anyone here an EMT?

  1. can anyone tell me what being an EMT is like? how much the programs usually cost and what stuff you do? what kind of patients do you see? how long do these programs usually take? would you reccomend someone becoming an EMT or a CNA or both to get experience?
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   getoverit
    Programs are basically free if you volunteer or work for a fire department or ambulance service. If not then it's the tuition cost at the community college, probably a couple hundred $$ altogether. The education is solely based on emergency response, first aid, understanding the emergency services system (dispatcher, fire, EMS, air rescue, radio communications, etc). There are clinicals where you ride along with an ambulance and also do time in the ER, basically practicing patient assessments and basic EMT skills (vitals, immobilization, hemhorrage control, O2 delivery, etc). The patients you see as an EMT range from birth to 100+ years, they have medical illnesses, traumatic injuries or a combination of the two...some of the most complicated and challenging scenarios you'll encounter. I'm not sure what you mean by "how long do they take"? If you're talking about the length of an EMT course, it's dependent on the state guidelines. Most are about 150-200 hours combined classroom and clinical.
    Hope that helps. I'm sure people much more knowledgable than me can give more precise info on the costs involved and length of class time. I've had a paramedic card for almost 20 years and would never want to lose it.
  4. by   MurseMikeD
    I've been an EMT for almost six years and recently earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. It would help to know where you're from first. There are significant differences in how EMTs are certified in different states, and sometimes even between different counties in the same state.

    What I can tell you though is that EMT training is readily available at most community colleges throughout the United States for the same per-unit cost as any other course ($18 a unit back when I did it). The number of units varies from college to college, but you can count on it being at least 7 or 8.

    The curriculum may have changed a little but you'll have a certain number of hours of didactic (classroom training) covering various body systems and their functions, patient assessment, and a host of other topics. Most places you're also required to spend time shadowing professionals in both a hospital (Emergency Department) and field (ambulance) setting. What kind of patients do you see? All kinds of medical, trauma, psych, and "other."

    Programs usually take a semester ('bout 17 weeks) but some places you can take an accelerated course in as little as four weeks.

    I would highly recommend becoming an EMT to you before nursing. It'll give you an excellent opportunity to develop critical thinking, multitasking, and communications skills -- all important in nursing.

    The benefit of being an EMT over that of a CNA is more opportunities to exercise critical thinking and (I think) communication. You'll learn multitasking about the same in either one. The only benefit to being a CNA over being an EMT is you'll be more familiar with the hospital environment... but having been an EMT I picked that up pretty quick too, as we spend a lot of time in the hospital.

    Let me know if you have any more questions. Also, I can help more if I know what state you're in.
  5. by   gs1976
    Your course of action is really dependent upon where in the hospital you want to work...If you are looking toward the ED, then the EMT route is the way to go...If you are looking to be a med/surg nurse, then I would recommend CNA training.
  6. by   gs1976
    Your course of action is really dependent upon where in the hospital you want to work...If you are looking toward the ED, then the EMT route is the way to go...If you are looking to be a med/surg nurse, then I would recommend CNA training.
    I personally was an EMT for 14 years before becoming a nurse, and I now work in the ED, and the experience is definitely helpful.
  7. by   Schlepter
    I will be finishing up my EMT class next week as a matter of fact. My practical and written test are at the end of the month. The program I went through was from my local community college, and was taught at the county fire academy. I paid $215 for the class, and another $90 for the book. I looked at other places and they ranged from $500-$1000. So far this has been a great program and I'm looking forward to learning more.
  8. by   jenniferhill1983
    I took my Basic courses back in 2001. The Basic training took 1 semester. I immediately went into the intermediate program and it was going to take 2 semesters. I was going for my associates degree, and it was going to take 2 years to take general education courses (English, math, goverment) and the EMT courses. As for the cost... It was comparable to any other associate degree program.
  9. by   smasem
    hello i dont know if i can help ,, am from israel .. in israel this course EMT takes about 188 hours u can take it in magen david to be an emt and ambulance driver .. u can work in ambulances .. it gives u basic treatments for traumas nd they learn u how to give basic life support ,, and about what r u going to see its depend where r u going to work .. but its a good course. at least it s give u some techniques and skills and u can use them in emrgency situations