An EMT is a frontline worker that often arrives on a scene as the first medical worker. There are no limits to the variety of cases an EMT encounters each day, so every workday has a unique flow. People that aspire to work in this field need to understand what skills they will need to perform the job successfully.


Training is required

EMTs must complete high school or obtain a GED. To become certified, EMTs complete between 120-150 hours of training and pass a National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam. Training includes CPR classes, tourniquet use, and other first-aid measures. Understanding how to manage any medical emergency that arises is critical to EMT success.


Fitness is Crucial

Every day EMTs rush to their calls. The work involves hours of physical activity that includes performing CPR, lifting patients, and climbing in and out of emergency vehicles. The shifts often last for 12 hours, and breaks happen only when possible and not always when people feel they need them. An EMT may spend hours on their feet, walk through difficult terrain, or climb many flights of stairs.


Focus Saves Lives

EMTs cannot allow aggressive patients, traumatic scenes, and the surrounding activity to affect their performance. The focus of the EMT can become a life or death issue for the patient. A lack of focus can lead to mistakes, missed symptoms, or allow an EMT to become too emotional.


Teamwork is Priority

EMTs almost always work in pairs and often have firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and many others at every call. Teamwork involves developing a reliable relationship with a partner, so each person understands their responsibility. Effective communication with others enables other medical professionals to understand what has already occurred and what they need to do as they take over care.


EMTs work with hospitals, local police and fire departments, and privately run rescue or ambulance services. The level of work quality and responsibilities and skills needed stay the same regardless of the employer. Many EMTs eventually train as paramedics to increase their job opportunities, but EMT work gives them the experience and basic skills needed to determine if paramedic work suits their personality.