Can a Physician Assistant Take the NREMT Basic?

A physician assistant (PA) is normally eligible to take the NREMT examination, which was previously referred to as the ‘NREMT Basic.’ However, healthcare professionals working outside of emergency medicine or in an alternative profession will still need to progress through the advanced placement pathway.

Working as a PA is considerably different from the day-to-day routine of an EMT, primarily because PAs typically work in hospitals, clinics, or healthcare settings with varied equipment, medications, resources, and colleagues on hand. Training as an EMT and completing the necessary NREMT exam prep to achieve a passing score allows PAs to expand their knowledge, diversify into positions within emergency medicine, and further their careers as healthcare professionals.

Guidance on Retraining as an EMT 

The NREMT provides an established route to becoming a qualified, licensed EMT that is suited to candidates who have some experience, qualifications, or other credentials that can contribute towards course requirements. While becoming an EMT after you pass the NREMT requires further steps–such as completing the practical psychomotor test and applying for licensure from the relevant state board–some PAs may be able to attend a shorter course duration.

For example, EMT programs sometimes accept course credits, real-world medical experience, and course work, but not all tuition providers offer advanced placements, and their requirements will vary. It’s important to clarify that these allowances apply to the mandatory EMT training, not the cognitive examination itself. Allowances can be requested for the NREMT exam, according to ADA regulations.

PAs cannot apply for exemption from any part of the formal testing process and will be expected to pass the exam and practical psychomotor test, regardless of the amount of time they have worked in a healthcare setting.

The Importance of Test Prep for All EMT Candidates

Preparing for the examination process is key, often even more so for PAs and other medical professionals with prior experience in some content and protocols. The most common reason test-takers fail the NREMT at least once is that they assume their real-world knowledge will provide instant recall and that each answer will achieve a perfect score.

Unfortunately, even the most accomplished and seasoned medical professionals can find the pressure of an exam setting challenging or discover that memorizing specific areas of the syllabus will inevitably lead to failure. As part of the complete array of resources included within our Video Vault, EMT candidates access knowledge check questions, which are just as integral to test prep as NREMT-style practice questions that simulate the style and format of the cognitive exam.

Practicing test papers simply shows you what you already know and can remember on demand. What it doesn’t identify is the gaps in your knowledge, the weaknesses in your comprehension, or the areas you might inadvertently miss from your answer entirely.

With thousands of videos, worksheets, quizzes, knowledge-check questions, and practice exam papers, our Video Vault is the best possible resource for all candidates, whether you’re taking the NREMT test as a candidate who has never worked in the healthcare sector or you’re a skilled PA looking to branch out into emergency medicine!

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