6 essential soft skills all good EMTs have

6 essential soft skills all good EMTs have

Are you thinking about becoming an EMT? You should first see if you have these six soft skills!

Being an EMT can be both very rewarding and challenging. You get the chance to save people’s lives and help them in some of the worst and most painful moments of their lives. Yet, this isn’t an easy task at all. 

As an EMT, you need to have excellent medical knowledge and hands-on skills. You need to know how to identify injury and best treat it as quickly as possible to prevent more serious injuries or even life-threatening medical conditions. In other words, you need to know everything about your role in the medical field. Yet, being an EMT is not only about the technical qualities. To be an excellent emergency medical technician, you also need a fair amount of well-developed soft skills. 

So, besides looking for the best courses for emt training, you should also consider if you have the necessary soft skills to be a good EMT once you get your certificate. Here are the six soft skills all good EMTs need to have: 

6 essential soft skills all good EMTs have

1. Empathy

As it is with most roles in the medical field, being a good EMT requires you to have compassion and empathy for others. Although you’ll provide physical care to patients, you’ll also need to provide emotional and mental support during your interventions, especially to those patients that are experiencing panic attacks or mental distress when dealing with a life-threatening situation. And, for this reason, you need to be a compassionate person who can understand what patients are going through in such a situation. 

You may also have to offer comfort or support to the loved ones of your patients, who will also experience the chaos of negative feelings like confusion, panic, or worry.

2. Communication skills  

Communications skills are an absolute must-have when you are in the medical field, especially as an EMT. Good communication skills are necessary to do your job right and help the patient efficiently. 

Think about it, the first step of helping your patients will always be to assess the situation, meaning that oftentimes, you’ll have to talk with your patients to ask them what happened and what is their medical condition (injury, pain, other symptoms). You’ll also have to communicate efficiently with your colleagues on how to act and treat your patients. Besides that, as we mentioned above, your job will also mean talking to and offering support to your patients’ relatives and loved ones. 

Now, consider that all these conversations you’ll have with patients, fellow EMTs, and relatives of patients will all be under extreme conditions. Your patients will feel pain and extremely scared, your colleagues will feel pressured to complete their tasks as quickly as possible, and the relatives of your patients will not be in a great emotional and mental condition. So, you need to have fantastic communication skills that will allow you to adapt your speech to all types of individuals with different levels of education and various external factors that may interfere with their ability to transmit the message correctly. 

Good communication skills involve: 

  • Convey information to people clearly and simply.
  • Delegating tasks clearly to your colleagues. 
  • Use positive verbal and non-verbal communication efficiently.

3. Listening skills

Having good communication skills is not enough as long as you don’t know how to listen correctly. You need to have excellent listening skills as well in order to understand your patients and determine how to help them better. Your listening skills will also matter when working in a team because you’ll have to listen to your coworkers and understand their perspectives on handling a patient’s situation. 

4. Problem-solving skills

As an EMT, you’ll also need excellent problem-solving skills. You’ll come across very stressful and even life-threatening situations that will require you to take action as quickly as possible. For this, you need to be able to remain calm and evaluate emergencies properly and generate the most efficient and correct solution for the situation. 

When evaluating emergencies, you’ll need to create a clear and definitive course of action for both you and the people around you, including coworkers, patients, and loved ones of your patients. 

Another essential skill that goes hand in hand with problem-solving abilities involves situational awareness. As an EMT, you should have the ability to quickly assess a situation that may impact the overall wellbeing of your patients to develop effective solutions. It also means to have the ability to remain aware of your surrounding and the safety of you, your EMT fellows, and others. 

5. Teamwork

Teamwork skills are also incredibly important when you are an EMT. Being an emergency medical technician means that you’ll be on the road with other coworkers, ready to act together in case there’s a medical emergency threatening the overall wellbeing or even the life of an individual. This means that you must know how to work alongside other people while doing your job correctly. 

As an EMT professional, you won’t be alone in an office. You’ll do your job surrounded by other people, and you must know how to work with these people to save the life of your patients. 

6. Work ethic

There’s no such thing as having a “bad Monday” when you are an EMT. There’s also no such thing as having a bad day or feeling lazy that morning. When you are an EMT, someone’s life depends on you and your ability to provide immediate medical support. 

 So, you need to have a strong work ethic and be involved in your job all the time, without allowing personal problems to interfere with your tasks. You must be a motivated professional who goes above and beyond to do their job right because, in your role, someone’s life literally depends on how seriously you take your job.