This is a guest blog post by Sally Davison of FireScienceDegree.com. If you want to guest post or review on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
Education is a valuable asset, one that lays down the foundation for your entire career. And when it comes to providing emergency medical assistance, education helps add to your experience and expertise to make you the best in your field. If you’re considering becoming an EMT, there are a number of educational opportunities that you can pursue. First however, you need to know what kind of course you’re interested in, how much time and money you can afford on the certification process, and where and what kind of employment you’re interested in.
Three different kinds of training programs are offered by most EMT schools – EMT Basic, EMT Intermediate, and Paramedic. Each is progressively higher than its predecessors, so if you’re looking to gain the maximum education, you need to put in much more time and effort into becoming a paramedic, the highest level an EMT can reach. The basic prerequisites to enroll in an EMT program are a high school diploma and being at least 17 years of age.
Once you complete your training, you need to go through the certification process which involves taking a licensure examination. The requirements vary from state to state – some State licensing agencies administer their own exams while others allow certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). The license must be renewed every two or three years, and almost all the states require that EMTs pursue some kind of continuing education or attend regular refresher courses to keep up their skill level and gain more experience and exposure in newer methods of dealing with emergencies.
Choosing an EMT School
So when you’re trying to choose an EMT school that best fits your interests, here’s what you need to do:
- Check if it is accredited by a qualified agency.
- Ask if they offer the program of your choice.
- Do some research regarding the facilities and infrastructure of the school – it’s important that your training be as complete and thorough as possible and this can only happen when the school is reputable and known to offer comprehensive programs.
- Find out about employment opportunities – if you want to find work close to where you live, it’s best to choose a school that’s close by as well because they usually maintain connections with local hospitals and other healthcare facilities who hire EMTs and paramedics on a regular basis.
- Check for continuing education opportunities – if the school offers them, you’ll find it handy when it’s time to renew your license or when you want to climb up the career ladder.
- Ask about job opportunities in specialized sectors if you’re keen on adventure or travel – EMTs are in demand in various environments and if you’re prepared to undergo extra training and go overseas or relocate, you could be in for an exciting career.