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EMT vs. Paramedic

EMT vs. Paramedic

When transporting individuals to a medical unit, the emergency medical service teams play a crucial role. It comprises various experts trained to offer the necessary patient care. EMTs and paramedics are the first responders who fearlessly comfort patients while they receive emergency care on-site. They prepare them for a swift transfer to a hospital for additional care.

EMT vs. Paramedic

Most emergency medical service (EMS) responders hold either an EMT or paramedic level of certification. These two professions are distinct from one another, even though they are both equally vital.

Hence, students should know these distinctions before applying to a training program. You must know about the training required for each career route, information on5 their income potential, and professional progression.

The ability to save lives and reduce danger in emergencies is vital for both professions. So, in this article, we have given a clear comparison between EMTs and paramedics and the factors you need to make the best decision for you.

Difference Between EMT And Paramedic

The primary distinction between EMTs (emergency medical technicians) and paramedics is in their degree of education and the kind of responsibilities they handle. 911 operators often dispatch EMTs and paramedics to emergency locations, where they may collaborate with other medical professionals.

EMTs are the most prevalent category of medical professionals in the emergency medical services (EMS) industry. Ambulance services can hire paramedics and collaborate with EMTs in this environment. However, EMTs often outnumber paramedics.

Paramedics usually work for fire services and air ambulances, such as helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. They transport patients from one location to another. The majority of paramedics work for emergency medical services (EMS).

What are the Responsibilities of EMTs?

Typically, EMTs are summoned to offer medical assistance in the event of a medical or traumatic emergency. As the initial medical aid, they assess the kind and extent of injuries before transferring the patient to a well-equipped vehicle.

EMTs treat patients needing life-saving care on the scene of an accident and while transported to the hospital in an ambulance. EMTs are competent in diagnosing severe diseases and injuries, administering first aid, and carrying out routine life-saving procedures.

They make the hospital aware of the number of patients brought in and their primary ailments and injuries. EMTs monitor patients’ condition until they are taken to a hospital and given the necessary care. Thus, they must deliver CPR, glucose, and oxygen.

What are the Responsibilities of Paramedics?

The more skilled EMTs, known as paramedics, can deal with more complex medical operations such as tracheotomies, monitoring electrocardiograms (EKGs), and giving oral and intravenous drugs.

Paramedics are pre-hospital service professionals with enhanced expertise who provide patients with advanced life support before they get to a hospital. They offer care comparable to that provided in an emergency department and are more skilled than EMTs in dealing with severe diseases and wounds.

In addition to offering patients supportive care and keeping them after resuscitation, a paramedic is in charge of rendering basic and advanced life support.

They must learn about administering 30 and 40 drugs during their training. Paramedics may need to carry out complex treatments, including placing IV lines, dispensing medications, and putting pacemakers on patients.

Thus, paramedics tend to patients as soon as they arrive via ambulances at hospitals and emergency rooms.

EMT Vs. Paramedic: Training Program Difference

EMT Vs. Paramedic: Training Program Difference

Here are the significant differences between EMT and paramedic training programs.

Essential Requirements to Enrol

You may begin an EMT program without any prior experience. However, it may be essential to have specific requirements, such as CPR certification and a statistics or anatomy course qualification.

On the contrary, proper training for basic and experienced EMTs and further coursework are prerequisites to becoming a paramedic. In most cases, aspirant paramedics serve as EMTs for a year or two to obtain experience in the field before beginning paramedic training.

What Do You Learn During the Programs?

Anatomy and physiology, patient status assessment, unblocking airways, and handling specialized emergencies, such as heart attacks or specific traumas, are among topics that EMTs may learn in classes.

However, since they deal with patients more directly, EMT programs cover more ground topics. While some courses can be taken online, most of the work shall be done in person at a local technical institution, community college, or healthcare facility.

Paramedics must enroll in programs that teach them more sophisticated skills, such as pharmacology, advanced phlebotomy, and other subjects, in addition to the EMT-required studies. They also learn the use of complicated medical equipment and large-scale emergency management.

Time Required to Complete the Programs

An average EMT program lasts between 120 and 150 hours; one can finish it in as little as a year. The completion time for students who opt for Advanced EMT training is typically 400 hours or 2 years.

In contrast, paramedics should anticipate completing 1,200 to 1,800 hours of training in addition to the time taken to get certified as an EMT. In some situations, this process takes 2 years and results in an associate degree.


Since most EMT training programs demand applicants to have CPR certification, EMTs must earn it. Organizations like the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association offer this certification.

Since most states refer to the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certification as a reasonable assurance of healthcare professionals’ competence, EMTs are obliged to get it. Almost all states require this qualification to become a certified emergency medical technician.

Besides, you must be at least 18 years old, a high school graduate, possess a valid driver’s license, be qualified in CPR, and have an EMT certificate to become a certified and licensed paramedic.

A student must pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) National Certification exam to get a license number after completing paramedic school. However, to work as a paramedic in a particular state, one needs a license from that state. So, while NREMT is accepted as proof of licensing in certain areas, other states have their own examinations.

Winding Up

Paramedics are indeed educated to offer advanced medical treatment in an emergency. But EMTs are the most prevalent form of emergency care provider.

EMTs and paramedics differ in various ways, including their training level and approved scope of practice. However, both do their work in a range of capacities and healthcare environments. Also, they frequently work with fire departments, industrial safety, ground ambulances, and helicopters.

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