic of first aid skills, and does need courses for certification, however these are mainly short courses that are for fundamental first aid only.

EMT-1 or the EMT-Basic class of EMTs are in a position of managing a victims breathing, heart and deal with trauma emergencies and alsoon-the-spot diagnose the victims condition and make decisions concerning the proper responses for treatment either at the site of the turmoil and/or en route to appropriate medical facilities. The EMT-2 and EMT-3 (EMT-Intermediate) has the required skills to perform the skills required by level EMT-1 and along with those skills, they are expected to have the ability to administer intravenous fluids as needed, and shock stopped hearts using defibrillators. Their skills also consist of the ability to apply their knowledge of advanced airway techniques to assist victims with breathing problems or airway obstructions. The highest level, EMT-4, the EMT-Paramedic are those skilled and certified to carry out the most intensive care prior to the victim arriving at or being admitted to the healthcare facility. This level of EMT has the ability, skill, and knowledge to carry out all of the formerly listed skills in addition to small tracheal surgery, which is inserting a tube into the windpipe of a victim to help them in breathing if it’s necessary. EMT-4’s are certified to administer medication, and make use of many additional complicated healthcare devices as well as read electrocardiograms (EKG’s). All levels of these EMTs are qualified to work as/with cops, fire fighters, in hospitals or other healthcare establishments.

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