How Demanding Is Being an EMT?

An emergency medical technician (EMT) is a healthcare professional trained to provide patients with basic life-saving care in emergency situations. Is an EMT the same as a paramedic? No–the two roles are distinct. 

An EMT is different from a paramedic in that an EMT primarily deals with patient assessments, entry-level interventions, and operating ambulances. Paramedics, on the other hand, can carry out more advanced procedures, like administering medicine, injecting IV, or delivering a newborn. 

That said, the demands of being an EMT can get just as taxing. From EMT test preparation to officially working on the field, both the journey and the destination of being an EMT require a lot of physical, emotional, and mental strength.

Becoming an EMT

Becoming an EMT starts with an EMT course–you can enroll in these at community colleges, private companies, and even some fire departments. The course can last anywhere from twenty-one days to three months. Unlike EMR test preparation, EMT training is very accelerated, so it’s best to build solid foundational knowledge so that you can get through the program more easily. You can do this by supplementing your course with the Video Vault from The Paramedic Coach!

Once you complete your course and pass all in-course tests, you can take the NREMT (National Registry of EMTs) exam. Many people are unable to pass this test on the first try, but luckily, you can take it again.

After passing the NREMT exam, you can obtain certification and licensure from your state, and then begin finding jobs in the field.

Working as an EMT

Working as an EMT is physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging. You typically work eight-, twelve-, or twenty-four-hour shifts. While you’re not always on your feet, you must be ready to go from zero to one hundred, from resting in between calls to suddenly being hands-on on the field.

When responding to an emergency, you’re put in various indoor and outdoor situations that may put you at risk of exposure to different diseases. As an EMT, you always see patients at their worst, and this can be emotionally draining. You deal with life-or-death situations, and making these crucial calls can take a toll on the mind.

Despite the heavy demands of working as an EMT, it’s still an honorable and enjoyable line of work–which explains why there’s no shortage of aspiring life-savers who continue to join the force. The job is exciting; you never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll do. 

Plus, there are plenty of learning and advancement opportunities at every turn. At the end of it all, the reward is great–you get to help people every day.

Managing an EMT Job

Here are some tips to help you manage a demanding EMT job:

Be Positive

Focus on the pros of the job, especially on tough days. Find things to look forward to and make meaningful connections with the people you work with. Prioritize your mental health by seeking help when you need it.

Stay Healthy

Your body will be challenged as an EMT, so you must ensure that you’re in the best shape to take on the demands of each day. Eat full and healthy meals, get sufficient sleep, and stay active.

Keep Learning

You’re going to make hard decisions as an EMT, and your choices must be grounded on education and experience. Review your materials once in a while to keep your EMT knowledge fresh.

Should I Become an EMT?

Being an EMT can be difficult, but the learning, opportunities, and sense of fulfillment that you get from it are like no other. If you’re ready to take on the job, don’t think twice! 

Start your journey by equipping yourself with an understanding of all EMT concepts, which you can learn from The Paramedic Coach’s Video Vault. Get your lifetime access today!

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