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Emergency medical technicians or EMTs are skilled medical professionals who act as first responders to injured or sick patients. They apply first aid or do emergency medical procedures upon arriving at the area where the emergency happened. For serious or grave injuries, they do not have complete medical equipment at their disposal, so they have limited capacities on the field. Despite that, EMTs do their best to ensure that patients would reach the hospital for such high-risk cases. EMTs are expected to be calm under pressure and have extensive knowledge of first aid and of basic medical procedures.

Emergency Medical Technician Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real emergency medical technician resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Provide medical emergency response, non-emergency transport services, event medical services, manage transportation services and paramedic and EMT training.
  • Demonstrate manual dexterity, with ability to perform all tasks relate to quality patient care.
  • Coordinate emergency transport of patients while providing treatment and triage in a variety of emergency situations.
  • File reports for patients, restock ambulance and supplies at base, have ACLS training, injection.
  • Handled/administered all types of ACLS medications to pediatric, adult and geriatric patients on a daily basis.
  • Assist nurse/physician with procedure such as suturing, lumbar puncture, catherization, casting/reduction, and application of restraints.
  • Perform tasks requiring manual dexterity.
  • Administer CPR and other emergency medical treatment during emotionally stressful situations.
  • Provide emergency medical care according to EMT-B level of establish Maryland protocols.
  • Perform procedures such as phlebotomy and orthopedic splinting and ready patients for doctor evaluation.
  • Participate in all standard firefighting duties, including emergency calls and equipment monitoring and maintenance.
  • Prioritize time management and organization in order to effectively triage, treat and transport patients to appropriate facility.
  • Monitor cardiac conditions and EKG readings, and communicate pertinent information to medical hospital staff for optimal patient care services.
  • Provide basic emergency medical care, patient transportation, documentation, and maintain sanitation and cleanliness of all equipment and areas.
  • Obtain instructor level in PHTLS, AMLS.

Emergency Medical Technician Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 19% of Emergency Medical Technicians are proficient in Patients, CPR, and EMS. They’re also known for soft skills such as Compassion, Physical strength, and Problem-solving skills.

We break down the percentage of Emergency Medical Technicians that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Patients, 19%

    Attended emergency medical requests as they arose and rendered advanced paramedical assistance to seriously ill or injured patients.

  • CPR, 11%

    Provided first response services which included bandaging wounds, administrating oxygen, and administering CPR

  • EMS, 7%

    Heightened educational outcomes by providing instructional leadership for all EMS related classes.

  • Customer Service, 6%

    Maintained a quality, customer service oriented environment designed to provide protection and safety for personnel, property and assets.

  • Life Support, 5%

    Provide private transportation between medical facilities for patients who require basic life support and critical care support with proper medical professionals.

  • EMT-B, 3%

    Provide emergency medical care according to EMT-B level of established Maryland protocols.

"patients," "cpr," and "ems" aren't the only skills we found emergency medical technicians list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of emergency medical technician responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Compassion can be considered to be the most important personality trait for an emergency medical technician to have. According to a emergency medical technician resume, "emts and paramedics must be able to provide emotional support to patients in an emergency, especially patients who are in life-threatening situations or extreme mental distress." Emergency medical technicians are able to use compassion in the following example we gathered from a resume: "reacted calmly and effectively in emergency situations and exhibited professionalism and compassion when caring for patients and interacting with families. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling emergency medical technician duties is physical strength. According to a emergency medical technician resume, "emts and paramedics need to be physically fit." Here's an example of how emergency medical technicians are able to utilize physical strength: "maintain physical conditioning necessary to perform efficiently in emergency situations; meet medical and physical agility standards as established. "
  • Problem-solving skills is also an important skill for emergency medical technicians to have. This example of how emergency medical technicians use this skill comes from a emergency medical technician resume, "emts and paramedics must evaluate patients’ symptoms and administer appropriate treatments." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "responded to injured players, taped injuries, quickly and effectively solved emergency situations"
  • An emergency medical technician responsibilities sometimes require "speaking skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "emts and paramedics need to clearly explain procedures to patients, give orders, and relay information to others." This resume example shows how this skill is used by emergency medical technicians: "represented eagle ems in numerous disaster response team (drt) exercises. "
  • Another common skill for an emergency medical technician to be able to utilize is "listening skills." Emts and paramedics need to listen to patients to determine the extent of their injuries or illnesses. An emergency medical technician demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "communicated and comforted patient and families during emergency situations. "
  • Lastly, this career requires you to be skillful in "interpersonal skills." According to emergency medical technician resumes, "emts and paramedics usually work on teams and must be able to coordinate their activities closely with others in stressful situations." This resume example highlights how emergency medical technician responsibilities rely on this skill: "used interpersonal skills to cooperate with multiple agencies to ensure patient care and crew safety. "
  • See the full list of emergency medical technician skills.

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    What Ambulance Drivers Do

    Flight Paramedics are responsible for providing emergency medical care to patients while in transport to a medical facility. Their duties include carrying out pre-hospital life support medical care, managing patient care documentation, participate in clinical experiences, conduct equipment maintenance, reporting failure of equipment, and maintaining supplies. They are responsible for healthcare referrals, outreach education activities, pre-mission checklists, and employee orientation. Flight Paramedics also contribute to the departmental quality by undertaking research and ensure operations comply with safety standards.

