What Kind of Training Do I Need to Become an EMS Professional?

emsEmergency Medical Services, commonly referred to as EMS, is committed to offering acute medical care outside of medical facilities. EMS professionals provide care to individuals with injuries and illnesses and offer transportation to medical facilities as needed. They strive to provide urgent medical care and get patients to additional assistance as quickly as possible.

Individuals interested in a career in this field commonly ask what kind of training do I need to become an EMS professional? Becoming an EMS professional involves education, development of personal skills, and certification. Additionally, individuals must be at least 18 years of age and pass a criminal background check.


A variety of postsecondary institutions and organizations around the country offer EMS courses. The courses are offered at different levels, including emergency medical responder, emergency medical technician, advanced emergency medical technician, and paramedic. The course requirements vary by institution and program. In general, emergency medical responders must complete at least 58 hours of education that covers initial care on site, such as bleeding control and CPR. Emergency medical technicians usually need 150 hours of education that covers care in the ambulance, such as oxygen therapy and defibrillation. Advanced emergency medical technicians must complete the basic emergency medical technician training and then finish an additional 150 hours. These individuals learn about more invasive care, such as starting IVs and administering medications. The paramedic training involves 1,200 hours of education and these professionals provide the most advanced care of EMS workers. They perform cardiac monitoring, intubation, and other advanced procedures. Paramedics must first become emergency medical technicians.

Personal Skills

EMS professionals must develop essential skills to lead successful careers. They must be committed to the care of others and compassionate, as they commonly need to provide emotional support to patients during emergency situations. They must be mentally stable to deal with stressful situations. They must also be able to remain calm and possess physical stamina to be on their feet for long periods of time. EMS professionals need interpersonal skills since they work with a wide variety of patients and are often a part of a team that must coordinate tasks according to patient needs. They must be active listeners to carefully listen to patients to determine the extent of their medical condition. And they must have the ability to think quick on their feet and have strong problem solving abilities to administer the proper care.


After finishing the EMS education, all states require individuals to pass an examination to become national registered. The test is referred to as the National Registry Exam offered by the National Registry of EMTs. The examination has both written and practical components. The entry requirements vary by level, but in general individuals must complete a state-approved EMS course that meets or exceed the national required education for each level. Typically, it must be less than two years since completion of the course.

Working as an EMS professional can be a very rewarding and lucrative career for individuals who are passionate about the field. Individuals who seek to work in this area should find accredited educational programs to get started.

Top 10 Cancer Treatment Hospitals in the Midwest

Individuals who are diagnosed with cancer need the best treatment they can find. Many cancer patients living in the Midwest believe they must travel long distances to New York, Boston, or San Francisco to get the best care possible. This is simply not true. The Midwest is home to some of the top cancer treatment hospitals in the country, if not the world.

1. Mayo Clinic

Rochester, MN

The world-renowned Mayo Clinic is the largest non-profit hospital in the world. The Mayo Clinic is known for providing specialized care for each patient and for high quality research. According to U.S. News and World Report, the Mayo Clinic has the highest possible rating in patient services, advanced technologies, nurse staffing, patient safety, and overall survival. The Mayo Clinic’s Children’s Center is also well-known for providing the utmost care to its small patients. The clinic has a high three-year survival rate, with very high results from bone marrow transplants.

2. Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland, OH

To be ranked as the top cancer hospital in Ohio is a significant achievement considering the state is home to three of the top five cancer hospitals in the Midwest. The Cleveland Clinic is best known for technological innovation. The hospital also stands out as one of the most efficient hospitals in the U.S. Newsweek suggests that the hospital serves as a model to all other healthcare providers in the country.

3. Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Chicago, IL

U.S. News and World Report ranks Northwestern Memorial Hospital as the sixth best hospital overall as well as one of the country’s top cancer hospitals. The hospital focuses on research and advanced technology.

4. Seidman Cancer Center at UH Case Medical

Cleveland, OH

UH Case Medical is a research hospital, making its Seidman Cancer Center the ideal place for those wishing to take part in clinical trials. According to the hospital, there are more than 300 clinical trials available at any given time. The number of specialists are low, but patients can travel to the Cleveland Clinic for more specialized care. Seidman Cancer Center offers pediatric cancer services and has excellent success with pediatric bone marrow transplants.

5. Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital

Columbus, OH

Known colloquially as “The James,” Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital sees over 3,000 patients each year. The James touts itself as “the only freestanding cancer hospital in the Midwest.” The hospital has high survival rates with adult patients, serving more than 3,300 each year. Nurses at The James are recognized nationally for their high levels of care.

6. Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University

St. Louis, MO

The top cancer hospital in Missouri, Barnes-Jewish is within easy driving distance of many residents in that state, southwestern Illinois, and southern Iowa. Barnes-Jewish ranks highly in survival rates, performing “much better than expected.” The hospital employs a large nursing staff in order to provide personalized service to each patient. It is also known in the region as having the best advanced technology.

7. University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers

Ann Arbor, MI

This teaching hospital is well known throughout the Midwest for providing safe patient care with high survival rates. The cancer clinic is high ranking in patient satisfaction. It is also the only cancer hospital in Michigan to reach the top 10. The hospital also specializes in pediatric cancer with its C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. The hospital provides advanced clinical services to children onsite and has a higher than average nurse-to-patient ratio.

8. University of Kansas Hospital

Kansas City, KS

Those patients who need specialists may not find exactly what they are looking for at the University of Kansas. What they will find is an excellent nursing staff, advanced technology, and a focus on patient services. As such, the University of Kansas Hospital has a very high patient satisfaction ranking.

9. University of Chicago Medical Center

Chicago, IL

Ranked the third overall hospital in the city and state, the University of Chicago Medical Center is a good choice for patients in the area who prefer a smaller environment. Compared to Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s more than 2,000 patients each year, University of Chicago Medical Center sees about 1,600. UC Medical Center also has a better nurse-to-patient ratio than its higher ranking counterpart.

10. IU Health Academic Health Center

Indianapolis, IN

Indiana’s sole appearance on this list comes from the state’s top ranking hospital overall. IU Health Academic Health Center offers advanced technologies and key patient care that outrank many better known hospitals in the country, including the Mayo Clinic’s facilities in Phoenix, Arizona and Jacksonville, Florida. IU Health is also highly ranked in providing pediatric cancer services. It has a higher than average three-year survival rate for its young patients. The Riley Hospital for Children is also ranked “high” or “superior” in most categories.

One hospital that did not make this top 10 list is Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. This hospital, which focuses solely on children, was left out because it does not provide care to adult cancer patients. Still, the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio is ranked number one nationally in pediatric cancer. The hospital has an excellent survival rate, a “superior commitment to best practices,” and provides all services expected by a top hospital. In fact, U.S. News and World Report gives Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center a score of 100 out of 100 in all categories.

The Midwest is also home to several other top pediatric cancer centers, including:

  • The Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, IL
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH
  • St. Louis Children’s Hospital – Washington University in St. Louis, MO
  • Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH

Cancer is no small matter. Anyone who is faced with this terrible disease deserves a chance at receiving top medical care. These cancer treatment facilities know how to give their patients the personal attention they desire and the medical attention they need.