Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics fall into the Investigative Theme Code Category of the Strong Interest Inventory® Test. The Strong Interest Inventory® has been used since 1927 to categorize careers and help individuals find a career that fits their personal preference for specific work environments and interest patterns. The Strong Interest Inventory® has been significantly refined since its creation, and now is one of the most widely-used assessments of its kind. The Investigative Theme Code Category includes careers that focus on analyzing information as well as solving scientific problems and other career characteristics. People who favor Investigative careers tend to be skilled in the sciences and in mathematics, and enjoy working independently.
Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) and Paramedics are often the first to respond to urgent situations. As a result, they often administer first aid treatment or life support in pre-hospital settings. They assess injuries and perform emergency diagnostic procedures, such as stomach suction, airway management, and heart monitoring, both in the field and during the ambulance ride. Until patients are admitted, EMT’s observe and record patients’ condition then report it to the physician upon admittance. This information may include treatment provided, details of the injury itself, or reactions to the drugs or treatment.
In addition to providing medical care, Emergency Medical Technicians must drive an ambulance or other mobile intensive care unit (e.g., a boat) to the location given by the emergency dispatcher. They often need to coordinate work with other medical team members, the police, or fire department in order to ensure that all civilians are kept as safe as possible. In addition, Emergency Medical Technicians may need to provide emotional support or comfort to patients and their families on the way to the medical facility. All Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics need to attend ongoing training classes to update their licenses and certification in order to maintain their existing knowledge and to develop new understandings.
EMT’s and Paramedics use many different kinds of equipment and tools, including vehicles (e.g., ambulances), standard medical equipment (e.g., needles, infusion sets, blood pressure recorders, chest tubes, electrocardiography EKG units and accessories, splints and restraints), and monitoring equipment (e.g., oximeters, CO2 monitors, blood pressure monitors, etc.). They also use emergency equipment (e.g., resuscitation masks, automatic electronic defibrillators, etc.). In some emergencies, they may use glass cutters, hacksaws, ring cutters, sledgehammers, or other power tools to free victims from the constraints of cars, collapsed houses, or other dire situations. Sometimes, protective gear like bullet proof vests may be necessary to ensure their own or their patients’ safety. In addition, Emergency Medical Technicians may use different kinds of software, such as information retrieval or search software (e.g., Epocrates; HyperTox; Skyscape, etc.) or medical software (e.g., MedDataSolutions & MEDITECH software) to organize their records and communicate with other medical professionals.
Many EMT’s have a post-secondary certificate (43%) or an associate’s degree (12%). However, 30% have some college but without earning a degree. In addition to this level of formal education, EMT’s require a basic knowledge of medicine and dentistry, as well as the ability to communicate quickly and fluently in English. They need to think critically even in high-stress situations, and be highly sensitive to problems. Finally, they should be empathetic and service oriented in order to provide their patients needed care and support.
An EMT’s salary is $31,900 nationwide. However, in Washington State, experienced EMT’s can earn up to $90,000 annually, sometimes even more. In West Virginia, on the other hand, their salaries can be as low as $17,000 annually. Texas, New York, Nevada, and Alaska tend to be the most lucrative states for EMT’s. However, their rates are expected to rise at least 5% in every state before 2024, with fast-growing western states (NV, UT, CO) growing as much as 30% before 2024.
Below are some employment trends for Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics:
- Median EMT Salary: $15.24/hour; $31,700 annually
- Employment: 241,000 employees
- Projected growth (2014-2022): Much faster than average (14% or higher)
- Projected job openings (2014-2022): 98,000
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- Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2014-2022 employment projections Onetonline.org