Dreambound
Blog

Emergency Medical Technician vs Healthcare Information Technology

Emergency Medical Technician vs Healthcare Information Technology

The healthcare industry offers a wide range of career opportunities, and two popular fields that students often consider are Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Healthcare Information Technology (HIT). Both professions play critical roles in the healthcare system, but they have distinct differences in terms of job descriptions, education and training requirements, and career outlooks. In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between EMT and HIT and help you make an informed decision about which path may be the best fit for you.

Article continues after recommendations

Recommended for you

What is an Emergency Medical Technician and Healthcare Information Technology?

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT): EMTs are healthcare professionals who provide immediate medical care to individuals in emergency situations. They are often the first responders at the scene of an accident or medical emergency. EMTs assess patients' conditions, administer first aid, and transport them to medical facilities for further treatment. They work in high-stress environments and must be able to make quick decisions and perform life-saving interventions.

Healthcare Information Technology (HIT): Healthcare Information Technology professionals are responsible for managing and maintaining the technology systems used in healthcare settings. They ensure the availability, accuracy, and security of patient information and medical records. HIT professionals work with electronic health record systems, medical coding and billing software, and other technology tools that support the delivery of healthcare services. They play a vital role in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery.

Difference between an Emergency Medical Technician and Healthcare Information Technology

While both EMTs and HIT professionals work in the healthcare industry, there are significant differences between the two roles:

  1. Work Environment:

    • EMTs primarily work in the field, responding to emergency calls and providing immediate medical care on-site or during transportation to medical facilities.
    • HIT professionals typically work in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, or administrative offices. They work closely with healthcare providers and IT teams to ensure the smooth functioning of technology systems.
  2. Patient Interaction:

    • EMTs have direct patient contact and frequently interact with individuals in distress or experiencing medical emergencies. They must possess strong interpersonal and communication skills to provide emotional support and reassurance to patients.
    • HIT professionals have limited patient interaction. Their primary focus is on managing and analyzing healthcare data, ensuring its accuracy, and maintaining privacy and security standards.
  3. Nature of Work:

    • EMTs are involved in hands-on patient care, including administering first aid, performing CPR, and stabilizing patients for transportation to medical facilities. They often work in high-pressure situations where quick decision-making is crucial.
    • HIT professionals focus on managing healthcare information systems, analyzing data, and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards. They may also be involved in training healthcare staff on the use of technology systems.
  4. Level of Training:

    • EMTs typically complete a diploma or certificate program that can be completed in a relatively short period, such as six months to one year. They must also obtain state licensure or certification.
    • HIT professionals usually hold a bachelor's degree in healthcare information technology or a related field. Some positions may require additional certifications, such as Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) or Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS).

Emergency Medical Technician vs Healthcare Information Technology: Job Description

Emergency Medical Technician: EMTs play a crucial role in emergency medical services. Their primary responsibilities include:

  • Responding to emergency calls and providing immediate medical care to patients
  • Assessing patients' conditions and providing appropriate treatment
  • Administering medications, performing CPR, and using medical equipment as needed
  • Transporting patients safely to medical facilities
  • Communicating with healthcare professionals to provide them with information about patients' conditions
  • Documenting all medical procedures and observations accurately

Healthcare Information Technology: HIT professionals are responsible for managing and maintaining healthcare information systems. Their job duties may include:

  • Implementing and maintaining electronic health record systems
  • Ensuring the accuracy, availability, and security of patient information
  • Analyzing healthcare data to identify trends and improve patient care
  • Developing and implementing policies and procedures related to healthcare information technology
  • Training healthcare staff on the use of technology systems
  • Staying up-to-date with industry regulations and best practices

Emergency Medical Technician vs Healthcare Information Technology: Education and Training

Emergency Medical Technician: To become an EMT, individuals must complete a diploma or certificate program. The training typically covers topics such as:

  • Basic life support techniques
  • Emergency medical procedures
  • Trauma management
  • Patient assessment and triage
  • Medical terminology
  • Legal and ethical issues in emergency medicine

After completing the program, EMTs must obtain state licensure or certification. Requirements vary by state but generally include passing a written and practical exam.

Healthcare Information Technology: A career in HIT typically requires a bachelor's degree in healthcare information technology or a related field. Coursework in a HIT program may cover:

  • Health information management
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Healthcare coding and classification systems
  • Information systems management
  • Privacy and security of healthcare information
  • Healthcare regulations and compliance

Some positions in HIT may require additional certifications, such as RHIT or CPHIMS. These certifications demonstrate expertise in healthcare information technology and may enhance job prospects.

Article continues after recommendations

More recommendations for you

Emergency Medical Technician vs Healthcare Information Technology: Career Outlook and Salary

Emergency Medical Technician: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of EMTs is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for EMTs is driven by an aging population that may require emergency medical services. Additionally, EMTs may be needed in rural areas with limited access to healthcare facilities.

The median annual wage for EMTs was $36,650 in May 2020. The highest 10 percent earned more than $62,860, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,640.

Healthcare Information Technology: The demand for HIT professionals is also expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. The increasing adoption of electronic health record systems and the need for efficient healthcare data management are driving this demand.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 8 percent growth in employment for medical records and health information technicians, including HIT professionals, from 2019 to 2029. The median annual wage for these professionals was $44,090 in May 2020. The highest 10 percent earned more than $71,150, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,600.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a career in the healthcare industry requires careful consideration of your interests, skills, and future goals. Both Emergency Medical Technician and Healthcare Information Technology offer rewarding opportunities to contribute to the well-being of others.

If you thrive in high-pressure situations and enjoy hands-on patient care, a career as an EMT may be a good fit for you. On the other hand, if you have a passion for technology and data analysis, and prefer a more administrative role, Healthcare Information Technology may be the right path.

Ultimately, the choice between these two professions depends on your personal preferences and career aspirations. Take the time to research and explore both fields to make an informed decision that aligns with your goals and values.

Dreambound's programs are available in different locations. Explore the following blogs for comprehensive details on these two vocations, including their requirements and guidelines on joining:

Fel Gonzaga
Written by
Fel Gonzaga

Fel is a student support representative who guides enrollees to the right program and answers their queries. She's committed to helping students and takes pride in her work. In her free time, she enjoys sightseeing and hanging out with loved ones.

Share this post: