Questions From a Reader, Part One:

This is from the reader in Japan who has a lot of very good questions. As promised, I'm endeavoring to answer one (or more) a day. Any and all of you readers are welcome to add your two cents via the comments log. I imagine we'll develop a treasure trove of information here.

"You use a lot of terminology about EMT-A, B, etc. Maybe a FAQ or background piece for civilians?

Right! Forgive me for my past entries since I seem to assume my readers know what my abbreviations mean. In the future, I'll try to be clearer or more explanatory when I use an industry-specific term. In the meantime, here's a short list.

EMT: Emergency Medical Technician. There are several levels of EMT and they differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The national curriculum and testing standards for EMT are set by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). They have assigned 3 levels of competency and skills known as EMT-Basic (EMT-B), EMT-Intermediate (EMT-I) and EMT-Paramedic (EMT-P). To be certified as a nationally registered EMT-Paramedic allows on to append their name with "NREMT-P." Pretty fancy, no?

Each level indicates a level of competency and to attain each one requires a certain number of training hours and a certain number of "patient encounters" or actual practice in the field. The differences can be significant. For example, as an EMT-B, I cannot start intravenous lines (IVs), perform advanced airway management (intubation or "sticking a tube down someone's throat") or administer narcotic drugs such as morphine. All of these things can be done by an EMT-P or Paramedic and these interventions may be necessary to save a life.

Most jurisdictions either follow the National registry guidelines or have their own versions that, for the most part, similar. Here is a good resource for people who want to learn more about EMTs.

Wow! That's a lot just to cover "EMT!" I'm heading out to school in about 10 minutes. My next post will continue to expand on this with descriptions of BLS, ALS and will segue to my dear reader's questions about the terms "Medic" and "Ambulance."

Stay tuned....


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