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1. What is an EMT and what do they do?
An EMT is an Emergency Medical Technician. In general, there are three levels of EMT. EMT, Advanced EMT and Paramedic. EMTs act under protocols and direct orders from physicians. Most EMTs work on ambulances either for public or private ambulance companies, fire departments or hospitals. Depending on the level of EMT, they assess patients, administer oxygen, start IV lines, defibrillate, intubate, give medications, perform CPR as well as many other procedures.
2. What are the job prospects for an EMT of each level in the Columbus area?
In the Columbus area, most of the EMTs are employed by fire departments and are also required to be firefighters. Delaware County EMS and the several private companies are the exception. Medflight also hires experienced paramedics for ground and flight jobs. Most of the hospitals will hire EMTs and paramedics to work as ED technicians.
3. What if I want to move to another state?
To move from one state to another, one must apply to the new state for reciprocity. Each state has its own requirements that vary from simply granting a certification, to allowing an applicant to take the state's own written and/or practical exam, to requiring more training. You should contact the State EMS office for the location you're interested in directly.
4. Are EMTs required to be firefighters?
In central Ohio, the vast majority of EMS agencies are fire departments and all EMTs are required to be firefighters. In other parts of the country this varies. For example, in Cincinnati the fire department is also the EMS agency and in Cleveland the EMS agency is another arm of the city, separate and independent from the fire department.
EMT training can be completed in one term. EMT classes meet either three or four days per week, four hour sessions each day. Once a student is an EMT they can apply to begin paramedic training. Paramedic training requires one year of schooling. Classes meet two and three days per week for four hour sessions. There is also significant hospital and field clinical time required.
6. Do I have to get the Associate degree?
Having an Associate degree can only improve the care you provide for the patient by improving your background in the sciences and improve your job prospects by giving you an edge over non-degreed candidates. Most of the local fire departments require at least an Associate Degree for promotion to an officer. The degree program at Columbus State is not required, but is recommended.
7. What should I do to prepare for EMT or paramedic training?
There are no prerequisites to EMT training, though any volunteer time with an ambulance squad or other health care experience will help.
For paramedic training, Ohio law requires students to hold current Ohio EMT or Advanced EMT certification. You must also have completed our Paramedic Preparation Course prior to the first term of paramedic school. The Paramedic Preparation Course is offered each term.
It is also very helpful for student success if they have worked or volunteered as an EMT or Advanced EMT for at least some time, preferably a year before starting paramedic school. This is not a requirement, but students who do not have this experience often have more trouble with the beginning of the program as they are just learning how to work on an ambulance and be a competent EMT and must now also take more responsibility for advanced care of the patient.
8. What do I do if I don't get into paramedic school the first time?
The best advice we can give is to get experience as an EMT and take more classes at Columbus State. Both of these add points or partial points to your score for admission to school and the experience is likely to improve your score on the written test.
9. How do I become a flight paramedic?
Most of the flight services around including Medflight of Ohio require five years of ALS (paramedic) experience preferably in a busy, urban setting. They also require many additional certifications such as ACLS, BTLS, ATLS, PALS, PEPP, NRP, ABLS, CCEMT-P, FP-C, and preferably instructor certifications in some. Critical care experience either in hospital or on a transport team is also preferred.
There is no state sanctioned nurse to medic program and schools are permitted to develop a plan of training on an individual basis. We will evaluate a candidate's experience and knowledge level and design a program for the individual. At minimum it will involve at least six months of classroom and field time. The basic requirements for entry are that the RN has at least 2 years recent experience in an emergency or critical care setting (ED, ICU, CCU), Ohio EMT certification, and ACLS certification and competence.
EMTs and paramedics work as technicians in most of the emergency departments in Columbus, as well as some other units (ICU, CCU, OB). Some companies hire EMTs to perform insurance exams.
Your certification comes from the State of Ohio and that is who makes all decisions on these matters. Their office number is (614)466-9447 or 1-800-233-0785. Their website address is ems.ohio.gov .
You should contact the National Registry at (614)888-4484 or see their website at www.nremt.org .
14. What do I have to do to maintain my certification?
It depends on if you have a National Registry card and Ohio card or just an Ohio card. Each have their own specific rules on hours and steps required for renewal. You should check with whichever agency is responsible at ems.ohio.gov or www.nremt.org.