First off, no day starts or ends the same way. That's both the good news and the bad. While you're rarely bored as an emergency medical technician (EMT), you never know what the day is going to bring. Most of the time you can help make these situations less harrowing, thanks to the training you’ve received. Sometimes you can't.
Calls You’ll Answer
There really is no "average" day as an EMT. Every call is different; every call is serious. Calls can be as relatively minor as a child having a reaction to a bee sting or as serious as a car accident with multiple injuries. A person may be experiencing chest pains, or someone may have fallen down a ravine while hiking. Your job is to get to the scene quickly, assess the situation, and make sure that the area is safe for emergency medical personnel as well as the injured or ailing person. EMTs can then provide assistance in order to prepare the patient for transportation to the nearest hospital or medical facility.
The Traits You’ll Display
Not everyone is cut out for this type of work. It's physically and emotionally demanding. You may have to carry someone down a flight of stairs to a waiting ambulance or lift them from the floor to a gurney. In addition, calls may come in when the weather is bad, or you may get called to a rougher side of town. Sometimes people who are injured or sick resist treatment and verbally or physically fight back; occasionally, situations are even hazardous to the EMTs. It is also likely that you may be asked to work holidays, nights, and or weekend shifts, as people can get sick or injured around the clock.
Then, there's stuff that may not make your heart pound or blood rush, like restocking the response units, properly disposing of hazardous materials after a call, waiting for the next emergency, cleaning the vehicles, and writing up reports. Those aren't the most loved tasks, but they still have to be done to provide top-notch service and make your life as an EMT easier.
A Worthwhile Profession
Being an EMT means making life-or-death decisions on a daily basis. It also means helping people when they are at their most vulnerable and need help the most. It can be rewarding work, and most EMTs wouldn't trade their careers for a 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. job for twice the pay, any day.