Difference Between an EMT and a Paramedic

Difference Between an EMT and a Paramedic

People looking to help others are often drawn to the medical field, but this doesn’t mean they have to be a doctor or nurse. Another popular profession is an EMT. These professionals operate ambulances and work in critical conditions to keep patients alive until they can reach a hospital. Sometimes, this position is confused with a paramedic. Although they perform the same tasks, a paramedic is actually a different position entirely. So whether someone is looking for Texas EMT courses or paramedic licensing classes, they should be sure to understand the differences between the two.


An EMT, or emergency medical technician, is the first level of emergency service personnel. The position is sometimes referred to as the “entry-level” of the industry, but these people work hard to earn their title and certification. It’s the bedrock of all other emergency medical service positions, so everyone has to go through time as a trained EMT before moving up. Their courses for certification are usually about 120-150 hours long and require passing a test at the end. They’re trained in things such as CPR, administering glucose to diabetics, and providing oxygen, but are generally prohibited from any procedure that would require breaking the patient’s skin, such as shots.


Paramedics are like EMTs with master’s degrees. They have the same skills and basic training but decide to take it one step further. They secure advanced training in anatomy, cardiology, and learn about medications and possible interactions. Paramedics can provide more intensive care in emergency situations such as starting an intravenous line, administering medicines, or helping someone improve their airway and oxygen intake in situations such as anaphylaxis or heart attacks. Their training typically requires 1,200 to 1,800 of instruction.

EMTs and Paramedics both work in ambulances for emergency medical care, but they have very different abilities and responsibilities.

Difference Between an EMT and a Paramedic

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