Ambulance sirens are a daily sound backdrop to city life; TV dramas and real-life news programs alike feature high-speed trips to rescue victims and speed them to life-saving medical care. Inside the ambulance, the on-site care providers are emergency medical technicians —known as EMTs— and paramedics. These professionals respond to 911 emergency calls, evaluate a patient’s needs, and perform needed medical services, such as administering CPR, stabilizing a trauma victim, or dressing a wound. Some paramedics serve on rescue crews based on helicopters or airplanes. Most paramedics and EMTs work for ambulance services, local government, and hospitals. Their work requires frequent kneeling, bending, and lifting to care for and move patients. EMTs and paramedics may be exposed to contagious diseases and dangerous situations, and may need to treat combative individuals who don’t want treatment. Their work schedules vary: volunteers are scheduled as needed, while most paid staff work full time in 12- or 24-hour shifts, including overnights and weekends. A formal educational program and licensure are required for this field, though states vary in what tasks they allow EMTs and paramedics to perform. Some states may require paramedics to have an associate’s degree, for example, to qualify to administer medications and use complex equipment, such as EKG monitors. In case of emergency—it’s reassuring to know that EMTs and paramedics are ready to respond at a moment’s notice.
What they do:
Assess injuries, administer emergency medical care, and extricate trapped individuals. Transport injured or sick persons to medical facilities.
On the job, you would:
Administer first aid treatment or life support care to sick or injured persons in prehospital settings.
Operate equipment, such as electrocardiograms (EKGs), external defibrillators, or bag valve mask resuscitators, in advanced life support environments.
Perform emergency diagnostic and treatment procedures, such as stomach suction, airway management, or heart monitoring, during ambulance ride.
medicine and dentistry
therapy and counseling
Arts and Humanities
Safety and Government
public safety and security
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
changing what is done based on other people's actions
looking for ways to help people
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
hold or move items with your hands
quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Information retrieval or search software
certificate after high school or some college usually needed
Examples of Registered Apprenticeship programs include:
Emergency Medical Technician
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.