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Here’s how an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) saves lives!

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What comes to your mind when you think of an emergency medical situation Doctors and nurses? An operation theatre or an ICU? Well, a lot more goes into the healthcare ecosystem than what we regularly understand. Right from the moment you enter the hospital premises through your entire journey of recovery, there are numerous healthcare professionals involved at every step. An emergency medical technician or EMT is one of them.

An EMT is the first person that deals with a patient and decides the further course of action to a great extent. The importance of an EMT for life care and saving cannot be denied. It is an amazing career option if you also visualize yourself saving lives and playing a crucial role in healthcare. You can take up an emergency medical technician course if you find the profile interesting and wish to take it up as a career.

However, it is a good idea to know what the industry holds for you if you are an EMT. Before joining a Medical technician training course, you must be aware of the responsibilities expected of an EMT.

Here are the 5 major responsibilities of an emergency medical technician (EMT):

#1. Patient assessment & pre-hospital care as the first major responsibility of an EMT: One of the primary and most critical jobs of an EMT is to analyze the condition of the patient and decide the further course of action before the patient can be admitted to the hospital. This is the preliminary examination and must be done really quick in order to take action in time.

An efficient assessment requires the EMT to stay calm and make use of learning during the EMT training course and experience with handling patients. The initial assessment can be easy or complex based on the condition of the patient. Injuries can be relatively easy to assess and the patient is referred to the X-Ray department or any other vertical based on the situation for further action.

There may be situations where the EMT may need to prioritize patients based on their condition and need for aid. This is where an EMT is expected to take critical decisions independently. It is a difficult situation that they learn to tackle in Emergency Medical Technician Training Program.
#2. Prepare a preliminary record of the patient as the second major responsibility of an EMT: As soon as a patient comes in, the EMT must record the vital signs. These include:

  • Level of consciousness or unconsciousness
  • If the patient can communicate
  • If their physical reflexes are working
  • If the patient is breathing properly and live-saving tricks to help if breathing pattern is not normal
  • Pulse status and frequency
  • Colour of skin
  • Temperature of skin
  • Sweat levels
  • Eye response to light
  • Condition of pupils
  • Blood pressure

Based on these vital readings, the EMT can analyze the level of care required by the patient and the type of first aid that needs to be given. Specialist intervention is also decided based on these readings.
#3. Recording and assessing the medical history of the patient as another major responsibility of an EMT: In medical terms, A SAMPLE history is a very important role of an EMT. It refers to

S – Signs and symptoms at the moment
A – Allergies
M – Medication history
P – Pertinent past medical history
L – Last oral intake (liquid as well as solid)
E – Events leading to injury/illness

These are recorded with help from attendants or the patients themselves and then collated with vitals to be forwarded to specialists.
#4. Moving the patient safely is another responsibility of an EMT: Properly moving the patient to the required ward or department is one of the major responsibilities of an EMT and is covered in all paramedic training courses. The training includes:

  • Properly lifting and carrying patients so they stay safe
  • Ensure own safety and avoid injuries
  • Securing patient to the stretcher or other carry equipment
  • Coordinating with other technicians to lift correctly and safely.

#5. Stress management as the fifth major responsibility of an EMT: Emergency situations are high-stress scenarios that need to be tackled calmly. The EMT training courses include techniques for maintaining composure in scenarios such as mass casualties, deaths, children injuries and deaths, co-worker deaths and injuries, etc.

Hope the above information will help you decide if you would like to join an Healthcare Sector Skill Council (HSSC) affiliated Emergency Medical Technician Course and make your mark in the healthcare sector.