This is an exciting year for us. We have a couple new EMT B training courses in Oakland, and we’ve finally expanded enough to be able to open two more EMT Basic training classes in Sacramento. Great news for us, and we hope to see you there at one campus or the other. -But are you up to the challenge?

Why Are You Thinking About Becoming An EMT?

What brings you here, to this blog post about becoming an EMT? What drives you? What makes you wonder about a life in the Emergency Medical Service sector?

It seems like there’s an endless supply of young, eager men and women, ready and willing to step into the role of an EMT. Some are smart, turning into dedicated professionals who genuinely want to be an emergency medical technician.

Others find out that being an EMT isn’t everything they thought it would be and turn into clock-punching zombies. Check in, check out. Which one are you? Can you cut it?

Let’s look at a few reasons some of you are considering EMT training. If this is you, you might want to reconsider.

1. The Uniform

Men and women, short or tall, it doesn’t matter; people look good in a uniform. This is one of the many reasons some people decide they want to be an EMT: because of the image.

2. Shorter Schooling

Our EMT Basic Training course is only 5 weeks. In less than two months, you can have your foot in the door of your dream medical career. And hey, it’s so much faster than four years of college, right?  

3. Exciting Career

Hollywood really likes to hype up real life, and the life of people in the EMS workforce isn’t immune. Some sign up to be an EMT because they have dreams of being a hero, racing to the scene to save lives, driven by exciting movies and television shows.

The Reality Of Being An Emergency Medical Technician

The reality of life as an EMT is a far cry from the grandiose Hollywood versions of prime time. -And the fact is, if you’re signing up to be an EMT because of any of the three reasons above, you’re likely to be wasting your money. In fact, they’re excellent reasons not to become an EMT.

So, what do you really have to look forward to? What frame of mind should you have going into EMT Basic Training, if you want to be a successful EMS professional?

Learn to have humility.

“Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way,” croons Mac Davis. -But as an EMT, humility is a huge asset.

You get tired; one of our trainers, among others, has a 24-hour EMT shift in the middle of the week. You get hungry because you some days you don’t have time to eat. You get frustrated dealing with the violent, or drunk, or angry individuals you’re there to serve that are fighting against that service. There are times you might think, “This is what I signed up for?”

Then you realize that yes, this is what you signed up for. Because you wanted to help people. You signed on to be of service to individuals in need, however they come. -And then you take a deep breath and head out again, because those people are still out there.

Enjoy mundane activities.

If you’ve ever heard someone sharing the exciting stories of being an EMT, paramedic or other EMS personnel, you’ve probably been listening to the most exciting moments of an otherwise mundane life. Being an EMT isn’t near as entertaining as those stories make it out to be.

For the most part, it’s filled with calls of elderly that have fallen and can’t get up, or a patient that needs to go to dialysis treatment. You probably won’t see a lot of days that require life-saving heroics. You will see numerous burns and scrapes. You’ll apply Band-Aids and ace bandages. You’ll wrap people up in blankets to keep them warm or pass out water bottles to keep them hydrated. It won’t be exciting.

Be in the moment.

But what you will have, every day, are moments where you have the opportunity to touch people’s lives in a positive way. As an EMT, you’ll talk to the first-time pregnant woman whose water broke in the grocery store and she can’t drive because she’s in labor. You’ll put your hand on the back of a scared little boy who has broken his leg falling out of a tree. You’ll share a moment with the elderly man on his way to dialysis, and the young lady who is being transported from one hospital to another.  

Young, old, male, female, of every ethnicity, they’ll be in need and you’ll be able to answer. Being an EMT isn’t about being an EMT, it’s about doing the work of an EMT. Being there, in the moment, when they need you most.

Be constantly learning.

Yes, our 5-week accelerated course means that you get finished quickly, but you’re expected to put a lot more information into your brain in a shorter amount of time. There’s nothing extraneous; everything we will teach is essential to your training. It’s not unusual for some to have to repeat the class; it’s tough.

However, once you pass your EMT certification, the learning isn’t done. There will constantly be opportunities for you to increase your skills and knowledge. In turn, this allows you to be better at responding to emergencies. You’ll have minimum CE requirements, but you’ll also have the opportunity to take other continuing education courses. The more knowledge you have, the better an EMT you’ll be.

Are You Ready?

Yes, being an EMT is a hard job, but not in the way you might imagine. As mentioned above, it can be a job full of stress, anger management and sleep deprivation. -But it’s worth it.

So, are you ready? Are you ready for an exciting life of Band-Aids, water bottles, ambulance rides and handholding? Are you ready to join the thousands of half-crazy, but completely dedicated Emergency Medical Service personnel as an EMT? If all the above sounds like a dream come true, we’re looking for you.

We have EMT Basic training classes available in Oakland and Sacramento for September, October and November. We look forward to seeing you there!