    In this section, we compare the average emergency medical technician annual salary with that of an ambulance driver. Typically, ambulance drivers earn a $13,259 higher salary than emergency medical technicians earn annually.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both emergency medical technicians and ambulance drivers positions are skilled in patients, cpr, and ems.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. An emergency medical technician responsibility is more likely to require skills like "customer service," "cleanliness," "emt-basic," and "emergency care." Whereas a ambulance driver requires skills like "emergency calls," "medical appointments," "law enforcement officials," and "convalescent persons." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Ambulance drivers tend to reach similar levels of education than emergency medical technicians. In fact, ambulance drivers are 1.7% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.3% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Flight Paramedic?

    Firefighters/paramedics handle emergency triage, ensure patient stability, and acute medical assessment. These professionals provide emergency medical care to infant, child, and adult trauma and medical patients based on assessment findings. They manage paramedic/EMT continuing education programs. They are trained in HAZMAT response and do exercises on a monthly basis. It is their responsibility to coordinate blood-borne infection and CPR yearly skills training and re-certification for county volunteers and employees.

    Next up, we have the flight paramedic profession to look over. This career brings along a higher average salary when compared to an emergency medical technician annual salary. In fact, flight paramedics salary difference is $10,518 higher than the salary of emergency medical technicians per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of emergency medical technicians and flight paramedics are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "patients," "cpr," and "ems. "

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, emergency medical technician responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "customer service," "emt-b," "cleanliness," and "emt-basic." Meanwhile, a flight paramedic might be skilled in areas such as "emt," "bls," "direct patient care," and "phtls." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, flight paramedics tend to reach similar levels of education than emergency medical technicians. In fact, they're 0.8% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.3% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

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    How a Firefighter/Paramedic Compares

    A paramedic is a healthcare professional who provides advanced medical care and emergency treatment to patients in the field. Although they can work on ambulances or hospital emergency rooms, paramedics may work as part of a helicopter's flight crew to transport critically ill patients to a specialized hospital. Paramedics are required to create a patient care report and document the medical care of patients they are treating. Also, paramedics need to follow the guidelines they learned in training from their physician who supervises their work.

    Let's now take a look at the firefighter/paramedic profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than emergency medical technicians with a $12,021 difference per year.

    While looking through the resumes of several emergency medical technicians and firefighter/paramedics we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "patients," "cpr," and "customer service," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from emergency medical technician resumes include skills like "ems," "emt-b," "cleanliness," and "emt-basic," whereas a firefighter/paramedic might be skilled in "emt," "ventilation," "fire safety," and "fire drills. "

    Additionally, firefighter/paramedics earn a higher salary in the government industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $56,312. Additionally, emergency medical technicians earn an average salary of $39,453 in the government industry.

    When it comes to education, firefighter/paramedics tend to earn similar education levels than emergency medical technicians. In fact, they're 1.0% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.7% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Paramedic

    Now, we'll look at paramedics, who generally average a higher pay when compared to emergency medical technicians annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $4,897 per year.

    While their salaries may vary, emergency medical technicians and paramedics both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "patients," "cpr," and "ems. "

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, an emergency medical technician might have more use for skills like "emt-b," "emt-basic," "dexterity," and "medical facility." Meanwhile, some paramedics might include skills like "bls," "emt," "triage," and "phtls" on their resume.

    Paramedics earn a higher salary in the government industry with an average of $44,219. Whereas, emergency medical technicians earn the highest salary in the government industry.

    In general, paramedics reach similar levels of education when compared to emergency medical technicians resumes. Paramedics are 1.0% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.2% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What an Emergency Medical Technician Does FAQs

    Do Emts Make Good Money?

    No, EMTs do not make good money. The median salary for an EMT in 2021 was $35,400 per year or $17.02 an hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

    The top 10% of EMTs earns $59,860 or $28.78 an hour. While the lowest 10% of EMTs earn only $23,490 a year. How much you make as an EMT largely comes down to your location, industry, and years of experience.

    How Hard Is Emt School?

    EMT school is hard, contrary to what some may think. EMT schools generally do have high acceptance rates and are short programs, however, this does not translate into an easy educational path.

    How Many Hours Do Emts Work?

    Most EMTs work typical work week hours, which means that full-time EMTs work around 40 hours a week. Because EMTs must be available for any emergency, shifts for EMTs can be overnight and over weekends.

    How To Reduce Ems Burnout?

    Check in with yourself, push for what you need, and manage stress in order to reduce burnout in Emergency Medical Services (EMS). For a more detailed look at these strategies and others, reference this guide:

    • Check in with yourself. Being an EMS can be an extremely emotionally taxing career, so it's important to know your limits and recognize when you may need to make changes before it gets out of hand.

    • Push for what you need. Success as an EMS is often tied to the availability of proper support and equipment. If there is something that is missing or broken, it is important to stand up for yourself and make sure everything is in working order.

    • Connect with others in your field. Connecting with those around you is beneficial as you can have someone who can support you and knows exactly what you're going through. You may also find it beneficial to have allies to work through difficulties and find solutions together if needed.

    • Manage stress. Burnout is high for EMS because of the consistent stress in the career. Finding positive ways to manage stress, such as therapy, exercise, yoga, or simply spending time with loved ones can be beneficial.

    Is An Emt A Good Job?

    Yes, being an EMT is a good job. Demand for EMTs is increasing and the pay is decent relative to the amount of education required.

    Being an EMT also serves as a valuable foundation for a more lucrative career in the healthcare industry, though this most likely still requires advanced education in a particular medical field.

    What Degree Do You Need To Be An Emt?

    You need a certification from a postsecondary emergency medical technology program to be an EMT. The program typically takes two to three years to complete, depending on your career goals and educational path. EMT training focuses on life support techniques for first-response situations.

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