EMT Skills: The Importance of Passion and Dedication

Working as an EMT can be incredibly draining, both physically and mentally. Have you ever wondered what EMT skills are needed to thrive in the profession? This article discusses the type of work performed day to day as well as some of the personality traits that are necessary for success. 

Imagine yourself responding to an automobile accident on the freeway. Chances are people are hurt, and the situation may be dangerous with other traffic passing by the scene. What if you had to respond to a call for someone injured in a shooting. Would you feel comfortable in a possibly hostile environment, perhaps with distraught family members present? Consider whether you would be able to enter someone's home and lift them onto a stretcher to transport that person to the hospital. In any of these situations, you would need to remain calm. You would have to keep your composure as you assess and stabilize the patient, physically move the patient, and possibly provide a report to the emergency room or facility once you've arrived.

In circumstances such as these, someone who is providing care needs to have a certain amount of empathy for the patient, but not so much that it interferes with one's ability to make objective decisions. One must also possess a certain amount of physical strength as patients sometimes need to be lifted, or moved. The ability to think and react quickly in critical and changing situations is crucial.

Another important characteristic with regards to EMT skills is a sense of adventure, which can often be fueled by adrenaline. In times of natural disaster or major emergencies, these workers may be called on or feel compelled to work shifts that never seem to end.

In the end, however, perhaps the most important trait of an EMT is the drive and desire to help people. The emotional toll of performing emergency work is considerable, but your reward for helping someone in a volatile situation, or even saving their life, can add immense satisfaction to your career. 

The career outlook for skilled EMTs is excellent over the next decade. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the job growth rate for this career to be 33 percent nationally thought 2020. This bodes well for long-term stability. National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians offers further information on certification and continuing education for EMTs.

If you feel that you might have the right personality and skill set to flourish as an EMT, keep in mind that it will have its challenges. Once you achieve balance, you will find immeasurable fulfillment from a career in which you are able to make an immediate difference in people's lives.

Tags: healthcare

Karen N. Brown, MSHA

About Karen N. Brown, MSHA

Karen Brown is a freelance writer specializing in content for the health professions, but her writing projects have been quite varied in subject. She graduated from The University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Philosophy, and a Master of Science in Health Administration. For nearly 20 years, she worked at UAB, an academic medical center, most notably as a division administrator for a large, international HIV/AIDS program. She also has considerable knowledge in federal research regulation. Karen lives in Alabama's Birmingham metropolitan area. View all posts by Karen N. Brown, MSHA →