Career Spotlight: Emergency Medical Technician
Whenever and wherever someone needs emergency medical care, emergency medical technicians are there. They are first responders whose goal is to stabilize the sick or injured person and transport them to the closest emergency room.
What is a typical day working as an emergency medical technician?
There is really no typical day for an emergency medical technician. Every shift may be different: during one shift, they may need to respond to a car accident; on another day, they may be called to the scene of a shooting. Once they have arrived, emergency medical technicians identify who needs medical support. The care they provide may include monitoring vital signs, stopping bleeding, and administering medication either at the scene or in the ambulance as it rushes to the hospital. At the hospital, emergency medical technicians provide a quick report to the emergency room staff on what happened and what they have already done.
What are the pros and cons of working as an emergency medical technician?
An incredible pro to this profession is the feeling of saving someone’s life or delivering a baby. The rush of feeling of having helped someone in such a life-changing way is indescribable. The flip side of this is that working as an emergency medical technician is stressful. Not all shifts are nine to five: night shifts and weekend shifts and holiday shifts are all part of the reality of working as an emergency medical technician.
How do you become an emergency medical technician?
In Canada, there may be variation between the provinces in how to become an emergency medical technician. In Ontario, you must have a high school diploma to enroll in a recognized college program. After graduation, you must pass Ontario’s certification exam called Advanced Emergency Medical Care Attendant in order to be hired. From then on, emergency medical technicians must recertify in defibrillation, drug administration, and CPR. Another requirement that must be maintained throughout your career is a Class F Ontario drivers’ license.
What is the expected salary range?
The expected salary range for an EMT is quite wide: from $31,516 to $69,290. An entry-level EMT will likely earn on the lower end of that scale, with salary increasing to match greater experience.
If you are interested in a health care profession where you won’t be stuck in a building all day, you may want to consider becoming an emergency medical technician. It will definitely be a challenging and stressful career, but you will be providing a much-needed service for the community.