View Full Version : EMT vs. Medic (in America)

08-17-2008, 06:31 AM
Can anyone tell me what the skill and duty differences are between the two?



08-17-2008, 08:29 AM
Emergency Medical Technicians are trained to give care to ill or injured people at the scene of accidents or during an ambulance ride to a hospital. If someone was having a heart attack, for example, the ambulance would be called and the EMTs would give the first care.

As far as I know, a Medic is a military person who gives this kind of care on a battlefield. Neither group are doctors. EMTs are usually part of the local fire department.

08-17-2008, 02:41 PM
The basic difference is that one is military, the other civilian; they both give emergency aid as needed. Past that:

1) EMT's are required to take courses and to maintain their various licenses. They can be part of any crew that may find itself in an emergency situation, such as fire crews and ambulance teams. Some police and other emergency personnel also have EMT training, but generally lack expertise and/or experience. They are pretty much limited to the field, even though some smaller cities may have them in their emergency rooms as well.

2) A medic, properly speaking, is any enlisted person whose particular military occupational specialty is medic. An infantryman with some medical training may qualify as an EMT, but unless his MOS is medic he would still be considered an infantryman. Unlike an EMT, a medic is trained in basic medicine (he can do basic physicals (ie, gathering the basic information), for example). He is also trained in syringes and their proper application (whereas an EMT would know how to use one in an emergency, he wouldn't be administering flu shots or obtaining blood).

If it helps....

08-17-2008, 04:00 PM
It depends somewhat on the region you're talking about. Different hospitals allow different things.

An EMT (as I think you're using it) is an advancement over the basic life saving class taught by the Red Cross. Initial training runs about 150 - 200 hours. Basic goal of the class is to take the patient from the scene to the hospital and provide some care during the process. A lot of the care involves getting vitals as in emergency situations the changes in vitals can be indicative of the problem.

Care can include administering oxygen, bandaging, splinting for transport, CPR, insertion of some airways, and assessment of the situation.

I'm assuming that you're referring to a Paramedic as a medic. It is used as a term, although it more likely to be used in the military. A paramedic (sometimes called a paragod) is also an EMT, but with a much more advanced level of training. Paramedics can insert an IT tube, administer some drugs, adjust de-fibs and shock in abnormal situations, insert IVs, and maybe perform some minor surgical procedures in an emergency.

The goal of a paramedic is the same of any EMT -- getting the patient to the hospital as fast as is safe in as good condition as possible.

It depends on the area how emergency medicine is set up. It can be under the jurisdiction of the fire department, the police, or an independent agency. Most frequent model is to pair an EMT with a Paramedic. (By the way, an EMT is technically an EMT-Basic. There are actually a couple of other levels.) Other places have Paramedics respond only in certain situations. Most medical calls only require basic skills.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

08-17-2008, 05:08 PM
Thanks so much! You've all answered my question so well, there's no doubt as to how I should proceed.


08-18-2008, 12:38 PM