Difference Between EMT and Paramedic: Whenever there is a need for any emergency medical service, you will always see people in uniform working together to manage the situation. Whether it’s an accident, fire, or natural disaster, you will always see them working hard to help the victims and survivors to their best capabilities. These people are certified, trained officials who are authorized to provide certain medical services on an emergency basis. They all form a part of the Emergency Medical Services team, but there are different certifications depending on which their work scope varies. Amongst these emergency responders, EMTs and paramedics are the most important EMS providers.
Being a First Responder
In general first responders are those who are most likely to attain any sort of medical emergency or any large-scale disaster. It might be an EMT or any other public official who is trained and authorized to deal with such difficult emergencies. To be a first responder, you must be a certified life support provider in this kind of situation.
Ambulance and EMT
EMT or emergency medical technician is the most common and important part of any ambulance certification. Normally there are 2 different certifications available EMT-paramedic and EMT. While there are states where certification for the EMT-basic is termed as EMT-1, some of the states choose to provide an intermediate certification that falls between paramedic and basic EMT certification. In general, people use the term EMT to refer to the basic-EMT certification holders and paramedics for the EMT-paramedics. So, any paramedic is an EMT certification holder, but any EMT certification holder might not be a paramedic.
The difference between EMT and paramedic
If you think about it, there is not much to distinguish between these two certifications. That being said there are, in fact, few aspects in which EMTs and paramedics stand apart. Mostly, the level of training and the support skillsets differ from one another. Basic EMTs will have their training sessions for 120-150 hours while for the paramedics it ranges from 1200 hours to 1800 hours. For obvious reason, a candidate learns a lot more as a part of the paramedic team and they are supposed to receive a 2-year degree for becoming a paramedic.
From the training details, it is easily assumable that the scope of skill implementation will be different from both the teams. In most states, EMTs are not allowed to provide any kind of shot or start any type of life support system. If you are an EMT, you cannot use oxygen, asthma inhalers, glucose, injections, etc. And this rule is to be followed even when the victims are in trouble. All these come under the jurisdiction of a paramedic. They are trained to use 30-40 odd medications, although it might differ from state to state. They are also allowed to provide victims with life support systems and engage emergency medication or injections.
Dealing with emergencies
When it comes to dealing with emergencies, EMTs and paramedics work as first responders to reach the emergency location. As a part of the ambulance crew, you need to have basic EMT certification at the least. Only then, you are allowed to attain any patient at the place of emergency or on the ambulance. Basic EMTs work together with the paramedics to help the victims out of the emergency, while the paramedics work to provide them with the required care and life support. In case, it’s an interfacility transfer, both paramedics and EMTs are to be called at the place of exchange. Whatever might be the cause, any ambulance is said to be boarded by either 2 paramedics and 2 EMTs or at least 1 paramedic and 1 EMT specialist to the deal the situation. However, it is notable that, in some states, an ambulance crew can include either EMTs or paramedics, depending on the need of the emergency.
Now that you know the difference between EMT and paramedic, you should understand that whether you have a basic EMT certification or a paramedic certification, the most important thing is to be a first responder and act according to the situation to attend to the victims and take care of them. Make sure that you are working within your rights and helping people out of emergencies.