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What Is The Difference Between an EMT and an EMR?

by Logan

Doctors probably are the most important people in the world since they save lives on a regular basis. There is a doctor for every little part of the human body, for example, the doctor that specializes in the heart is called a Cardiologist and the doctor that specializes in the feet is called Podiatrist.

Doctors can basically solve any problem, even the tiniest one. But, there are other people in the medical field who are just as important as doctors, they are called EMR and EMT. They have their own responsibilities, they aren’t supposed to treat you unless it’s an emergency. They can treat you until a specialist or a doctor arrives, then they would take over from there.

EMT stands for Emergency Medical Technician and EMR stands for Emergency Medical Responders. The EMTs are much more advanced than EMR, they both are mainly for emergencies. The EMR will most probably be the first one to arrive at the location, they will provide lifesaving care until the EMT arrives or until they reach the hospital where doctors will takeover.

EMR and EMT are as important as any other professionals in the hospital. They are trained for emergencies, they will perform lifesaving care with minimal equipment. Moreover, EMRs are limited to basic skills like CPR, but EMTs can do slightly more than EMR including everything that EMR can do.

To know more, keep reading.

Is EMR and EMT the same?

A medical professional

EMRs and EMTs are both for emergencies, but they have different responsibilities, EMTs have more skills than EMRs, EMR can only perform basic treatment until EMTs takeover.

Emergency Medical Responders (EMR) has the responsibility of providing lifesaving care to critical patients immediately. EMRs are completely knowledgeable about the basic but necessary skills that can help temporarily. The EMRs will also be an assistance to higher-level professionals during emergency transport.

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) have much more knowledge than EMRs. They are responsible for treating critical patients, they have the skills to stabilize patients until the patient reaches the hospital safely. EMTs can also help a paramedic, nurse, or a higher-level of life support provider.

Here is a table for some of the things that EMRs and EMTs can do.

SkillsEMREMT
CPR**
Upper airway suctioning**
Assisted normal delivery of an infant**
Manual extremity stabilization**
Traction splinting*
Spinal immobilization*
Assisted complicated delivery of an infant*
Venturi mask*
Mechanical CPR*

What do EMR’s do?

You need a license to work as an EMR and EMRs are required to renew their certification every two years. The main job of an EMR is to treat a patient with minimal equipment until the patient reaches the hospital safely. EMRs also can be of assistance to the higher-level life support providers or nurses. EMRs are first trained and taught basic skills before they are sent to the emergency locations, they are taught with minimal equipment the basic skills like CPR. EMRs can be in charge of a patient until the doctors arrive.

Moreover, EMRs also have other small jobs to do, for instance, they are responsible for the cleanliness of the ambulances, they have to transfer vans, and they are also responsible for the stock of supplies and equipment in the ambulances.

EMRs work in the most stressful situations, they are necessary for every hospital. EMRs can work full-time or part-time, it depends on them and they can also work on a call-in basis. EMR job is quite difficult as they have to reach the location on time, despite traffic or any weather conditions.

What is the difference between EMR and EMT and EMS?

An ambulance

EMS stands for Emergency Medical Services, it is a system which emergency care to the critically injured patient. It involves all the aspects that are needed at the emergency location.

EMS can be recognized when the emergency vehicles arrive responding to the emergency location. EMS is a cooperation between people that are trained for emergencies.

EMS has many components which are:

  • All the rehabilitation facilities.
  • Nurses, physicians, and therapists.
  • Transportation and communication networks.
  • Both public and private agencies and organizations.
  • Volunteers and high-level personnel.
  • Administrators and government officials.
  • Trained professionals.
  • Trauma centers and systems.
  • Hospitals and special care centers.

EMR and EMT are a part of EMS system. EMR has less responsibility when it comes to treating a critical patient at the emergency scene. If the EMTs are already present then the EMRs will assist them and make sure that the patient arrives at the hospital safely. EMR can only perform minimal interventions, but EMT is at a higher level than EMR; therefore EMTs can also do what EMRs do and more. Emergency Medical technicians (EMTs) are free to perform any intervention that is needed to save the life of a patient because EMTs are taught more skills than EMRs.

Emergency Medical Responders (EMRs) and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are crucial aspects of Emergency Medical Services (EMS). EMS is a huge system that is activated by an incident or illness, it is ready for the emergency at any time. The mission of EMS is to reduce death by providing coordination, planning, developing, and promoting emergency medical services and the 911 system.

Most informative video, it explains everything about EMS, EMR, and EMT.

Can EMR administer medications?

Yes, EMRs can prescribe medications to the patients, nonetheless, there are only a few medications that can be prescribed by EMRs. They are required to study pharmacodynamics which is the study that includes how and what drugs interact with the body.

The drugs that are authorized to be prescribed by EMRs are:

  • Aspirin
  • Oral Glucose Gel
  • Oxygen
  • Nitroglycerin (Tablet or Spray)
  • Albuterol
  • Epinephrine
  • Activated Charcoal

These are the only medications that the EMRs are authorized to prescribe to the patients because these drugs can’t possibly affect the patient negatively. Despite the fact that EMRs have knowledge about drugs, they are not supposed to prescribe medications other than the listed ones.

To conclude

A nurse

EMRs and EMTs are both vital parts of any health care facility. They are mostly called for an emergency because they are trained for it. EMR has less responsibility as compared to EMTs, EMRs can only perform minimal interventions like CPR, but EMTs have full authorization to perform any intervention that is necessary to save a life.

EMT has much more advanced skills, EMR is authorized to treat the patient with minimal skills until EMT arrives. Both EMTs and EMRs are required to get a license, they have to go through training before they can be sent to the emergency location.

EMS stands for Emergency Medical Services, it is a system that contains many components like transportation and communication networks, both public and private agencies and organizations, volunteers and high-level personnel, and many other. EMT has a mission of reducing deaths by providing coordination and planning and by promoting emergency systems like 911.

EMR can prescribe a few medications because they are required to learn about pharmacodynamics which is basically a study about how the drugs affect the human body. They are authorized to prescribe minimal medication, I have listed those drugs above.

EMT and EMR both work in the most difficult situations, despite any condition, they have to be at the emergency location in 10 or fewer minutes. They can pick the shifts or work full-time, it is completely up to them, EMR and EMT can also work as call-ins.

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