Starting an IV. Photo by Pierce

EMT and Phlebotomy… Together At Last!

In the wonderful world of EMT careers, there is one that stands out head and shoulders above the usual ambulance and set medic EMT suspects that we have come to know and accept. It is the exciting, but oftentimes claustrophobic, EMT serving in the ER career choice that is available to our students that is often overlooked or in many cases, not even noticed by job seekers.

Part of my responsibilities as an EMT instructor is to help identify where my students would fit-in, in this, their new industry of choice. Many students want that exciting and never static world of Ambulance work; be-it 911 work or generic transport. To them, the thought of being in one location for 12 hours is a horror they don’t want, and in many cases, it is the reason they LEFT their old career to begin with.

Enter the EMT working in the Emergency Room of a hospital.

For the EMT that is working in the ER, there are many reasons that this is a preferable line of work to that of Ambulance duty. From the higher pay that is usually a guarantee from the day you start, to the hours and camaraderie that a hospital entails, all the way to the feeling that you are always busy and constantly making a difference in peoples lives.

The EMT in the ER runs the place! If you have ever dropped off your patients at the hospital, you know that it is always preferable to give up care to a Trauma specialist like an EMT or Medic then it is to give that care to a nurse. The EMT has a keen understanding of the C-Collar, the restraints being used (if any) as well as the moving and patient care that is necessary to ensure safety, comfort and continuity of treatment.

The demand on the West Coast is so high lately for these folks, that the job descriptions I see oftentimes state that the candidate for employment have only ‘Passed an EMT Class”, not that they have their actual license.

But for the good ER gigs, the ones paying more bucks and in a great hospital and with terrific benefits, the EMT is not only required to have their EMT license, but also ECK certificate from the American Heart Association as well as their Phlebotomy license.

THAT EMT is the, as they say on the street, he or she is the “shizz”! They command top dollar and tend to get all the interviews and job offers FIRST.

So if you are looking for a new and exciting way to utilize your EMT license and don’t have a total disdain for the hospital atmosphere, go out there and get your Phlebotomy license. It usually only takes a about 18 weeks, with one full day a week of class and some clinical work, but you will end up at the TOP of the list for all those great hospital gigs that others in our industry sit in their rigs and dream about.

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Jack Murphy
Jack Murphy is a licensed firefighter, EMT and EMS Instructor in Michigan and California, holds a JD in real estate law and BA in History as well as numerous industry related certifications. These days Jack teaches a Hybrid EMT program at a small College in the Los Angeles area.