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An Up-Close View of Two EMT Programs

There are two levels of training for an EMT: EMT-Basic, and EMT-Intermediate.  The next level of training would prepare an EMT to become a paramedic.  These training levels are considered progressive, as one can use their previous training to move onto the next certification level.

An EMT-Basic receives coursework emphasizing basic emergency skills, including managing respiratory, trauma, and cardiac emergencies, as well as patient assessments.  These courses are usually combined with hands on training in an emergency department or ambulance facility. 

The EMT-Intermediate level training varies by state.  Nationally the EMT-Intermediate levels are Intermediate 1985 and Intermediate 1999.  These require 30-50 hours of training and it is base on the scope of practice. 

We will cover two programs in different states and show what their requirements are. 

First we have Emergency Care Programs of New York, located (of course) in New York.  This company was established in the early 1980’s and they have trained over 20,000 EMTs.  You must be 18 years old and able to communicate in English; including reading and writing.  A high school diploma is not required, but it may affect your chances of being hired after becoming certified. The course involves 140 hours of training, and so depending upon your schedule you can finish in 3 to 5 months.  Their courses are offered in the New York City area, including Brooklyn, Bronx, and Manhattan.  The training course includes a mixture of lecture based classes and practical instruction.  All students will complete hands on training in a 12-hour shift at a hospital emergency room. By the end of the course a student will be competent in the following areas: patient assessment, CPR, hemorrhage control, trauma care, fracture and spinal stabilization, emergency childbirth, managing medical and environmental emergencies, and the use of a semi-automatic defibrillator.  Upon conclusion of the course a student will take the NYS EMT-B (Basic) Certification exams.

Our second example it Brevard Community College, located in Cocoa, Florida.  The first program at this school is the Applied Technology Diploma – Code EMTD (equivalent to EMT-Basic).  It is a one semester college credit diploma program, training individuals in pre-hospital emergency care.  Upon successful completion, the student is eligible to take the National Registry examination.  You must have a high school diploma or GED and CPR certification prior to enrolling.   This college also offers a 2-year Associate in Science – EMAS degree.  Individuals who complete this degree program are eligible for state licensing as a paramedic. Students seeking to pursue this A.S. degree must be a Florida certified EMT and complete a COAEMSP accredited Paramedic program.  Some of the general education course you will take are Communications I, Fundamentals of Speech Communication, Computation/Natural Science, Humanities, and Social/Behavioral Science.  Students will take 53 course hours of EMT and Paramedic courses, including labs.  A total of 5 technical electives are also required for graduation and some of those courses include: Human Anatomy and Physiology, Transition to Paramedic, Medical Terminology, Medical Law, and Ethics. 

While most EMT training programs are similar, they can vary by state, so always review your EMT school prerequisites and your state’s requirements for eligibility to take the state exam.

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