Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

  1. Description

Science and Technology

Your day -- or night -- of work might include helping a homeless person, stabilizing an asthma attack, and responding to possible domestic violence. Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are a special breed: they think on their feet, stay calm, and assess health risks in an emergency.

Paramedics are the most highly trained EMTs. They give drugs intravenously (through the veins), operate defibrillators and other specialized equipment, and can be involved in a patient’s move from ambulance to emergency room.

Under the supervision of a doctor, EMTs and paramedics manage medical emergencies outside of a hospital. EMTs are classified as either first responders, basic, intermediate, or paramedics, depending on their level of training and experience.

“It is very rewarding to make a difference in people's lives on a daily basis.” Chad, Paramedic and Emergency Services Dispatcher

Are You Ready To...?

  • Make on-the-spot decisions about the treatment and care of trauma victims
  • Use defibrillators and other specialized equipment to treat injuries
  • Work indoors and out in all kinds of weather
  • Commit to ongoing education in medicine and emergency response

It Helps To Be...

A levelheaded, quick thinker who's able to prioritize risks. You should also be compassionate and a good listener. You must be strong enough to lift people and perform other physically demanding tasks daily.

Make High School Count

  • Get a well-rounded education, but focus on science, English, and physical education.
  • Pay attention in health class, and take a first-aid course.
  • Learn another language -- it could help you get a job.
  • Volunteer for community service, such as working with the homeless or staffing a hotline.

Did You Know?

Many future doctors and nurses get their start on the front lines of emergency medicine as paramedics.