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University of Colorado System

EMT Foundations

University of Colorado System via Coursera


In this course, you will get a thorough introduction to the emergency medical services system, and learn the foundation components to how it works as a whole. You will also learn the nuts and bolts of becoming a healthcare provider, and gain some basic knowledge about the human body. By the end of the course, you will be able to 1) understand the history and components of the EMS system, 2) speak the language of medicine with basic medical terminology, as well as have an understanding of basic human anatomy, 3) understand the different types of communications and how they are specific to EMS, 4) take vital signs and master the normal from the abnormal, and 5) master personal and scene safety, and begin the process of patient assessment.


  • Introduction to Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
    • In this module, you will learn about the nuts and bolts of the emergency medical services system. We will cover some brief history of EMS, as well as breakdown the different components of the system. There will be discussion about some of the medical and legal issues that are persistent in the practice of prehospital medicine. We will also address workplace safety and provider wellness, because you cannot take care of other people unless you are learning to take care of yourself!
  • Basic Human Anatomy
    • In this module, we will learn a new language. This module will cover basic medical terminology and some tips and tricks for “talking the talk.” This is also where we will cover the basics of anatomy of the human body! We will teach you the basics of human anatomy of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, pulmonary, abdominal, neurologic and endocrine system.
  • Communication With A Healthcare Provider
    • Essential to emergency medical services is communication. This module will discuss the various parts of the job that require communication and the different strategies to employ clear and concise communication. You will learn about the SBAR method of hand off reports, learn how to successfully communicate with patients, and we will cover some pearls and pitfalls to communicating within the EMS system.
  • Vital Signs and History Taking
    • Here we will cover vital signs, and learn about why they are vital! We will be teaching you how to take a blood pressure, respiratory rate, pulse, and assess a patient’s skin. We will also learn about taking a history during a patient encounter, and learn some standard approaches to this including the OPQRST and AMPLE templates of history taking.
  • Immediately Upon Arrival To The Scene
    • In this last module, we will be discussing some bread and butter components of EMS. The first is scene safety and assessment of a scene. Then we will cover the complete assessment of a medical patient, and a trauma patient, using the national registry as our guideline. By the end of this, you will know how to communicate with patients and how to perform a thorough assessment of any patient you may encounter.

Taught by

Angela Wright, MD, Whitney Barrett, MD, Arthur Pliaconis and Kathrine Lopez


4.2 rating, based on 5 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 1024 ratings

Start your review of EMT Foundations

  • This is a great introduction to the Coursera Specialization where it belongs, providing fundamental information and principles on the roles, responsibilities, legal considerations and baseline "clinical" toolkit related to EMT work. Even as a medical student, I obtained fresh ideas and a different perspective in acute-care medicine from the material. The EMT system described can also be a starting point to make progress for people from other countries with weak to non-existent EMT processes and for emergency medicine-related research. I am looking forward to finish the Specialization.
  • Anonymous
    It's the best offering those are from poor back grounds gain more knowledge on their dreams, its a good initiative that will for see many get to know more about saving lives and walk out of there fears because they got the skills and knowledge of solving and handling any given emergency situation
  • Profile image for Tacy Ringlee
    Tacy Ringlee
    i got into the class and in part two they said they were free courses and i was working on week two and now they done kick me out and i have to idea why, like it said free courses and i was doing hella good so now im pissed cause i used all my time to work on this just to get kicked out like that..... way to discourage like that.
  • Ezekiel F Kanneh
    I want to do this paramedic course online. And I am ready to answer any form of questions inside the syllabus or outside the syllabus will be there to the questions.A student should study before the exam comes. If I take part in this course I will be happy.Paramedic is course I want to do in my life. Thank you.
  • Anonymous
    I am Health Care Provider and I want update and upgrade my knowledge for help the needy peoples.
    That's why,
    I want learn EMT course online free
    Is it possible through Coursera??

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