Guest Blogger Students

5 Top Tips for EMT-Basic Students

This is a guest post by Carissa O’Brien. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Considering EMT school? Have you decided to dive in, but not sure of what’s in store? Here are five Everyday EMS Tips from recent EMT Basic course graduate Caraissa Caramanis O’Brien for you to consider as you enroll and prepare for EMT training.

1. Make sure you are ready. Whether your most recent schooling was a few months ago or ten years ago, make sure you’re ready to dive back into being a student. If committing to the course doesn’t fit your current lifestyle and balance with your other commitments, you might be setting yourself up for failure.

2. Do your research. Training is not a one-size-fits-all. Use the internet and local EMS resources to find the right program for you. Whether it’s university-based, EMS system-based or community-based, you’ll receive BLS skills training to prepare you for the EMT-B certification exam. Positioning yourself for success starts with picking the course that provides that training in a way that suits your learning style.

3. Come prepared. There are far too many available resources, whether online or directly from your training institution, to have an excuse for showing up on Day 1 with little clue of the course, its requirements, schedule and expectations. Read up and show your instructor and classmates that you take this thing seriously.

4. Commit 100%. Class has begun…dive in wholeheartedly. You may find it easy. You may be challenged. You may be tempted to skip out on 100% attendance (an absolute requirement) in favor of a beautiful day, but once you commit, stay committed, and you will be rewarded.

5. Stay engaged. Whether it’s a lecture or practical skills lab, make sure you’re getting the most out of the lesson. Listen attentively, take notes (yes, notes…you’d be surprised how helpful these will be come exam prep time), and ask questions…lots and lots of questions. Get what you need to know so that you can walk out of that class confident you could provide the care to a patient in need.

Carissa Caramanis O’Brien is President of Red Box Communications, a consultancy specializing in EMS, Fire and Public Safety. You can find her on Twitter (@carissao) and at

Visit for more tips, resources, and a free webinar presentation on preparing for EMT school by Greg Friese and Jim Hoffman

By First Arriving

Dave is an EMS provider based in New York City for over 20 years and has been blogging for over 10 years. He is experienced in all facets of EMS Service Management, Emergency Management, and specializes in Event Medical Services. He maintains a blog at, is an Columnist, and will be authoring on all things social (including Social Media) here at The Social Medic.