How to Become a Better EMT in 24 Hours

Being an EMT can be a tough job. You’re on your feet the entire shift, you’re responsible for people’s lives, and it can be emotionally draining. There is no doubt that this career choice takes commitment and dedication.

Discover how to become a better EMT in 24 hours

But never fear—there are ways to become a better EMT in 24 hours.

EMTs provide a key service to the people in almost every community. They are trained not just in advanced medical care, but also in how to stay calm and collected when chaos ensues.

So with that being said, here are some tips that can help you become a better EMT in just one day.

Utilize Tutorials on Taking Vital Signs to Help You

The most important vital sign to an EMT is the respiratory rate, or how fast someone breathes. This is critical to understand because it affects how much oxygen reaches other areas of the body like the brain, heart, and kidneys.

Seeing how others take vital signs can be helpful because it allows you to sit back and notice what you might be missing or grazing over during your own assessments.

Note that vital signs are not always taken when a patient is in a stressful situation. When paramedics respond to emergencies, they may have someone in the back of their vehicle with an oxygen mask on who seems fine sitting down, but could pass out when they stand up and start walking around.

In situations like this, the patient’s vital signs will be taken in the back of the ambulance. That way, there is time to assess the situation and establish a treatment plan without worrying about rushing to get somewhere or having their safety put in jeopardy.

Watching videos of EMTs taking vital signs can be very helpful in learning what’s going on during most assessments. This will help you learn better techniques and recognize when something might be off with a patient.

Finding videos of EMTs taking vital signs on YouTube is easy.  Just do a quick search and you can learn how to assess a patient’s situation more thoroughly and effectively, therefore, allowing you to become a better EMT in 24 hours.

Take Care of Yourself for Proper Brain Function

This might sound like common sense, but it’s often an overlooked aspect by many professionals. Have you ever made a mistake because you didn’t fully think things through? How many times have you done something quickly without thinking about the consequences, only to find yourself in trouble later on?

Taking care of your physical and mental health is essential to making sure you can think straight and make the right decisions. A good night’s sleep can help your brain recover from stress and give you time to recharge.

Eating healthy foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals will help your body and mind be at their best. You will often find yourself thinking more clearly because of what you’re putting in your body.

For strength and energy, EMTs need to consume nutritious veggies and whole foods. The brain runs on glucose, so by eating lots of vegetables, you will be able to keep your blood sugar levels up while working. This is important because EMTs are often on their feet for long periods of time.

The key is making sure to get enough protein to maintain energy and strength. Having the right equipment is important to saving lives, but it’s easier to use when you can keep calm and collect all your thoughts before acting on them.

How to Be the Best EMT: Mindset and Goals

To become the best EMT, it is important to always be in the mindset of helping and saving the lives of others. Each day should start with asking yourself whether or not you can make a difference during your shift and if your skills are up to par. If they aren’t, take the time before work starts to study up on symptoms and keep a strong grasp on everything related to emergency medical care.

Every day, make it a goal to do one thing better than you did the day before. This could be treating patients with more empathy or conducting yourself in a manner that is above and beyond what is expected of you. By taking professional development seriously, EMTs can ensure that they will be the best they can be and that their patients receive quality care.

Learn how to be the best EMT possible

EMTs may become the best in the business if they work as a team with those around them, give constructive criticism when required, and are constantly working to improve themselves. If each person spends an hour a day focused on their own personal development as an EMT, the service will be one with a great reputation and their patients will receive better care.

Think of it this way, if you are trying to get to a certain destination, it is pretty much impossible if you set out on a straight line. You have to go in the right direction and make slight turns here and there along the way. The same principle can be applied to being a good EMT.

Just as it is impossible to get to your destination of helping someone without slight turns along the way, it is impossible to be a good EMT without turning off your straight line of self-improvement. This can be done by studying up on certain topics, thinking about what you can do to improve during your downtime, and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of yourself and those you work with.

For more information about becoming a better EMT, check out EMS World, a website that creates content for practical healthcare education and improves patient care, outcomes, and lives.

Distinguish Between “Code” and a “Non-Code.”

A “code” for EMTs means the most severe medical emergency—a heart attack, with breathing and circulation compromised. A “non-code” is less severe- someone who is having an asthma attack or a person who is experiencing a seizure.

Train yourself to recognize a person who is going into cardiac arrest.

EMTs need to develop an eye for recognizing the difference between a simple fainting spell and someone who is going into cardiac arrest. People who are going into cardiac arrest will have very little color in their skin, be unconscious, and show no sign of breathing.

To be an effective EMT, you have to know when someone is having a non-urgent health problem and when they are in actual need of care. In some instances, a person may be in need of help, but not immediately. The difference between a “code” and a “non-code” is the severity of medical emergency.

Know How to Use an AED Machine

AED machines are often misused in the field of EMS. People have been seen to simply walk away from it while they call the paramedics, or rush to the AED without checking whether or not a shock would be appropriate for that patient.

AED stands for Automatic External Defibrillator, which is a machine that measures the rhythm of a person’s heart and can deliver electric current if necessary.

The first step you should take when using an AED as an EMT is to review the patient’s history to see if they have any kind of heart condition. If there is no history, then you should check the person for signs of breathing and circulation problems.

Once these two things are ruled out, it is time to apply the AED pads to the chest and make sure your fingers are not touching them.

Then turn it on. You will be able to hear the person’s heartbeat, which is an indicator that you are in the right place.

You should only shock a patient if their heart stops and there is no other explanation for their symptoms. If they are moving around or have any color to them, then they are most likely having a non-urgent medical problem and you should treat them accordingly.

Knowing these things and having the ability to recognize when a person is going into cardiac arrest will make you an excellent EMT.

Identify At Least 5 Different Injuries

Some injuries that are typically treated on scene are sprains, cuts, bites, scrapes, bruises, burns, and breaks. The best way to treat these injuries is to identify the problem and act accordingly. 

For example, if a person has sprains, you should place your hands on both sides of the area that hurts for support while applying pressure with your palm to reduce pain. You would do this until you could get them into an ambulance where they can be treated further. If someone has a cut, try to get them into an ambulance quickly where they can receive stitches.

If someone has scrapes, act immediately, because if their wounds are left untreated they may become infected and cause further problems.

It is important that all EMTs should know the different types of injuries that can be treated on scene in order to provide optimal care for their patients. Treating injuries quickly will ensure the best results and allow the patient’s wounds to heal completely with minimal pain.

An EMT is expected to have a basic understanding of how to treat common injuries, depending on the type of call they have been dispatched for. For example, an EMT may receive a call in which a child has fallen off a bicycle and scraped his knees in the dirt. 

In this instance, if the EMT is not sure what to do, they should contact a second or third EMT to help with the treatment. However, an EMT that knows exactly how to treat a minor cut and scrape will be able to give the child basic first aid and ensure that they are calm before transporting them to the hospital.

Paramedic helping a patient inside an ambulance

A sprained ankle will likely require the EMT to use an ankle wrap and possibly transport the injured party to a medical facility. The same goes for broken bones or dislocations. There are several different types of sharp, hard objects that an EMT may need to remove from someone’s body. This is where knowing how to handle common injuries will work well in conjunction with sharp object removal training.

Bite marks are also common, and an EMT will need to handle them accordingly. Treat the bite mark by wiping it with a dry cloth, then disinfect with rubbing alcohol. Depending on the size and location of the mark, you may also need to attach a pressure bandage or cold compress.

In case of a bite from an animal, the EMT should wear a pair of gloves to prevent their blood from touching the patient’s wound. Protect your hands with a pair of thick leather gloves or a puncture-resistant plastic glove before applying disinfectant and pressure to stop bleeding. The EMT should also seal the wound using adhesive bandages.

If an EMT knows how to deal with common injuries, they will be able to help their patient as quickly as possible so that the patient’s injury does not worsen.

EMT Tips and Tricks

Why do you go to work every day? What drives you to get out of bed and come to a job that is sometimes filled with heartache and tragedy? Why, for most EMTs, Firefighters, and Police Officers, is it so important to come and save lives on a daily basis?

It’s not because of the pay. That’s for sure. On average, EMTs and Paramedics make much less than people think, and after a long day of saving lives, we return home exhausted to our families.

So what is the answer? Why do EMTs continue to go out day after day and invest themselves in community service and saving lives?

We go to work because it fulfills us in some way that we can’t get anywhere else. We live for putting smiles on peoples’ faces when they meet us or hear about the heroic things we did during a call. We live for knowing that we helped someone and made a difference.

We go to work because we want to be there when you need us, and we want to be ready for anything we may face on the job. For those of you who are veterans in this field, as well as those who hope to one day be called an Emergency Responder, I have a few tips and tricks that may help you out in the day-to-day life of being an EMT or Paramedic.

Use our EMT tips and tricks to become a better EMT in 24 hours

The first tip is to always be familiar with your surroundings. Whether you’re outside and in an open field, knowing the best place to take cover in case of gunfire, or if you’re stuck in the middle seat of the ambulance at night, it’s important that you are always prepared for anything.

The second tip is to know your anatomy. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, young or old – knowing different injuries and how they affect people will help you be more prepared to face life on the job. Knowing how to treat wounds, sprains, broken bones, burning victims, or even knowing how far you can push your body under duress are all important aspects of being a hero.

The third tip is to study up – not just on different medical procedures and protocol, but also on general knowledge. Knowing the current events of our country and world is important to be a well-rounded person, as you never know what useless bit of information may come in handy on a call.

The fourth tip is to remember that you are not going to save everyone. Sometimes, even with all your wisdom and knowledge behind you, there will be moments when you realize that there just isn’t anything you can do. All you can do is be there for the family, and make sure they are comfortable while their loved one passes away.

And finally, the fifth tip I have for you all is to love your job while doing it. For some people who read this article, this will be easy – for others, not so much. But the biggest mistake you can make is to hate your work. Try to remember why you wanted to become an EMT (or Paramedic or Firefighter, or Nurse), and use that passion to fuel everything else in your life. You will be happier for it!

EMT Tips for Rookies

Most of the advice from this article is for an EMT who has passed their exam and is working in the field, but not to worry. This section is for the students or newcomers who want to learn how they can become a better EMT in 24 hours too.

The first thing you should do is get a study guide. There are tons of different guides out there on the internet, and each one has its own way of teaching things to beginners.

The second thing you should do is find a mentor in your community. Someone who has been doing this for a while and can answer all the questions you have about EMTs and paramedics, what it’s like working in an ambulance and in the hospital, and what they think about the job. Your instructor will often be willing to answer many of these questions for you.

The third thing I would recommend is to watch videos about what it takes to become an EMT. Many people find that they learn better when they can visualize what they are doing.

The fourth piece of advice for new students is to ask questions! Your instructor will appreciate the fact that you want to learn everything you can, and might even have a special tip or trick just for you!

The last piece of advice I have for new students is to not be afraid. Becoming an EMT will often feel like the biggest job in the world, especially when you start your first shifts. But take comfort in the fact that every other paramedic and EMT started out feeling this way too!

EMT's driving down the street in an ambulance

If you’re fresh out of your EMT training course and just starting to take calls in the real world, here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind:

Whenever you go on a call, remember that the safety of your crew and yourself should come first before anything else. Before going into a car accident, make sure that it’s not possible for something to explode or catch fire.

Don’t forget to speak up – EMTs who keep everything inside tend to bottle things up, leading to panic attacks and other mental health problems.

Feeling tired or sick? Make sure you tell your supervisor so there’s someone to cover for you while you rest up! You need to be 100% before going on any calls, not 85%.

Remember the Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Always treat people how you want to be treated, no matter what.

Finally, never stop learning. Becoming an EMT is a constant process of self-improvement, so you’ll never stop needing to seek out new knowledge and ways to help yourself grow.

It’s not an easy job, but if you follow the advice in this blog post, then you’ve already started down the right path of becoming a better EMT in 24 hours.

EMTs are some of the most selfless people out there. They have to remain calm in extremely stressful situations, and they need to be able to react appropriately in different situations. Becoming an EMT is more than just a job – it’s the beginning of a whole new chapter in your life.

In conclusion, you should keep up with sleep and nutrition so that your brain functions at its peak level, learn to stay calm during chaotic situations, and pay attention to detail while doing your job.

And remember, if you ever feel like giving up, just take a deep breath and stay positive! You never know what will happen next in EMS, so keep your chin up and look on the bright side! 

Good luck out there.

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