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About Emergency Medical Sciences

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Emergency Medical Sciences

The Profession

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 pre-hospital care of acutely ill and injured patients.

The paramedic is the highest-level emergency medical services health care professional in the pre-hospital 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.

Paramedics and EMT's 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.

Technical Standards/Essential Job Functions

In order to graduate from the EMS Program and be eligible for State licensure, students must be able to perform certain technical requirements that are used to ensure the safe performance of EMS activities.

The list of common essential functions below is not intended to be an all-inclusive list as to all activities that could be required to provide patient care safely in a prehospital environment. Any limitation or disability must not pose a threat to the safety of the student, faculty, patients or other health care providers.


  • Have the physical stamina to stand and walk for 12+ hours in a clinical or field setting.
  • Can stand on both legs, move about freely and maneuver in small spaces and across uneven terrain.
  • Be able to tolerate being exposed to extremes in the environment including variable aspects of weather, hazardous fumes and noise.


  • Can bend the body downward and forward by bending at the spine and waist.
  • Can flex and extend all joints freely.


  • Can raise objects (25+ lbs.) from a lower to a higher position or move objects horizontally from position to position frequently and greater weights occasionally.
  • Possess mobility, coordination and strength to push, pull or transfer heavy objects weighing 150 lbs. frequently and greater weights occasionally.

Fine motor skills:

  • Possess manual dexterity, mobility, and stamina to perform CPR for extended periods of time.
  • Can seize, hold, grasp, turn, apply pressure and otherwise work with both hands.
  • Make skillful, controlled manipulations of small objects in order to use medical equipment.
  • Be able to differentiate between normal and abnormal findings in human physical conditions by using visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile observations.
  • Inspects, palpates and auscultate the patient (or simulated patient) as appropriate for patient condition to determine illness or injury and to initiate proper treatment.

Auditory Ability:

  • Possess sufficient hearing to assess patient’s needs, make fine discriminations in sound, follow instructions and communicate with other health care workers.

Visual Acuity:

  • Possess the visual acuity to read, write and assess the patient and the environment.


  • Possess verbal/nonverbal and written communication skills adequate to exchange ideas, detailed information, and instructions accurately.
  • Able to read, comprehend, and write legibly in the English language.
  • Possess the ability to recognize, interpret, and respond to nonverbal behavior of self and others.

Interpersonal Skills:

  • Able to interact purposefully and effectively with others.
  • Able to work collaboratively with others to solve complex and sometimes stressful problems.
  • Able to convey sensitivity, respect, tact, and a mentally healthy attitude during stressful situations.
  • Oriented to reality and not mentally impaired to make decisions that would immediately impact the health of others by prescription or nonprescription mind-altering substances.
  • Able to function safely and effectively during high intensity and stressful periods.
  • Possess sufficient emotional stability to be able to perform duties in life or death situations and in potentially dangerous social situations, including responding to calls in districts known to have high crime rates.
  • Work well and communicate as part of a team to solve problems/concerns.
  • Able to work with multiple providers and patients at the same time.

Critical Thinking:

  • Be able to comprehend and process information in a timely manner based on the needs of the current situation.
  • Prioritize between the needs of multiple ongoing tasks while processing information about patient condition, scene information, etc. while actively providing patient care and while directing actions on a scene or in a scenario.
  • Ability to observe, measure and differentiate between normal and abnormal patient responses while appropriately providing any needed treatment or interventions.

If at any point in the program a student appears to have an inability to perform the essential job functions, further evaluation of student’s ability to complete the program essential functions may be required and conducted by the Emergency Medical Sciences faculty if deemed necessary for retention and progression through the program.

For additional information, contact [email protected].