Becoming an EMT requires various levels and hours of training, because you have to be able to save lives and stay calm in the face of emergencies. There are different ways of going through EMT training, but one way is to take online classes that are supplemented by hands-on, in-person classes. There has been a rise in popularity of online programs in various disciplines, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t disadvantages despite the more obvious advantages.
Pro: More Flexible Schedule
The major benefit to all online programs is that it allows you a more flexible schedule by letting you take courses when your schedule allows it. This makes it more possible to work full-time while taking your basic EMT classes.
Con: Fewer Field Connections
Although some of your training will be in person, you lose a lot of teacher-student interactions by taking courses online. EMT training is less formal than degree-based education programs, so going through traditional training typically means building relationships with EMTs who are already in the field. Don’t forget the importance of networking!
Pro: Easier Recertification
Some argue that while online EMT training may not be the best option for first-time EMTs, it’s most beneficial for EMTs who have been doing the job for a while and just need a recertification that’s quick and easy.
Con: Less Prestigious Education
If you’re applying for EMT jobs, especially in cities, hospitals and ambulances want to know that their new hires have gained the best skills by the best instructors. Online training programs tend to be less prestigious than other training programs, so it can affect your job search later.
Pro: Still Get Some Hands-on Experience
Because EMT is a hands-on field, you can’t do all of your trainings online. This ends up being a positive because it allows you to take the basics online without taking away the value of in-person education like other programs.
Con: Cannot be entirely online
While this is a positive and a negative, your training cannot be entirely online, which means that some of the flexibility of online education goes away with EMT programs.
Pro: Less Expensive
Because online programs forgo the instructor-based classroom setting, online programs tend to be a cheaper option for students. This is usually a key factor in why students choose education programs.
Con: Leaves Out Explanation and Advice
While your tutorials and online courses will give you the basic information, you miss out on having an instructor who you can relate to and who gives you real world advice and experiences that can really enrich the classroom space.