If you want to get certified as an Emergency Medical Technician in your state, you need to apply for it. EMT certification is a national level of certification, after which, you can obtain a state license. In order to obtain certification, you need to pass the required National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician (NREMT) exam. NREMT is a non-profit body through which, it is assured that an emergency medical technician is capable of carrying out pre-hospital care to patients.
By passing NREMT exams successfully, an EMT candidate becomes eligible to get an EMT certificate. NREMT exams are divided into two sections- Cognitive and Psychomotor. The cognitive section is a written exam, which the candidates are required to answer in a time of two hours. It consists of 70-120 questions covering the basic EMS topics, like bleeding, shock management, proper ventilation, oxygen delivery, cardiac arrests, and so on. The psychomotor exam tests the practical ability of EMT students and checks their readiness to handle trauma situations, such as major injuries, cardiac and other emergencies.
In all the states of United States, EMT certification is valid only for a period of two years at one point of time. After that, you need to renew it in order to continue your work as an EMT.
Requirements to Get an EMT Certificate
The general prerequisites that must be fulfilled by emergency medical technicians in all the states of U.S. are:
- The prospective candidate must be at least 18 years of age or more.
- He/she should complete EMT training from a state-approved training center.
- The candidate must possess CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) certification.
- He/she should successfully pass the NREMT examination.
- It is important for the candidate to have sound physical and psychological health.
- The candidate must submit his/her lawful evidence of U.S. citizenship.
- The candidate must have fluency in English.
- A criminal background check is also mandatory.
There are other special requirements that vary from state-to-state, and must be met by all the candidates, applying for EMT certificates.
Process of EMT Certification
Though, the process of getting an EMT certificate differs from state to state, but the overall procedure is almost same in all the states of U.S.
The step-by-step process of getting certified as an emergency medical technician is as follows:
Step 1: Fulfil the State Requirements
First of all, you need to check and fulfil all the requirements that are required by the state, you are applying for. The requirements are mostly similar in all the states, but, some may differ too. Each state will mention the state-approved training colleges from where the candidate can take EMT training.
Step 2: CPR Certification
It is important to hold a CPR certification (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), issued by a healthcare provider. It will let you save a person’s life even before you complete your EMT training.
Step 3: Join a Fire Department or a Local Rescue Team
If you want to experience the workload of an emergency medical technician, you may join a local fire department or a rescue team before you become an EMT. It will give you an overall idea about how things work out with an emergency medical service. There are also several explorer programs conducted for teenagers, which determine whether the candidates are able to handle the crisis or not.
Step 4: Look for Suitable Classes for Yourself
It may depend on the employer whether they are searching for a paramedic or just an emergency medical responder. If you want to get certified as an entry-level medical technician, then you should hunt for a training program, which provides you the requisite hours of training.
Step 5: Learn from EMTs
Once you join EMT classes, you will also get an opportunity to undergo field training, most probably in an ambulance or at a trauma site, where you will be working under professional emergency medical technicians. This is the best time to learn all the EMS techniques from these experienced medical technicians.
Step 6: Study Well for All the Classes
You must attend all the classes regularly. EMT classes are divided into two parts- lectures and lab training, which involve theoretical knowledge and practical skills, respectively. Now, EMS training classes have also introduced a facility of interactive simulators, which includes an ambulance and a patient, and allows students to get examine their practical skills.
Step 7: Enrol for a State EMT Exam
Get yourselves registered for a state EMT test. Every state conducts at least one EMT exam, once a year. But, you need to complete your training successfully if you want to sit for the examination. EMT exam includes a written (cognitive) test as well as a practical exam. You will get the didactic part on many websites, and the practical skills are sometimes confirmed while you complete your laboratory training. But, you may need to give a separate practical exam if the laboratory training is not included in your program. You can confirm it before you register for the exam.
Step 8: Check whether You Passed or Not
You can check online if you passed the state EMT exam or not, prior getting a confirmation letter of your result from the EMT registry. Type the name of your state and then “EMT Registry” on Google, and search it. The result will be displayed in a list.
Step 9: Re-take the Exam if You Failed
Overall 3 attempts are provided to an EMT student for clearing the exam. Therefore, if you fail in your first attempt, you still have two more attempts to pass the state EMT exam. Suppose, if you fail in all these attempts, then you need to re-take the EMT training, and only then, you can sit for the test again.
Step 10: Be Updated in Your Field
Keep yourself updated about the new and evolving changes in the medical field. You can subscribe to books and magazines, or join professional teams in order to abreast of all the development that is taking place in the medical field. If you notice any type of change, try to enhance your knowledge about it by taking classes so that you can understand the new techniques.
Step 11: Renew Your EMT Certificate by taking Continuing Education (CE) Course
In order to take up a Continuing Education (CE), you are required to maintain all the necessary documents. In most of the states, some of the requirements can be met online, but it is better to complete refresher courses for enhancing knowledge about CPR, airway management, etc.
Renewal of EMT Certificate
There are certain requirements that need to be completed for the recertification of EMT certificates in all the states, such as:
- The candidate is required to submit a renewal application before his/her certification reaches its expiry date.
- You need to complete a Continuing Education (CE) classes. The Continuing Education (CE) hours may vary according to the state.
- It is important that the candidate must be working as an emergency medical technician in any healthcare facility or a rescue squad.
- A certain amount of application fee should be submitted by the candidate.
- A CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) certification is also required.
- The candidate should also provide his/her ‘Skills Verification Competency’ proof.
Online Renewal of EMT Certificate
Not all the states of U.S offer the facility of online recertification of EMT certificates. The states, which offer this service, are:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia