If you have completed an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program and looking for work in the emergency healthcare field, you may be a good candidate for becoming an ambulance technician. Ambulance technicians are trained to respond to emergency situations and provide emergency medical care in an ambulance, or at the scene of an accident. An EMT program is either state-sponsored or provided by a technical college offering an associate’s degree program in emergency medical services.
Here’s what you need to know about becoming an ambulance technician or EMT:
Training Requirements to Become an Ambulance Technician
Ambulance technicians must hold a valid EMT license in order to be a part of an ambulatory service team. Every state has different requirements for EMT licensure, and some states require candidates to pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) examination. Candidates start out by completing the EMT-Basic program requirements, and can then work up to the EMT-Intermediate or Paramedic license level.
EMT-Basic and EMT-Intermediate programs typically consist of the following courses:
– Basic Human Anatomy
– Patient Assessment
– Oxygen Administration
– Life Support
– Drug Administration
– Patient Transport and Fluid Therapy
Aspiring ambulance technicians that complete an EMT-Paramedic training program typically take advanced life support courses and are trained to handle trauma situations and administer life support procedures. Paramedics in training are required to log a certain amount of hours riding an ambulance and observing emergency room practices and procedures. Paramedic training programs prepare students for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians-Paramedic examination. An EMT license must be renewed every two or three years, depending on state requirements.
Most ambulance technicians and EMTs have a completed a formal ambulance technician training program at a technical college or university, and typically hold at least a high school diploma.
Working as an Ambulance Technician or EMT
Individuals who hold a current EMT or paramedic certification can apply for jobs with local ambulance companies, private ambulance service providers, hospitals and emergency care centers. Many larger cities have more openings for ambulance technicians, and some may offer volunteer opportunities for those who want to obtain work experience. Volunteer ambulance technician positions may be offered on an on call basis.
Common responsibilities and duties of an ambulance technician or EMT include:
– Performing patient assessments at the accident scene
– Performing basic life support procedures
– Treating wounds, fractures and injuries
– Transporting patients to the ambulance and hospital bed
– Monitoring patient’s condition during the ambulance ride
– Creating a report of injuries at the scene of the accident
– Providing a report of treatments administered to emergency staff at the hospital
– Maintaining medical and communication equipment
– Restocking supplies as needed
– Immobilizing patients for transportation
– Communicating with medical team members, police and fire department personnel at the accident scene