Emergency Medical Science Career Explorer

Job Description

Administers first aid treatment and transports sick or injured persons to medical facility, working as a member of an emergency medical team.

A person in this career does the following:

  • Administers first aid treatment and life support care to sick and injured persons
  • Assesses the nature and extent of an illness or injury to establish and prioritize medical procedures
  • Observes, records and reports a patient’s condition and reaction to drug treatment
  • Communicates with treatment center staff to arrange reception of victims and to get instructions for further treatment
  • Coordinates with treatment center staff to obtain victims' vital statistics and medical histories
  • Drives a mobile intensive care unit to specified locations, following instructions from an emergency medical dispatcher
  • Maintains medical and communication equipment
  • Immobilizes patient for placement on stretcher
  • Depending on the level of training (basic, intermediate or paramedic), EMTs have increasingly advanced responsibilities.


Working conditions and physical demands:

  • Handle loads of up to 20 pounds, sometimes up to 50 pounds. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves and hearing protection
  • Walking or running more than one-third of the time
  • Bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Getting into awkward positions
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once per month through work such as patient care, laboratory work and sanitation control
  • Conditions may be very hot or very cold.


Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath
  • Using abdominal and lower-back muscles repeatedly over time without tiring
  • Recognizing particular sounds in the presence of other sounds
  • Seeing objects clearly in glaring conditions or bright lighting


Work hours and travel:

  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work
  • Overtime work

Career at a Glance

Skills Needed
Good decision-making and critical-thinking skills
Interest in working with and helping people
Good math and science skills
Good hands-on skills
Good communication skills

Job Duties
Access the nature and extent of an illness or injury
Perform CPR and starts IVs
Administers medications
Performs CPR

Work Locations
EMS services
Urgent care
Fire and rescue
Air medical services