How much time should I spend studying each week in EMT training?
So, I'm planning on studying for the EMT Basic examination but I do have a full-time job. My question is do you think I can study and work full-time at the same time. Is the material hard to a point I should NOT be working full-time? I know it's a strange question but I'm financially in a tough situation and I'm looking for a more promising career something I can switch over to studying on my own. Would love to hear your thoughts 🙂
Yes. If you did fine in high school, you shouldn't have a problem. There are both day classes and night classes. Read the book. Play with the dummies. Know your tools. Work on being efficient - time saving steps can be learned from watching the pros on real calls.
Check out all the different kinds of limb stablizers, collars and head block assemblies - get used to putting them on right the first time. Keep easy access to updates on EMS protocols for your state or region - know what's in your scope of practice. Start paying attention to public safety issues, road hazards, weather, etc.
Memorize all the charts and acronyms. It makes it easier to function in the beginning. Know your basic anatomy and where all the organs are. Know what the organs and body systems do. Pay attention to the stories the instructors share. Get your hands on every piece of equipment that is supposed to be on your ambulance, find two friends - a “partner” and a “patient”- to help study with, and practice. Go over assessments and packaging again and again and again. Trauma, especially. Spend at least 15 minutes a day looking up medic terminology (language of medicine) Volunteer at a firehouse on your downtime and ride along.
The more you put your book knowledge into hands on practice, you will see that it is time better spent, and more valuable to your skills than studying at a desk. What makes for lousy EMT scores is not having committed study partners while in school, and not putting your hands on the equipment. Look for opportunities to see all kinds of emergency scenerios. EMS workshops and places to participate in practicals can be found online - some for free. And finally, know which hospitals in your area are specialized and where they are. Know which Hospitals are stroke centers, burn centers, trauma ready, etc. Some Hospitals don't really do anything, but it's important to spend time with seasoned EMS teams to understand how to prioritize and go to the right care unit.
You can't learn any of that last bit from the book they're gonna give you.
The class is not very difficult but does require some time. Our adult EMT-B class is generally 8 hours a week for 12-15 weeks with a few extra 8 hour Saturday classes thrown in, and our general study guidelines are an hour of studying for every hour of class. Almost every one of our students is a full-time employee somewhere and nearly every one succeeds without too insane an effort (amount of college education and how recent it was does impact this; older students who've not had to study in many years have a harder time adapting to it).
As for studying ahead of time—get a short anatomy book and a medical terminology book. Simple, not too complex. The most challenging hurdle for most students is all the names of the body parts, diseases, and medical terminology; it really is a whole new language.