Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics work the &#34;front lines&#34; of emergency medicine. Known as &#34;first responders&#34;, these healthcare professionals are specially trained to quickly assess an emergency situation, and stabilize and transport the victims to the hospital emergency department if needed. EMTs and paramedics are similar roles but not exactly the same.<p>Emergency Medicine physicians are doctors who are specifically trained in handling emergent medical situations. After completing medical school, emergency physicians complete a residency training program in emergency medicine. Then they become board certified by the <a href="http://www.abem.org/public/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1" rel="nofollow">American Board of Emergency Medicine</a> (ABEM).</p><p>Emergency medicine physicians work in the emergency department of a hospital. They typically work 12 hour shifts, but may work 8-10 hour shifts, in which case they would work more shifts per week. Depending on the size of the hospital and trauma level handled at a given hospital, the physician may have to deal with very severe cases of trauma, or more minor emergencies.</p>An emergency room is staffed with many nurses at varying levels of responsibility, clinical authority, and education. Registered nurses and nurse practitioners are very important to the care of patients in the emergency room.<p>One of the key roles nurses often play in an emergency department is that of triage - triage is the process of prioritizing patients in order of urgency or importance. Patients in the most critical condition are treated first, especially if their lives are endangered. This is one of the most important roles in the ER as it determines the patient flow and efficacy of the emergency department as a whole.</p><p>Nurses also work with physicians to help assess patient&#39;s condition by taking vital signs, asking screening questions if the patient is able to answer them, and helping to run tests.</p>If emergency medicine sounds a bit too intense for you, but you think you would enjoy treating patients on an episodic or acute basis, then working in urgent care may be a better fit for you. In urgent care, you wouldn&#39;t treat severe trauma or critical cases. Urgent care is for patients who need immediate attention but aren&#39;t severely ailing enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room. In other words, urgent care is similar to emergency medicine, but without all that death and dying, and other gory stuff!