In an emergency, chances are that the person who is treating you will be an EMT and not a doctor. EMT stands for Emergency Medical Technician, who is a first responder with the ambulance crew or first aid team, depending on where the emergency takes place. Yes, both an EMT and a doctor are trained to handle medical emergencies, but there are differences in their profession.
EMTs are clinicians, trained to respond quickly to emergency situations, especially medical issues, traumatic injuries and accident scenes, Wikipedia explains.
Usually an EMT is employed by the ambulance service and shouldn’t be confused with the ambulance driver or team or even paramedics, who have different functions. An EMT is specially trained to offer lifesaving interventions on the spot.
Dr Kathleen Handel told Share Care: “Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are healthcare professionals who have completed a semester-long training programme that prepares them to provide basic emergency medical care to severely ill and/or injured patients. EMTs have training in CPR, bleeding control, splinting and bandaging, medical emergency care (such as for asthma, diabetes and cardiac problems) and emergency obstetrics. In addition, EMTs can administer oxygen and use a defibrillator.”
A doctor is a physician who has studied in the field of medicine for a minimum of seven years. Doctors have the licence to prescribe medication and many forms of treatment, aside from only treating emergencies.
Medify elaborates that a doctor is qualified to treat people who are ill or injured. Doctors can also perform surgery, assuming that they have been trained as surgeons. Doctors can choose to specialise in different fields.
For example, a doctor can specialise in the care of the elderly (geriatrics) or choose to focus on the care of children (paediatrics).
Most doctors become general practitioners or general surgeons, which means they are equipped to deal with a wide range of medical and surgical issues.