EMT Certification Requirements

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) work with other emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, such as emergency medical responders (EMRs) and paramedics. 

What does an EMT do, exactly? They often work on ambulances, as firefighters, or in the medical field to provide life-saving interventions until a patient is transported to a hospital or other medical facility. They are a rung above emergency medical responders (EMRs) and a rung below paramedics in the world of EMS.

EMTs have more requirements than EMRs for their certification. If you’re ready to learn how to get an EMT certification and use the best EMT test preparation programs and materials, look no further than the Video Vault by The Paramedic Coach.

In this test-prep program, you’ll have access to more than 480 videos, audio files, comprehension quizzes, and an entire community of EMS personnel to prepare you for the NREMT exam and the job. 

What Do You Need to Become an EMT?

Successful EMTs have a combination of soft skills (skills that are developed naturally over time) and specialized training and certification. If you’re ready to make a difference in people’s lives, becoming an EMT may be the career move you need to make. 

Soft Skills

Responding to medical emergencies and accidents means your work will be fast-paced and you’ll never have the same day twice. Soft skills are qualities that we develop over time or just have naturally, and to be an EMT, you need to have strong problem-solving skills, patience, empathy, and stay calm under pressure.

You will help people in crisis and in high-stress environments, but your job is to take control of the situation and keep others safe. The best way to develop those skills is to feel confident in your training and your ability to perform the duties of an EMT.

Before You Enroll

If you already have the natural skills to help you in your role as an EMT, the next qualifications you need are age and education. You must be at least eighteen years old and have a high school diploma or educational equivalent (such as a GED) in order to become an EMT.

Enroll In an EMT Course

The EMT course you enroll in matters. If the course you take is not accredited by your state or recognized by the NREMT, you may not qualify for EMT certification. Your course needs to include up-to-date, hands-on training to best prepare you for the job.

EMS is an ever-evolving field, thanks to advancements in technology, medicine, and healthcare. There are also legal considerations, safety issues, and public health factors that need to be included in your course curriculum. This can all feel overwhelming, which is why you need expert insights.

As you look for courses, search for programs that offer these features:

  • Current state and NREMT accreditation
  • Up-to-date curriculum, including the latest standards set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Instructors with current experience who have either worked or currently work in EMS services (preferably with experience as an EMT or paramedic)
  • Training that is representative of what it is like to work in EMT services today
  • Hands-on instruction with equipment and technologies currently used in the EMT field

The exams you will take for certification aren’t about memorization–they’re about applying the complex terms and skills you learned to real-life situations. This is why it’s important to select an EMT program that gives you as much experience and practice using these tools and applying this knowledge as possible.

Take the Exams

After you complete your course, you have two years to take both the cognitive (knowledge) and psychomotor (skills) tests to become an EMT. If you wait more than two years to take these tests, you will need to retake the course, no matter your scores.

Both tests are computer-based tests that are between seventy and 120 questions. Topics addressed on the tests include:

  • Airway, respiration, and ventilation
  • Cardiology and resuscitation
  • Trauma
  • Medical/OBGYN
  • EMS operations

85% of the test is focused on adult and geriatric (elderly) patients and 15% is focused on pediatric (children and infants) patients. Questions will specify the general or exact age of the patient.

You must pass the exam with a standard level of competency or higher. The goal of the exams is to ensure you are capable of providing safe and effective entry-level emergency medical care.

Pass the Course the First Time With the Video Vault

While the exams aren’t designed to make you fail, finding a comprehensive course that breaks down these complicated concepts and procedures is challenging. