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About the Profession

The paramedic is the highest level emergency medical services health care professional in the prehospital setting. The paramedic must be able to work independently and as a team leader rendering care to people under stressful conditions. The paramedic must demonstrate proficiency in anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, advanced airway management, intravenous therapy, and medication therapy. Paramedics must also rapidly apply problem-solving skills to formulate and implement rapid care plans for a wide array of situations including cardiac, trauma management, pediatric, geriatric, and other medical and behavioral emergencies.

The Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is the entry-level professional in the emergency medical services system. The EMT is concerned primarily with basic life support prehospital care of acutely ill and injured patients.

Paramedics and EMTs can find career opportunities with ambulance services, fire departments, and industrial companies. In addition, paramedics are employed by emergency helicopter services, offshore oil companies, and as military combat medics.