How To Get A Job In Emergency Medicine

<P>A career in emergency medicine can be very rewarding.  Paramedics and EMTs provide care for sick or injured people in emergency situations.  Quite often, the life of the patient depends on the quick response of an EMT.  They respond to emergencies, perform medical procedures, and provide transportation for stabilized patients to a medical facility for further care.  The work is physically and emotionally stressful.  Much of the stress comes from life or death situations and dealing with patients who are either suffering or close to death.  Formal training and licensing is required in all jurisdictions.  While employment opportunities are good, the pay is not as lucrative as other employment opportunities with similar job prospects.  However, being an EMT is more of a calling than a job, and is a good start for someone who wants to eventually earn a medical degree or go into hospital administration.  </P> <P>The job of an emergency medical technician is to respond to the scene of an accident and provide medical care.  The care includes assessing the condition of the patient and determining the proper course of emergency treatment.  They then tend to the patient according to guidelines learned during training and feedback from physicians.  Once the patient is stable, the EMT transfers the patient to an emergency vehicle for transport to a medical center.  </P> <P>Formal training is required to become an emergency medical technician.  This training is available at most community colleges and technical centers.  A high school diploma or its equivalent is required for admission.  Students interested in emergency medicine are advised to take classes in anatomy and physiology and to complete a CPR certification course.  Paramedics are the most advanced EMTs, and have the most training.  The training program to become a paramedic takes about 2 years to complete.</P> <P>Emergency medicine salary requirements are surprisingly low considering the importance of the job as the stress that follows.  The median emergency medicine salary for an EMT is just over $30,000 a year.  The top 10 percent of earners receive about $51,000 annually.  Most paramedics and EMTs work full time, with one third working more than that while responding to emergencies at night and on weekends.  Full availability is required for the position.  </P> <P>Although the salary projections are low, the job prospects are pretty good.  Employment for paramedics and EMTs is expected to grow by 33 percent by the year 2020.  Demand for emergency technicians will never go away, so long as there are car crashes, violence, and natural disasters.  As the average population gets older, there is more of a risk of heart attack and stroke requiring emergency medical attention.  Also, increases in specialized facilities will increase the need for personnel to transport patients from one facility to the other.  </P> <P>A career in emergency medicine can be very rewarding.  Many, however, find that the stress involved is not nearly compensated by the available salaries.  Most people who make a career of being an EMT work in large metropolitan areas.  Smaller cities and towns rely on volunteers to provide this much needed service.  These volunteers can work for the fire department, hospital, or emergency service providers.  Almost half of all EMTs work for a private ambulance service.  There is a union, but only about 20% of all workers are a member.  There are three levels of training basic, intermediate, and paramedic.  As the employee moves up through the levels, more training is required.  Not every call is an emergency, but the ones that are can be very difficult to handle.  It takes a special kind of person with great listening skills and a lot of compassion to be an EMT.</P>

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