EMS Worker: Job Duties and Requirements for Becoming an EMS Worker
An Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Worker responds to emergencies, assessing and treating victims as needed. An EMS Worker must complete a state-approved training program and earn state licensure to be eligible for employment. EMS Workers can find public or private sector jobs with a variety of organizations.
Career Definition: EMS Worker
EMS Workers typically are certified as first responders, basic or intermediate emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or paramedics. Others work as educators or administrative personnel who coordinate emergency responses. An EMS Worker's duties vary depending on his or her level of certification but usually include performing basic physical exams, assessing patients' trauma levels and administering oxygen. More advanced EMS Workers insert IVs, intubate victims and use cardiac monitors and manual defibrillators. EMS Workers also may help create disaster preparedness plans.
How to Become an EMS Worker
EMS Worker Education Requirements
Most training programs for EMS Workers last six months to two years and award a certificate upon completion. Some prospective EMS Workers may choose to pursue an associate, bachelor's or master's degree in a field such as EMS Management. Courses typically include EMS administration, disaster management, paramedic skills, pharmacology and emergency care. All EMS Workers must earn state certification, and many states also require registration with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (www.nremt.org). EMS Workers must continue their education to maintain certification.
EMS Worker Required Skills
EMS Workers must be able to cope with a high-stress job that can be fast-paced and emotionally and physically demanding. They often are on their feet all day and may need to lift patients and heavy equipment. EMS Workers need strong communication skills to teach new workers about procedures and the willingness to take direction from superiors.
Economic Outlook for EMS Workers
According to the National Association of EMS Educators (www.naemse.org), careers for EMS Workers should increase in coming years as the country's aging population creates greater demand for technicians and administrators. There also will be greater demand for EMS Workers involved in disaster and emergency planning. The median salary for EMS Workers is $29,330, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).
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