With the basics of the EMS system and moving/lifting skills under our belt, we turn our attention to perhaps the two most critical elements of the EMT course: Human anatomy and development, and the overall plan of patient assessment necessary to determine appropriate treatment and transport priority.
EMTs are not doctors. We're not asked, expected, or required to diagnose what ails our patient. Heck, we're pretty much told to avoid jumping to any conclusions, and look to treat life-threats and transport safely to a higher-level medical care facility as our primary responsibility. While we may suspect kidney stones or gallstones, a broken toe, or an allergy to a specific food based on what a patient has told us they are experiencing by way of pain or discomfort, or what they were doing prior to the start of pain, at best we're told to maintain an "index of suspicion" rather than attempting to reach a conclusion and diagnoses. That's simply not the function of being an EMT.
The keys to providing effective care, however, requires us to understand human anatomy and how all the systems within our bodies both work and inter-relate. And while it is a major amount of stuff to learn, it's probably not much more than the average 8th grade health class or high school biology class.
Jon Alperin, one of our MFAS volunteers, shares his journey to becoming an NJ certified EMT.
from the Start
Here is Jon's journey, presented in time order: