If you are interested in becoming an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or a Paramedic, you will need to enroll in an EMT training program. EMT training centers typically offer several different types of EMT classes and courses, and some students can complete EMT courses online. Accredited EMT and EMS training programs prepare students for a rewarding career as a paramedic, EMT, nurse or other medical professional who works in an emergency setting.

Key subjects covered in these courses include cardiac support, trauma life support, critical care medic course programs and emergency pediatric care. Most students enrolled in an emergency medical technician program need to take a combination of classroom courses and hands-on courses that include clinical hours at a local hospital or medical center.

Types of EMT Classes

Most students need to have at least a high school diploma to enter a formal emergency medical technician training program and to take EMT courses. Courses are available at the EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and the Paramedic training levels. EMT classes at the basic level are focused on emergency skills, patient assessment and respiratory care. EMT courses at the intermediate level include training in the use of advanced airway devices, dispensing medications and administration of intravenous fluids. Courses at the Paramedic level include advanced medical skills training and courses in physiology and caregiving.

Some of the basic EMT classes available in an EMT training program include:

  • Tactical Medic Course
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support
  • Basic Life Support
  • Tactical Combat Casualty Care
  • Pediatric Emergency Assessment, Recognition and Stabilization
  • Prehospital Trauma Life Support
  • Advanced Medical Life Support
  • Emergency Pediatric Care
  • Critical Care Medic Course
  • Stroke Life Support
  • Coronary Syndromes

Some EMT courses can be used for credit towards an Associate's Degree in Emergency Medical Services or towards a nursing degree. The nationally-defined levels of EMT raining typically require between 30 and 350 hours of training, and most of this training is completed at a hospital's emergency department or in a medical center.

Completing EMT Courses Online

Students who are not able to attend a training center to fulfill course requirements may be able to take a portion of their EMT courses online. Online courses are typically available to those who are already certified at the EMT Basic level in their state, and give students a chance to study and work at their own pace. Some schools and training centers offer "live training" via an online web casting program, while others make it easy for students to learn through online tutorials and simulations. Students are typically required to demonstrate their skills with an onsite test, and complete clinical sessions at an area facility.

If you do decide to complete EMT courses online, it's important to make sure that the program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CAEMSP) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).