Frequently Asked Questions
For individuals wishing to become credentialed as EMS providers in North Carolina, the Wake Tech EMS Department offers two options: (1) a two-year degree (A.A.S.) program in Emergency Medical Science and (2) Workforce Continuing Education non-degree courses, which include EMT. The following are some Frequently Asked Questions concerning our EMS programs.
If you are an active volunteer or career EMS provider, your department representative, company officer, or supervisor may have information about other financial aid opportunities. Some companies will purchase students' textbooks or reimburse some expenses upon successful completion of the program.
Having a degree gives you an advantage in hiring situations and often means a higher starting salary. A degree is often important for EMS providers to move up or into other aspects of the field, such as management and administration, or into state or federal EMS (and related) positions.
Students should have college entry-level reading and writing skills (at least), good basic math skills, and the ability to think critically and solve problems. Paramedics are health care professionals who interact with all members of the health care team and must be able to communicate in a professional way. They are responsible for handling drugs and must be able to quickly calculate patient weight and appropriate drug dosages in emergency situations. They have more autonomy every day, requiring problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
Students should talk with a Health Sciences counselor to get the most up-to-date information on admissions requirements.
- Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is the collective name for the care provided by those who ride in ambulances (and those who support them, such as dispatchers and firefighters) and those who provide various levels of pre-hospital (or out-of-hospital) care to the sick or injured.
- EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) is trained to care for patients at the scene of an accident and during ambulance transport, under medical direction. The EMT has the skills to assess a patient’s condition and manage respiratory, cardiac, and trauma emergencies.
- AEMT (Advanced Emergency Medical Technician) has more advanced training that allows the administration of intravenous fluids, the use of manual defibrillators to give lifesaving shocks to a stopped heart, and the application of advanced airway techniques and equipment to assist patients experiencing respiratory emergencies.
- Paramedic is currently the highest level of training for EMS providers. Paramedics provide the most extensive pre-hospital care. In addition to carrying out the procedures already described, paramedics may administer drugs orally and intravenously, interpret electrocardiograms (EKGs), perform endotracheal intubations, and use monitors and other complex equipment.