Emergency medical technician
What Can EMTs Do?[change | change source]
EMTs used to be called "ambulance drivers," but now this name is thought of as insulting. There are many things that EMTs can do (other than drive the ambulance), like:
- Do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and give electric shocks to a person's chest if their heart is beating in a way that could kill them
- Give oxygen (or force oxygen into a person's lungs) if they stop breathing or are not breathing well enough to survive
- Insert a breathing tube down someone's windpipe to help them breathe better
- Stop hemorrhaging (bleeding so bad that it will kill a person if not stopped)
- Treating burns
- Treat very bad physical trauma (injuries)
- Deliver a baby
- Treat broken bones, dislocated joints, sprains, and wounds
State Laws[change | change source]
In the United States, each state gets to decide exactly what their EMTs can do. Things like the examples in the list above are things that every EMT in every state can do. But each's states treatment protocols - their rules for what their EMTs can do - are different. For example:
- In Massachusetts, EMTs can give medicines to treat heart attacks, breathing emergencies (like asthma attacks), anaphylaxis, very low blood sugar, and overdoses on opiates like heroin and oxycodone.
- In New Hampshire, EMTs are allowed to place a rescue airway in a patient who cannot breathe. This means they will place a tube down the patient's throat, then force oxygen into the lungs through the tube.
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (January 8, 2014). "Occupational Outlook Handbook: EMTs and Paramedics, 2014-2015 Edition". www.bls.gov. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/mobile/emts-and-paramedics.htm. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
- Massachusetts Office of Emergency Medical Services. "Emergency Medical Services Statewide Treatment Protocols". www.mass.gov. Executive Office of Health & Human Services. http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/provider/guidelines-resources/clinical-treatment/public-health-oems-treatment-protocols.html. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
- New Hampshire Department of Safety (January 2013). "State of New Hampshire Patient Care Protocols". www.mass.gov. http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/fstems/ems/advlifesup/documents/ptprotocols.pdf. Retrieved December 14, 2015.