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Difference Between EMT and Paramedic

ems-paramedicEMT vs Paramedic

People use these two terms interchangeably. Due to media, the usage of the words, paramedic and emergency medical technician are not appropriately being used. So how do they differ with each other?

The first difference lies in the number of hours for the training for each. Emergency medical technician courses usually last for 120 to 150 hours. Paramedics training on the other hand require longer training. Usually it can last for 1,200 to 1,800 hours or it can become a two year course.

But primarily, the main difference of emergency medical technicians and paramedics is on the scope of their practices. This can be summarized in their ability to rupture the skin. The EMTs or emergency medical technicians are not allowed to give injections or to jumpstart intravenous insertions. However, paramedics can give injections and could administer creating advanced airway system to sustain the breathing of patients. Emergency medical technicians can only manage asthma inhalers, oxygen and glucose. They actually stick with the no-needle policy.

And since they differ, during emergencies both of them are actually needed. They can both respond to these scenarios but the administration would still restrict emergency medical technicians to first lever resuscitation and if further administration of creating airway management device is needed, paramedics would be the one who would do the job.
They are also needed during inter-facility transfers. An ambulance could have one or two paramedics and EMTs. They would become handy when taking care of the patients during these inter-facility transfers.

Though the paramedics and the emergency medical technicians seem like they share the same job, there still lie the main difference. Emergency medical technicians are not capable of administering procedures that would require breaking the skin. Paramedics on the other hand are allowed to do minor incisions and give injection shots.


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1 Comment

  1. Very nice article. EMTs and Medics are quite different, in the types of treatments they perform. Also, an EMTs career outlook is limited to either obtaining a Paramedic cert, or making the jump into management with an EMS Management degree, while a Paramedic has many more options. Many are taking a Paramedic to RN program, or leaving the profession for careers in other types of Public Safety.

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