Paramedics, firefighters and those who are interested in working in the emergency field need to attend an EMT school for formal training. EMT schools around the country offer rigorous training programs that prepare students for careers with their local fire department, private ambulance services, hospital emergency rooms and hospital-based ambulance services. Most EMT schools provide students with both lecture-based classroom instruction and hands-on training through clinical. Some students are able to attend EMT schools online. Online courses may be a supplement to an offline program, or be available to students who already have a degree in the medical field.

Training at an EMT School

EMT schools around the country provide specialized training in emergency services, life support and trauma care. Some of the key areas of training at an EMT school include:

  • Patient assessments and evaluations
  • Trauma care services
  • Using basic life support equipment
  • First aid and CPR protocol
  • Managing different types of medical emergencies
  • Hemorrhage and bleeding control
  • Managing different types of environmental emergencies
  • Stabilization of the spine and fractures after an accident
  • Emergency childbirth procedures
  • Using defibrillators and other types of medical equipment
  • Emergency scene assessment
  • Interpreting EKG results
  • General patient care

EMT training programs at EMT schools and EMT schools online typically lead to certification. There are currently five different levels of EMT certification, and each level has different educational requirements and hands-on training requirements. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) is responsible for defining each level of EMT certification. As of 2011, these levels include: first responder, basic, intermediate-1985, intermediate-1999 and paramedic. Those who want to complete training at EMT schools must have at least a high school diploma and a strong background in biology, chemistry, anatomy and related sciences.

Attending EMT Schools Online

Students who do not live near a school that offers an EMT training program, or those who wish to have a more flexible schedule, may choose to attend EMT schools online. An online EMT training program allows the student to complete coursework from their home or office, and learn many of the basic skills via online lectures, streaming video, and downloadable materials.

Courses in this type of online program typically address ambulance operations, hypoperfusion, cardiovascular emergencies and hemorrhaging. Students do need to complete their clinical requirements at an approved medical center, hospital or training facility. However, they will complete much of the lecture-based courses completely over the Web, and may have access to PowerPoint presentations, streaming audio files, and picture galleries to supplement their learning program.

Some state health departments require students to complete their practical sessions or clinical sat an approved facility once per week. For example, Jefferson University Hospitals' online EMT program requires students to attend a hands-on training session every Saturday. Other schools may have a campus location where students must log in a certain number of clinical hours per month in order to fulfill their educational requirements.

When you are reviewing different EMT schools online, it's important to make sure you are enrolling in an accredited school. The Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CAEMSP) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) are two accrediting parties for EMT schools around the country.