The following technical standards and essential functions outline reasonable expectations of a student in the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program for the performance of common EMT functions. The EMT student must be able to apply the knowledge and skills necessary to function in a variety of classroom, lab, and/or clinical situations while providing the essential competencies of an EMT. These requirements apply for the purpose of admission and continuation in the program. A general summary of the technical standards is listed below; however, prospective students are encouraged to review Appendix A of the National Standard Curriculum for a complete position analysis as performed on behalf of the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Safety Administration.
Essential Function: Observation
The ability to participate actively in all demonstrations, laboratory exercises, and clinical experiences in the professional program component and to assess and comprehend the condition of patients assigned to him/her for examination, diagnosis, and treatments, Such observations and information usually requires functional use of visual, auditory, and somatic sensations.
Observe skill demonstrations.
- Read small medication labels.
- Assess patients, including color changes, distinguishing location and types of injuries, lung sounds, and odors.
- Observe details about patient environment, including odors, colors, and sounds.
- Read small gauges on oxygen regulators and blood pressure cuffs.
- Listen to and distinguish patient lung sounds, heart tones, and blood pressures using a stethoscope in noisy environments.
Essential Function: Communication
The ability to communicate effectively in English using verbal, non-verbal, and written formats with faculty, other students, patients, families, and other members of the healthcare team.
- Read patient charts, medication labels, clinical documentation, physician orders, legal forms, and e-mail.
- Produce written communication with healthcare team, including physicians, dispatchers, supervisors, patients (may be done via charts, pre-hospital care forms, and/or narratives).
- Communicate verbally with healthcare team members, including physicians, dispatchers, supervisors, patients (may be done in person, via telephone, and/or via two-way radio).
Essential Function: Motor
Sufficient motor ability and dexterity to execute the movement and skills required for safe and effective care and emergency treatment.
- Lift and move patients with and without assistance.
- Perform emergency skills such as bandaging, splinting, moving patients, applying oxygen, and administering medications (pills, sprays, auto-injectors).
- Assess patients on and extricate patients from irregular surfaces, stairs, trails, roadways, ditches, vehicles, dwellings, businesses, waterways, etc.
Essential Function: Intellectual
The ability to collect, interpret, and integrate information and make decisions.
- Combine findings from patient and scene assessment with knowledge of anatomy and physiology to develop or follow treatment plans.
- Solve problems to meet challenges of emergency scenes.
- Recognize changing patient conditions and adapt care to address changing conditions.
- Synthesizing patient treatment plans in the absence of concrete findings or in the presence of contradictory findings.
Essential Function: Behavioral and Social Attributes
Possess the emotional health and stability required for full utilization of the student's intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all academic and patient care responsibilities, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with clients and other members of the healthcare team; possess the ability to tolerate taxing workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical settings with patients; possess compassion, integrity, concern for others, and motivation; and possess the ability to demonstrate professional behaviors and a strong work ethic.
- Interact with people (such as patients and their families, bystanders, healthcare team members, and members of the general public) from diverse socioeconomic, ethnic, educational, religious, moral, and cultural backgrounds in a professional and non-judgmental manner.
- Respond to and manage emergency scenes under stressful and time-pressured circumstances.
- Respond to and manage non-emergency situations during an entire shift (up to 48 hours of continuous duty) while maintaining a compassionate, caring, and professional demeanor.
- Interact with people with learning, developmental, psychological, and/or behavioral disorders while maintaining a compassionate, caring, and professional demeanor.