Interested In A Fast-Paced Medical Career? What Are Your Options?

Posted on: 8 December 2016

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If you've always been interested in entering the medical field but aren't sure you want to spend nearly a decade in college and medical school, you may be looking at some alternative careers that can allow you to provide direct assistance to those in need of medical help without becoming a doctor or nurse. Fortunately, advances in medical technology and changes in healthcare funding have made it easier than ever before to break into this field by becoming an emergency medical technician (EMT) or emergency medical responder (EMR). Read on to learn more about these roles and the training you'll need to become an EMT or EMR.

What do EMTs and EMRs do?

Both EMTs and EMRs are classified as first responders, often the first people on the scene of an auto accident or 911 call to provide care to those with severe injuries. In general, EMRs are classified a step or two below EMTs and have fewer powers to dispense medication and perform other activities that are generally limited to doctors; however, they are able to provide basic first aid and care in both emergency and non-emergency situations.

An EMT can provide critical care like inserting and beginning IVs, dispensing medication, and other higher-level tasks. In many situations, a fast-acting EMT may literally mean the difference between life and death. 

What training will you need in order to become an EMT or EMR?

Both these careers require some training and a certification program -- however, unlike other medical certifications (like a licensed practical nurse), this requires no college courses or higher education past a high school diploma or GED. As long as you've completed the EMR training and have passed the certification exam (which includes psychomotor and cognitive testing), you'll be able to legally provide first aid and other medical assistance at will; and those seeking EMT certification will need to undergo the same battery of testing. Once you've obtained your certification, you're free to seek work as an EMR or EMT at a hospital, private ambulance service, fire department, or other organization subject to 911 dispatching.

The psychomotor and cognitive tests can be the biggest hurdle for those seeking certification; not only will you need to prove that you have the necessary quick reflexes and decision making skills that are crucial to success as a first responder, you'll need to prove you have the reading and math skills to be entrusted with tasks like measuring medicine or assessing symptoms in high-stress situations. To learn more, speak with a business like Fire Medix.