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Career and Education Opportunities for Emergency Medical Technicians in Charleston, West Virginia

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for emergency medical technicians in the Charleston, West Virginia area. Currently, 1,890 people work as emergency medical technicians in West Virginia. This is expected to grow 19% to about 2,240 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for emergency medical technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.0% over the next eight years. Emergency medical technicians generally assess injuries, administer emergency medical care, and extricate trapped individuals.

The income of an emergency medical technician is about $10 per hour or $21,950 yearly on average in West Virginia. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $14 per hour or $29,330 yearly on average. Emergency medical technicians earn the same as people working in the category of Emergency generally in West Virginia and the same as people in the Emergency category nationally. People working as emergency medical technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: flight paramedic, emergency vehicle operator, and first responder.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including two within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree to start your career as an emergency medical technician. Given that the most common education level for emergency medical technicians is a post-secondary certificate, you can expect to spend a short time studying to be an emergency medical technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Emergency Medical Technician

Emergency Medical Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, emergency medical technicians assess injuries, administer emergency medical care, and extricate trapped individuals. They also transport injured or sick persons to medical facilities.

Emergency medical technicians attend training classes to maintain certification licensure, keep abreast of new developments in the field, or maintain existing knowledge. They also comfort and reassure patients. Equally important, emergency medical technicians have to direct work with other emergency medical team members and police and fire department personnel. They are often called upon to immobilize patients for placement on stretchers and ambulance transport, using backboards or other spinal immobilization devices. They are expected to administer first-aid treatment and life-support care to sick or injured persons in prehospital setting. Finally, emergency medical technicians decontaminate ambulance interiors following treatment of patients with infectious diseases and report cases to proper authorities.

Every day, emergency medical technicians are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they lift, push and move large and heavy objects.

It is important for emergency medical technicians to drive mobile intensive care unit to specified location, following instructions from emergency medical dispatcher. They are often called upon to administer drugs, orally or by injection, and perform intravenous procedures under a physician's direction. Somewhat less frequently, emergency medical technicians are also expected to attend training classes to maintain certification licensure, keep abreast of new developments in the field, or maintain existing knowledge.

Emergency medical technicians sometimes are asked to maintain vehicles and medical and communication apparatus, and replenish first-aid apparatus and supplies. They also have to be able to communicate with dispatchers and treatment center personnel to furnish data, to organize reception of victims, and to receive instructions for further treatment And finally, they sometimes have to work with treatment center personnel to obtain patients' vital statistics and medical histories, to establish the circumstances of emergencies, and to administer emergency treatment.

Like many other jobs, emergency medical technicians must be reliable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charleston include:

  • Radiation Therapist. Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards. Duties may include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; acting as liaison with physician and supportive care personnel; preparing equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, and protection devices; and maintaining records, reports, and files. May assist in dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Emergency Medical Technician Training

West Virginia State Community and Technical College - Institute, WV

West Virginia State Community and Technical College, 103 Cole Complex, Institute, WV 25112-1000. West Virginia State Community and Technical College is a small college located in Institute, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,741 students. West Virginia State Community and Technical College has a one to two year program in Emergency Medical Technology/Technician.

Carver Career Center - Charleston, WV

Carver Career Center, 4799 Midland Dr, Charleston, WV 25306-6397. Carver Career Center is a small school located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 391 students. Carver Career Center has a less than one year program in Emergency Care Attendant which graduated one student in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Oxygen Administration: Prepares laypersons and professional rescuers with the knowledge and skills needed to know when and how to use supplemental oxygen and breathing devices.

For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

Diver Medic Technician: The National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology (NBDHMT) was formed in 1991 and introduced a certification program for all technologists working in the field as well as an 'approved' introductory training course for those desiring to enter the field.

For more information, see the National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.