12 Practical EMS Tips for New EMTs

Being an EMT comes with its hassles, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. Especially if you have the guidance and expertise of veteran EMTs to rely on. Compiled by seasoned EMTs and paramedics, these EMS tips will help you in your day-to-day duties. Here are some trade secrets every new EMT should know. 

EMS Tips to Help You Excel as an EMT

The EMS tips below will help you navigate your new EMT job and excel at it.

1. Always Have a Pen, Notepad, and Flashlight

While EMTs have many tools, few are as important as a pen and a notepad. With these, you can scribble down details of your patients and the medications you administer.

A flashlight is always useful when it gets dark or when you’re in a poorly-lit area. Get little lightweight flashlights that can fit into your pocket. These are easy to carry around.

2. Make Your Patient Feel Comfortable 

The first step in helping your patient feel better is to make them comfortable enough to receive treatment. Offering a blanket or giving a child a stuffed animal will go a long way to reduce their fear and make them more comfortable.

Also, your patients will value your time with them, and you’ll give them an excellent overall impression of emergency services.

3. Learn to Communicate Effectively

Always remember that effective communication can also save lives.

You’ll need to communicate effectively with patients, their family members, and your coworkers. So, as an EMT, improving your communication skills will go a long way to help you succeed in your job.

Tell your patient or their family members why you need the information you’ll be asking for, and assure them that you’ll keep it confidential. Speak slowly, make eye contact, and repeat key parts of what they say to make them feel heard. If you need to take notes as they speak, tell them you’re still listening to them.

Let your patient know what you’re about to do before you do it. For example, if you’re going to administer an injection, let them know and tell them why. This will make them more receptive to care and reduce their fear and nervousness.

Also, be clear, concise, and respectful when you speak with your colleagues, nurses, or other professionals you encounter on the job.

4. Locate All Equipment and Tools

Learning the position of every piece of equipment in the ambulance will help you locate them quickly during an emergency. This is especially important when starting a new job with a company that may do things slightly differently.

Also, return equipment to its original position after use. This will make it easy for you to locate it again when you or your colleagues need it.

5. Know How to Use Each Equipment

You’ll learn everything about equipment usage during your EMS course. But it’s easy to forget how to use those you don’t use regularly. And you definitely don’t want to be stuck in an emergency without that knowledge. Make time to revise your coursebook and manual once in a while to keep your equipment knowledge fresh.

Also, always organize and group your most critical equipment to avoid leaving any behind on calls. Keep your gear simple and versatile, so you don’t carry around equipment you hardly use.

6. Be Organized and Coordinated

Your level of coordination and organization will determine how effective and productive you’ll be as an EMT.

Evaluate every situation and collect all necessary information before taking action. This will help you stay coordinated and organized on every call. Knowing your mnemonics can also help you remember what to do in certain situations.

Thankfully, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel for EMS. Following rules and established processes to the letter will help you work faster.

7. Learn From Your Teammates 

Although it’s important to trust your abilities and knowledge, there’ll be instances when you’re unsure of the precise course of action to take. When this happens, be self-aware enough to realize that you don’t know everything.

Be willing to ask for assistance when you need it, whether to clarify a point from a teammate or get more explanation on a complex procedure.

8. Embrace the Spirit of Teamwork

As an EMT, it’s crucial to collaborate with your teammates while on the job. When you’re dealing with emergencies, working in sync with your colleagues can save you from making errors.

You’ll spend hours with your teammates every day. So, even when you’re not sprinting to the scene of an accident, learn to build relationships with your fellow EMTs. Also, remember to be the partner you want to have.

9. Note Every Medication and Their Uses

Since there are so many medications, learning them all at once would take a lot of work. But when on a shift, attempt to learn each new medication you come across. If you need clarification on what it is, make a note of it and do some research after your shift.

If you continue to do this, you’ll increase your knowledge of medications and their uses in no time. This will, in turn, improve your ability to do your job.

10. Keep Learning

Although completing your EMT training is a great starting point, the nature of an EMT job requires you to continue learning. Be open to lessons from others, learn from your mistakes, and take every opportunity to become a better EMT.

11. Always Put on Your Safety Gear  

The purpose of safety equipment is to safeguard you from dangerous substances and situations. Always remember that your safety must come first before you can help patients.

Goggles, vests or overalls, face masks, and other protective gear are some items you should have on hand. These tools are designed to safeguard both you and the people you are rescuing.

12. Remember to Unwind After Work 

As an EMT, your job will be rigorous and tiring. You’ll have long hours, and some shifts may be difficult. It’s crucial to keep your thoughts away from work when you’re not working.

Make sure you engage in your hobbies or interests outside of work. Doing this will help you unwind without worrying about what happened during your shift.

Join the Elite Ambulance EMS Team

If you live in the Chicagoland area and wish to work as an EMT, contact us at Elite Ambulance. We’re always looking to expand our team with people looking to advance their careers in EMS.

At Elite Ambulance, we provide a supportive work environment and a competitive salary above the national industry average. As an EMT, you’ll earn a starting annual salary of $51,480* (before taxes) based on the standard 50-hour work week.

We also offer EMS training and certifications to help you grow professionally.

Join the Elite Ambulance Team to start a promising career in EMS!

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