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Emergency medical technician
The emergency medical technician (EMT) is a job where a person works on an ambulance and takes care of sick and hurt people. EMTs long ago were called "ambulance drivers," since much of the work is to bring people to an emergency room. The other main duty is first aid including:
- Do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and give electric shocks to a person's chest if their heart is beating in a way that could kill them
- Give oxygen (or force oxygen into a person's lungs) if they stop breathing or are not breathing well enough to survive
- Insert a breathing tube down someone's windpipe to help them breathe better
- Stop hemorrhaging (bleeding so bad that it will kill a person if not stopped)
- Treating burns
- Treat very bad physical trauma (injuries)
- Deliver a baby
- Treat broken bones, dislocated joints, sprains, and wounds
In the United States, each state decides what their EMTs can do. Things like the examples in the list above are things that every EMT in every state can do. But each's states treatment protocols - their rules for what their EMTs can do - are different. For example:
- In Massachusetts, EMTs can give medicines to treat heart attacks, breathing emergencies (like asthma attacks), anaphylaxis, very low blood sugar, and overdoses on opiates like heroin and oxycodone.
- In New Hampshire, EMTs are allowed to place a rescue airway in a patient who cannot breathe. This means they will place a tube down the patient's throat, then force oxygen into the lungs through the tube.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (January 8, 2014). "Occupational Outlook Handbook: EMTs and Paramedics, 2014-2015 Edition". http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/mobile/emts-and-paramedics.htm. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
- Massachusetts Office of Emergency Medical Services. "Emergency Medical Services Statewide Treatment Protocols". Executive Office of Health & Human Services. http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/provider/guidelines-resources/clinical-treatment/public-health-oems-treatment-protocols.html. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
- New Hampshire Department of Safety (January 2013). "State of New Hampshire Patient Care Protocols". http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/fstems/ems/advlifesup/documents/ptprotocols.pdf. Retrieved December 14, 2015.