The primary focus of the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician is to provide basic and limited advanced emergency medical care and transportation for critical and emergent patients who access the emergency medical system. This individual possesses the basic knowledge and skills necessary to provide patient care and transportation. Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians function as part of a comprehensive EMS response, under medical oversight. Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians perform interventions with the basic and advanced equipment typically found on an ambulance. The Advanced Emergency Medical Technician is a link from the scene to the emergency health care system.
The Advanced Emergency Medical Technician’s scope of practice includes basic and limited advanced skills focused on the acute management and transportation of critical and emergent patients. This may occur at an emergency scene until transportation resources arrive, from an emergency scene to a health care facility, between health care facilities, or in other health care settings.
For many communities, Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians provide an option to provide high benefit, lower risk advanced skills for systems that cannot support or justify Paramedic level care. This is frequently the case in rural and volunteer systems. In some jurisdictions, Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians are the highest level of out-of-hospital care. In communities which utilize emergency medical dispatch systems, Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians may function as part of a tiered response system. In all cases, Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians work alongside other EMS and health care professionals as an integral part of the emergency care team.
The Advanced Emergency Medical Technician’s scope of practice includes basic, limited advanced and pharmacological interventions to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with acute out-of-hospital medical and traumatic emergencies. Emergency care is based on assessment findings. Additionally, Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians provide care to minimize secondary injury and provide comfort to the patient and family while transporting the patient to an emergency care facility.
The Advanced Emergency Medical Technician’s knowledge, skills, and abilities are acquired through formal education and training. The Advanced Emergency Medical Technician has the knowledge associated with, and is expected to be competent in, all of the skills of the EMR and EMT. The major difference between the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician and the Emergency Medical Technician is the ability to perform limited advanced skills and provide pharmacological interventions to emergency patients.
The Advanced Emergency Medical Technician is the minimum licensure level for patients requiring limited advanced care at the scene or during transportation. The scope of practice model is limited to lower risk, high benefit advanced skills that are effective and can be performed safely in an out-of-hospital setting with medical oversight and limited training.
The Advanced Emergency Medical Technician transports all emergency patients to an appropriate medical facility. The Advanced Emergency Medical Technician is not prepared to independently make decisions regarding the disposition of patients. The Advanced Emergency Medical Technician serves as part of an EMS response system assuring a progressive increase in the level of assessment and care. The Advanced Emergency Medical Technician may make destination decisions in collaboration with medical oversight. The principal disposition of the patient encounter will result in the direct delivery of the patient to an acute care facility.
In addition to emergency response, Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians often perform medical transport services of patients requiring care within their scope of practice.1