When deciding to become an Emergency Medical Technician or an EMT you must first understand that it is different from state to state; however, the process overall is rather similar in how this job is conducted.
Prior to becoming an EMT, you will need to follow a set of strategic steps in order to be certified as an EMT.
Take One Step at a Time…
Step 1: Check the State Requirements
While there is a clear vision that exists to bring EMS education and certification procedures nationally together, there is still a variance found at each states level to be met. Every state will have a minimum of certification requirements; most of which will maintain a list of authorized EMS instructors and training facilities that you can register with in order to get that much closer to becoming a certified EMT.
Step 2: Get CPR Certified
There may come a time in your life where you may save a life long before you ever become an EMT and that comes with being CPR certified. By taking 3 hours out of your time, especially if you are considering the medical field as your career choice, you must make sure that the CPR class you take will count later on. Even if you do not end up in the medical field, this certification may give you the leg up in another field of work that may require it.
Step 3: Join a Local Volunteer Rescue Squad or the Volunteer Fire Department
For anyone, you can become a part of a rescue squads or volunteer fire department without being an EMT, with its endless amount of information for furthering your career choice in the medical filed, you can be sure that it will work to your advantage no matter what.
Step 4: Find the Right Classes
There are some employers who are looking for certified paramedics to fulfill their EMT positions; however, in some situations, the Emergency Medical Responder designation may be the right one for you if you are just looking for an entry level certification to check things out. While some classes may not always be available close by, this does not mean you cannot go to another county to find a class that will your specific needs to help you reach your goals.
Step 5: Start shadowing EMTs
Upon registering for an EMT class, you will be required to obtain a specified amount of hours as a ride along in an ambulance while learning from the experienced EMTs that are there for your benefit to learn from.
Step 6: Study, Study, Study!!!!
There are many EMT courses and they are typically broken up into two different sections. The first section is a lecture that consists of book work and numerous written tests; the second is the laboratory portion which includes a review of skills and where a practical test is given. EMS training facilities have started to introduce a form of technology that allows for interactive simulators involving a “patient” and “ambulance” where you are allowed to physically practice what you will do while in the field.
Step 7: Register to Take and Pass a State Certified EMT Exam
No matter what state you are in, each US state offers future EMTs at least one EMT exam a year, sometimes more but you must successfully complete the class in order to be allowed to even test at the assigned site. This exam typically includes a written portion and practical examination portion that makes up the overall exam.
In an effort to make the didactic portion a little easier to access it is now available online in many states and the skills can sometimes demonstrated during the laboratory final while in class; it must be noted, however that you may be required to attend a practical exam separately from the written exam.
Step 8: Be Sure you Passed
For some people, they assume that just taking a class is all you have to do; when becoming an EMT, this is far from the truth. You must pass the class or classes you take in order to be able to even test to be certified to work in the field. In some cases, you have the ability to go online and access the results of your examination to see if you are on your state EMT registry long before a letter is sent that informs you if you passed or not.
Step 9: If you Failed, Re-take the Test
With this exam, if you fail your first time around, you are given two more chances to take the state exam again. After you have taken the exam on certain number of chances, you are required to retake the EMT course all over again before you will be allowed take the exam again.
Step 10: Stay Up to Date on All Things Medical
It is important to understand that because the medical field is always and constantly evolving or changing, that you are sure to stay up to date on the dynamic changes in the medical field by joining a professional group and or subscribing to educational medical literature. Any time you notice a big change, it is a good rule of thumb to try to take a class so that you are competent in the new procedures that will arise.
Step 11: Re-certify your EMT Certificate through Continuing Education Classes
It cannot be stressed enough that EMTs are 100% required to maintain their documentation for any and all continuing education courses that they have taken and must take in the future. Most, if not all, states allow for a portion of these requirements to be taken from online sources; however, take note that it is a hugely worthwhile idea to attend course that ultimately become a skills refresher course for the core areas that you will always need, such as CPR.
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This is a Guest Post by Jennifer Commer a mother of two and a recent business development college graduate. She blogs daily at http://backgroundcheckr.com about the importance of hiring the right team for the success of a company.