EMS is difficult work. Personal sacrifice is a part of the package, along with long work hours, awful weather and heavy lifting. You'll be surrounded by people who are panicking, having heart attacks and can't breathe. There will be blood and other bodily fluids.
Needless to say, an EMT position can be a stressful job with psychologically and physically demanding work conditions. At the same time, it is rewarding to save lives in one's community on the front lines of crises. EMTs are also increasingly expected to participate in community health education initiatives that are designed to prevent emergencies before they happen.
Paramedics work hard to provide quality out-of-hospital care, serving as a turnkey link between the public and other medical professionals. The EMT is responsible for providing initial medical treatment, with a focus on stabilizing crises until injured or sick persons can be transported to an appropriate caregiving facility. The paramedic must keep people alive en route until they have access to the full range of resources available at a hospital or other healthcare setting.
The Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Profession, or CoAEMSP, is the largest national regulatory agency in charge of evaluating paramedic programs in the U.S.
For 2013, the rules have been updated such that EMT and paramedic programs must be formally accredited by either CoAEMSP or CAAHEP, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. There are only a few CAAHEP-accredited paramedic programs in the U.S. at the bachelor's level, among them the University of South Alabama and Central Washington State.
A emerging trend in EMS is the integration of "community paramedicine" into the EMT's scope of practice. EMTs are being repositioned to provide preventative "mobile healthcare" to the masses as part of a larger network involving nurses, doctors and other providers.
A movement is gearing up to frame EMTs not only as emergency techs but also as healthcare providers uniquely empowered to expand access to members of the community who are not getting all the care they need. In practice, this can mean eliminating the persistent problem of 'repeat' healthcare consumers who are back in the hospital within a month of discharge, among other sources of system inefficiency.
As political and industry leaders move to implement an expanded scope of practice for EMS personnel, EMT students might profitably position themselves as leaders in this area. To that end, a handful of Community Paramedicine degree-granting programs have appeared in recent years.
EMT workers are licensed in each of the states. Licensing invariably requires proof of successful field training and some minimum level of coursework. While many states rely on the exam given by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians as proof of education and competency, others use their own tests and benchmarks.
Tests of psychomotor and 'practical skills' are often required for state licensing. Graduates should get to know the regulatory board for the state in which they intend to practice. State boards are excellent resources for updated information about EMS practice protocols.
In general, the number of EMTs that have completed a degree is relatively small. For EMTs in the United States, vocational certification is the standard. While the pursuit of a degree can often confer competitive advantage in many fields, this is not necessarily true in all fields and EMS is a good example. There are no universal or commonly accepted career pathways with which to reward the advanced knowledge and training that a degree could provide. As a result, NREMT's certification system remains entirely sufficient.
There are five distinct levels of EMT/Paramedic certification under the rubric of NREMT, or the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Here, we'll discuss the most common credentials. Note that these levels of certification usually prevail across states, but may have different names. Their responsibilities and on-the-job privileges, too, are based on state-specific regulations.
The introductory level of EMT training is called "First Responder." A certified First Responder is, in a nutshell, more trained than someone with basic first aid certification, yet less qualified than an EMT or Paramedic. First Responders learn how to perform CPR, deploy defibrillators, immobilize fractures, supply oxygen and deliver first aid. Most police and firefighters are certified First Responders.
The second and most common level is the EMT-Basic certification. After working as a Basic EMT for a time, additional training and certification can earn students the third credential: EMT-Intermediate. The difference between a Basic EMT and an Intermediate one is the extent of intervention allowed.
The basic EMT makes quick diagnoses and provides elementary, life-saving pre-hospital care at the scene or during transport. Meanwhile, Intermediate EMTs and Paramedics are entrusted with providing more advanced care. They administer medication, shots and intubations to subvert morbidity and mortality in critical-condition patients. Paramedics can interpret EKG readings and may operate certain types of advanced medical equipment.
In its current state, the EMS profession is not set up to justly compensate those who have invested in higher education. While specific employers may offer exceptional opportunities, achieving one of the accepted levels of professional certification is sufficient to succeed in most EMT positions.
Sometimes, students pursue an Associate of Applied Sciences in Emergency Medical Technology that encompasses the EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Paramedic certifications in a bundle.
An undergraduate degree isn't usually necessary for EMTs, although sometimes results in better pay and benefits. One reason to pursue an associate's or bachelor's degree would be to keep your options open for further advancement in the medical sector.
EMS administrative jobs are usually reserved for those with at least a post-baccalaureate degree in a health sciences major, though not necessarily EMS. Any decision to pursue further education beyond vocational certification and targeted training should be accompanied with a thorough understanding of one's ultimate career goals.
