What Skills Are Needed To Be An EMT?

EMTs (Emergency Medical Technician) are pretty special people. They care for those who are sick or injured and in need of emergency care before getting to a hospital. Because patients’ lives often depend on an EMT’s ability to quickly react to dire situations and provide competent care, EMTs need a number of “People skills” to be effective.

Necessary qualities include being compassionate and able to provide solid emotional support to people in life-threatening situations; have good interpersonal skills in order to relate to patients and work as a team with colleagues; and have the physical strength to lift patients, bend over them during treatment and kneel a lot.

These are all good, strong qualities, to be sure. But the needed skills don’t stop there for EMTs. They also must hone such skills as being able to give full attention to what others are saying and being able to understand their needs; using logical reasoning to arrive at appropriate solutions to each situation; and being thorough about performing equipment maintenance, knowing what each tool does…and how to use them properly. 

A good emergency medical provider also must be service oriented – always on the lookout for ways to help others; good time managers who also are able to troubleshoot each situation; someone who exhibits good judgement and decision-making; and are able to coordinate actions and activities, clearly instruct others on how to administer treatment, and be able to perceive patient reactions and why they’re doing what they do.

In other words, EMTs pretty much need to be “mobile emergency nurses” responsible for assessing a patient’s condition, determining the proper course of treatment, helping transfer them to ERs, and documenting the medical care administered in patient care reports.

We’re getting exhausted just writing about what the skills they need and what they must do!

But, if you’re up to the challenge of serving as an emergency medical technician, you can take pride in the fact that you’ll be a critical part of the healthcare team who helps save lives. That’s a pretty strong motivator.

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program at Fortis College in Smyrna, GA, helps prepare students to provide emergency medical care to persons in need by letting them work – hands-on – with a full range of emergency medical equipment. Graduates receive the training and tools needed to assess, manage and transport patients in emergency situations. Go to our Emergency Medical Technician page to learn more about the training needed to pursue a career in the emergency medical field.

Tags: healthcare, engage - healthcare, EMT

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