The Steps to Becoming an EMT

Many people seek a challenging career where they can focus on helping people. If that sounds like you, you should consider EMT training! Becoming an EMT isn’t easy, but it is a worthwhile and rewarding career that greatly benefits the community. EMTs at Alert Ambulance have been serving NJ residents since 1972.

What Is the Difference Between and EMT and a Paramedic?

EMT stands for emergency medical technician, and EMTs provide basic life support. In most states, the EMT is barred from giving any treatment that breaks the skin like an injection. After becoming certified as an EMT, you can become a paramedic. A paramedic can give stitches, intubate a patient, and give other more advanced emergency medical care. Interested in starting your journey in emergency medicine? Here are the steps you need to take to become an EMT:

1. Graduate High School. Like most advanced schooling, EMT training cannot begin until you have graduated from high school or obtained a GED. A focus on science classes, especially anatomy or biology, will be a good head start. Also, do not underestimate the importance of physical education because the job can be very physical.
2. Get certified in CPR. Some programs will include CPR certification in the coursework, but others will require to start your first day already certified. Check with the Red Cross or local community colleges to find a class near you.
3. Get a driver’s license. Driving the ambulance is not always the job of the EMT or paramedic, but in a lot of hospital systems, it is. Maintaining a clean driving record may help you land a job after everything is all said and done.
4. Pass your background check. Having a mark in your background or even a criminal record won’t necessarily disqualify you from entering programs or getting jobs later, but having a clean record is, of course, ideal.
5. Be healthy. Many of the EMT training programs will require you to be fully immunized with a current tetanus shot, and they may require you to pass a physical exam. The job can be demanding, so being in overall good physical health will only help you in the long run.
6. Get trained. Enter a program at a community college, vocational college, technical college, or medical training center. It will need to be a state-approved program that offers hands-on training.
7. Become nationally certified. After completing your training, you will need to sit for the certification exam. The cognitive portion of the exam will be a multiple-choice test, and then you will need to pass the practical exam and demonstrate your skills.
8. Become state certified. Some states will require licensing through the state even after obtaining your certification.

Good luck with your training!

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