A Day in the Life
How did you become interested in being an emergency medical technician?
I always wanted to be a doctor because I have a passion for helping people, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to take the plunge. So I took a three-month course and was certified as an emergency medical technician (EMT) to test the waters and be sure I was making the right decision.
After I received my certification, I got a job with an ambulance company. I loved every minute of it. It was thrilling to work side-by-side with police and fire departments, and I can still remember the mix of excitement and nervousness when my team and I responded to my first 911 call. Being an EMT is fun, but it is also very challenging. You have to be able to remain calm during emergencies and crisis situations.
What did it take for you to get your first EMT job?
The certification program takes just three months, and the only prerequisites are a high school diploma and CPR and first aid certifications.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Working as an EMT for an ambulance company not only gave me the reassurance I needed, but it also gave me the experience to later work as a trauma technician in a hospital emergency room. This was a step up in my career and I enjoyed being able to check on the patients I’d helped treat earlier. The doctors and nurses I worked with were always willing to teach me something new.
I learned a lot from the experience — how to exercise good judgment in stressful situations, the importance of communication within a team and good multi-tasking skills. Now, I am in my second year of medical school and I credit my experience as an EMT for bringing me closer to my dream of becoming a doctor.
What’s your best advice for anyone considering becoming an emergency medical technician?
Becoming an EMT is definitely within reach — as long as you love the adrenaline and can stay focused when people’s lives are on the line.
If you’re not sure whether you want to be an EMT, you can contact ambulance companies to check out an ambulance and get a feel for the atmosphere. That’s the best way to get a feel for what the job is like. It’s an exciting and noble profession, and an excellent way to launch a health career.