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Advice for People Interested in EMS & New EMTs (Best Responses)

Here are some of the best responses that On Time employees have shared. We hope these insights might help encourage you to try out this line of work...

Over the past couple years, we've been doing what we call EMT Spotlights, showcasing individual stories here on our website and asking members of the On Time team a variety of questions about their work.

One of our favorites is, "Do you have any advice for new EMTs, or for people thinking about getting into this line of work?"

Here are some of the best responses that On Time employees have shared. We hope these insights might help encourage you to try out this line of work. So without further ado, let's get into it!


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Advice people thinking of getting into the EMS field:

Don't be scared, just go for it. It's not a scary field, it's one where you're going to continually learn. And when you get started, learn as much as you can. Everyone has their own methods, their own tips and tricks, and there's so much wisdom from everybody.

Jump in with both feet! You learn a lot in EMT school, but you learn even more working in the field.

Take time to investigate the field. Whether through online research or speaking with someone you know who has a connection to an EMT, speak with them and find out more about the occupation. You could also explore local EMT programs to see if the coursework and material interests you, and ask for any recommendations.

Don't be afraid to go for it! [...] Everyone is willing to help. A career in EMS is a great place to start. You'll become experienced in so much and you'll have many healthcare career options available. It's up to you what that next step will be.

Go for it. The healthcare industry is a lot less scary once you're in it than it seems from the outside. I've met some of the most caring and wonderful people in this field. I'd also remind them to take care of themselves. It's easy to forget to take care of yourself when your job is literally to run around taking care of other people. Mental health should be a priority for healthcare workers because we need to de-stress and decompress in healthy ways.

Make sure you really want to help people first and foremost. It's a selfless job. And no matter the person's gender, age, belief, ethnic background, etc., you must do the best of your ability to provide the proper level of care. Basically, if that was your family member in that position, think of how you'd want them to be taken care of.

Make sure you're mentally ready to handle the life of a first responder. There are a lot of real-life situations you will experience and see. As an EMT, you have to be ready to perform your job without hesitating.

Going through EMT school was probably one of the smartest things I've ever done.

EMTs demonstrating with a stretcher

It's a challenging job that betters you --- it keeps it exciting, keeps you on your toes. I love that. It has also helped me realize that I want to become a Physician's Assistant. So this job has really solidified that career path for me.

The schooling, I'm not going to lie, especially if you're in an accelerated program, it can be a pretty grueling process. It's a lot of long days, but it's worth it.

Try it. Just go for it. See if it can work for you. What you're doing is helpful and it's relevant, so you're not just collecting a paycheck.

It's a phenomenal opportunity to be of service, to give up yourself, and to get that firsthand view of what that giving of self really looks like. And it's a great first step into recognizing what good healthcare is all about: teamwork, community, passion, and charity.

The hardest part of being an EMT in the beginning was the physical touching of the patients because it's awkward to a lot of people at first. But you'll learn exactly how to interact with the patients, and how to properly and safely move them. It's a very good skill to have.

I'd say definitely look into it. It's a really rewarding job and a good place to get your feet wet if you're looking to get into healthcare. You can see what goes on in the hospitals and all that. It's one of the basic starting points of healthcare. So if you're looking to get into healthcare at all, you're probably going to want to get the experience as an EMT.

It's a really rewarding job if your heart's in it. There's so much room for career advancement within the medical field. And it's more than just a job. But you have to be a certain type of person to be able to handle it. It will show in your patient care if you're just doing it just for the paycheck.

Especially if you're a nursing student, it's definitely something you should look into. You could end up on a truck working with a nurse and gaining experience and learning from them.

Get in where you can start. You can start volunteering at a hospital before getting your EMT certification too. There are so many options. I really like being an EMT because you're getting your foot in the door and learning the processes. You also get to interact with so many people.

The best advice I can say is to just start. And different paths work for different people.


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Advice for those just starting as a new EMT:

There is not a single person that you cannot learn something from. Ask: what did you think? How did you feel about this? What was difficult for you? Everyone has a story. Everyone's experiences are different from the next. You will gain so much knowledge and understanding from asking questions. Asking questions helps you learn, makes you stand out, and enables you to make your mark. Everyone has experiences and information that can help you. I'm always asking questions because that's one of the most underrated resources in your career that you can use.

Take a deep breath. You were taught what to do, and your partners, FTOs, Supervisors, and higher-ups all have your back. You aren't in this alone by any means. Ask ALL the questions, don't be afraid to admit when you don't know something.

Just be open. And don't be afraid. We're in these situations where we're there for somebody else. They might be a stranger to us, but that's someone's mom or dad or best friend, and we're provided with an opportunity to serve them in a caring and compassionate way.

Always treat your patients with dignity. They all have their own stories and come from their own walk of life. Everyone has something to offer. Learn from them. Take a piece of their story with you.

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Interested in joining the On Time team? We have a variety of positions available. You can even start work while you're in EMT school. Visit our careers page to learn more.

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