We found 437 schools offering emt degree programs in the U.S.
|Adult Center for Education||Zanesville||OH||97|
|Aims Community College||Greeley||CO||6948|
|Akron Adult Vocational Services||Akron||OH||325|
|Alabama Southern Community College||Monroeville||AL||1261|
|Alaska Vocational Technical Center||Seward||AK||210|
|Albany Technical College||Albany||GA||2444|
|Allan Hancock College||Santa Maria||CA||12110|
|Allen County Community College||Iola||KS||1968|
|Altamaha Technical College||Jesup||GA||1110|
|Alvin Community College||Alvin||TX||3665|
|American Center for Technical Arts and Sciences||Philadelphia||PA||217|
|American River College||Sacramento||CA||28420|
|Appalachian Technical College||Jasper||GA||950|
|Arapahoe Community College||Littleton||CO||7436|
|Arizona Western College||Yuma||AZ||5214|
|Arkansas State University - Main Campus||State University||AR||10429|
|Arkansas State University - Mountain Home||Mountain Home||AR||916|
|Arkansas Valley Technical Institute||Ozark||AR||455|
|Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College||Asheville||NC||4940|
|Athens Technical College||Athens||GA||2747|
|Atlanta Technical College||Atlanta||GA||2884|
|Auburn Career Center||Concord Twp||OH||141|
|Augusta Technical College||Augusta||GA||3265|
|Austin Community College||Austin||TX||25735|
|Baker College of Clinton Township||Clinton Township||MI||2559|
|Baker College of Muskegon||Muskegon||MI||2727|
|Ball State University||Muncie||IN||19004|
|Baltimore City Community College||Baltimore||MD||5883|
|Barton County Community College||Great Bend||KS||4612|
|Bellingham Technical College||Bellingham||WA||3682|
|Belmont Technical College||Saint Clairsville||OH||1524|
|Bevill State Community College||Sumiton||AL||3558|
|Bishop State Community College||Mobile||AL||4058|
|Black River Technical College||Pocahontas||AR||1239|
|Blackhawk Technical College||Janesville||WI||2472|
|Bossier Parish Community College||Bossier City||LA||4332|
|Bowling Green Technical College||Bowling Green||KY||854|
|Brevard Community College||Cocoa||FL||13265|
|Brigham Young University - Idaho||Rexburg||ID||8949|
|Broome Community College||Binghamton||NY||5663|
|Broward Community College||Fort Lauderdale||FL||27389|
|Camden County College||Blackwood||NJ||12131|
|Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center||Cape Girardeau||MO||169|
|Capital Community College||Hartford||CT||3042|
|Career and Technical Center at Fort Osage||Independence||MO||5|
|Carl Sandburg College||Galesburg||IL||3220|
|Catawba Valley Community College||Hickory||NC||3731|
|Central Alabama Community College||Alexander City||AL||1577|
|Central Florida Community College||Ocala||FL||5230|
|Central Georgia Technical College||Macon||GA||3787|
|Central Oregon Community College||Bend||OR||4079|
|Central Texas College||Killeen||TX||14636|
|Central Washington University||Ellensburg||WA||8050|
|Century Community and Technical College||White Bear Lake||MN||6937|
|Chattahoochee Technical College||Marietta||GA||3287|
|Chattahoochee Valley Community College||Phenix City||AL||1748|
|Chemeketa Community College||Salem||OR||9650|
|Chesapeake College||Wye Mills||MD||2186|
|Chippewa Valley Technical College||Eau Claire||WI||4503|
|City Colleges of Chicago - Harold Washington College||Chicago||IL||8147|
|City Colleges of Chicago - Malcolm X College||Chicago||IL||8638|
|Clackamas Community College||Oregon City||OR||6369|
|Clark State Community College||Springfield||OH||2808|
|Clatsop Community College||Astoria||OR||1743|
|Clayton State University||Morrow||GA||4455|
|Coastal Carolina Community College||Jacksonville||NC||3780|
|Coffeyville Community College||Coffeyville||KS||1680|
|Colby Community College||Colby||KS||2160|
|College of Dupage||Glen Ellyn||IL||28862|
|College of Southern Idaho||Twin Falls||ID||5452|
|College of the Canyons||Santa Clarita||CA||10528|
|College of the Mainland||Texas City||TX||3358|
|Collin County Community College District||Plano||TX||12996|
|Colorado Mountain College||Glenwood Springs||CO||7407|
|Columbia State Community College||Columbia||TN||4261|
|Columbiana County Vocational School||Lisbon||OH||64|
|Columbus State Community College||Columbus||OH||18094|
|Columbus Technical College||Columbus||GA||1754|
|Community College of Southern Nevada||North Las Vegas||NV||29905|
|Coosa Valley Technical College||Rome||GA||2313|
|Corning Community College||Corning||NY||4306|
|Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas||De Queen||AR||815|
|Cowley County Community College||Arkansas City||KS||3986|
|Crafton Hills College||Yucaipa||CA||5054|
|Crowleys Ridge Technical Institute||Forrest City||AR||141|
|Cuesta College||San Luis Obispo||CA||9496|
|Cuyahoga Community College District||Cleveland||OH||19518|
|Dalton State College||Dalton||GA||3137|
|Davenport University||Grand Rapids||MI||2322|