24 HOUR EMERGENCY
Poison Control Center
606 East Burton Street
Mike Nunley, EMT-P, RN
Interested in a Career in EMS?
People’s lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics. Incidents as varied as automobile accidents, heart attacks, slips and falls, childbirth, and gunshot wounds all require immediate medical attention. EMTs and paramedics provide this vital service as they care for and transport the sick or injured to a medical facility.
In an emergency, EMTs and paramedics are dispatched by a 911 operator to the scene. Once they arrive, EMTs and paramedics assess the nature of the patient’s condition while trying to determine whether the patient has any pre-existing medical conditions. Following medical protocols and guidelines, they provide appropriate emergency care and transport the patient to the hospital. Emergency treatment is carried out under the medical direction of physicians.
EMTs and paramedics may use special equipment, such as backboards, to immobilize patients before placing them on stretchers and securing them in the ambulance for transport to a medical facility. We work in teams. During the transport of a patient, one EMT or paramedic drives while the other monitors the patient’s vital signs and gives additional care as needed.
At the medical facility, EMTs and paramedics help transfer patients to the emergency department, report their observations and actions to emergency department staff, and may provide additional emergency treatment. After each run, EMTs and paramedics replace used supplies and check equipment. If a transported patient had a contagious disease, EMTs and paramedics decontaminate the interior of the ambulance.
Beyond these general duties, the specific responsibilities of EMTs and paramedics depend on their level of qualification and training. The State of Tennessee licenses emergency medical service providers at five levels: First Responder; First Responders do not work on Ambulances in Rutherford County; Emergency Medical Dispatcher, EMT-IV; Paramedic, and Paramedic Critical Care.
The EMT-IV represents the first component of the emergency medical ambulance team. An EMT-IV trained at this level is prepared to care for patients at the scene of an accident and while transporting patients by ambulance to the hospital under medical direction. The EMT-IV has the basic emergency skills to assess a patient’s condition and manage respiratory, cardiac, and trauma emergencies.
EMT-Paramedics provide the most extensive pre-hospital care. In addition to carrying out the procedures of the other levels, paramedics may administer drugs orally and intravenously, interpret electrocardiograms (EKGs), perform endotracheal intubations, and use monitors and other complex equipment.
EMTs and paramedics work both indoors and out, in all types of weather. They are required to do considerable kneeling, bending, and heavy lifting. These workers risk noise-induced hearing loss from sirens and back injuries from lifting patients. In addition, EMTs and paramedics may be exposed to diseases such as hepatitis-B and AIDS, as well as violence from mentally unstable patients. The work is not only physically strenuous but can be stressful, sometimes involving life-or-death situations and suffering patients. Nonetheless, many people find the work exciting and challenging and enjoy the opportunity to help others.
Rutherford County EMTs and paramedics are employed by the County and work 24 hours and are off for 48 hours.
For more information about becoming an Emergency Medical Technician contact your local college or call MTSU at (615) 898-2462.
Learn more about the MTSU EMT Courses
MTSU EMT Course Frequently Asked Questions
To Register for EMT class at MTSU use this link https://www.onlineregistrationcenter.com/register.asp?m=203&c=7365
Tennessee EMS Rules and Regulations
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