So you are wanting to become an EMT. Before you make this decision, it is important to understand exactly what an EMT is and does. An Emergency Medical Technician or (EMT) Is an individual who has had the required training and is certified to deliver pre-hospital ACLS in many different settings. This type of care delivered by an EMT is dependant on their certification level. Some EMT’s are only certified to give BLS or Basic life saving care, while others can give ALS or Advanced life saving skills. There are many types of Emergency Medical technicians. Some of these are EMT-B, which is basic, EMT-I, which is intermediate, and EMT-P, which is paramedic.

EMT-B’s are only able to apply BLS skills and mostly drive the ambulance to and from the destinations and assisting the higher certification levels. Certain job functions an EMT-B can demonstrate at their level are the use of and AED or automated external defibrillator, the use of basic airway adjuncts, and assisting patients with certain medications.  An EMT-I can apply BLS and ALS skills. They can administer all of the functions of the EMT-B and also intravenous therapy, advanced airway management, and also cardiac monitoring. An EMT-P has had more training than all of the other categories and is able to give medications and provide more procedures than the other two as well as perform the duties in which the other categories can.

The training requires is dependent on your states requirements. The state has to meet the requirements established by the US DOT’s required National standard curriculum. However certain stated may have some additional guidelines set forth. You must attend a credited school with a credited instructor and pass the class as required. You will have extensive training by completing classroom written work as well as tests and practicals. Once you have satisfied the hours needed for the class and passed all required tests and practical check offs, your next step will be to schedule a practical exam as well as a written exam. These are two separate exams.

During the practical exam you will need to demonstrate your skills in categories that are established by the national registry and the facility in which you will be taking the practical exam. You are required to pass this portion and the written portion in order to receive your certification. You will most often be given a pass or fail for each station of the practical in which you are testing in. Once you have passed the practicals it is then on to the written exam.

You do not have to take the practical exam before the written exam in most cases. You can start with the written first. Your written exam will consist of questions based on the skill level in which you are seeking certification. You will receive a grade. Upon passing the written and the practical exams you will then be able to apply for your certification. Once approved and you get your national numbers you are ready to start working.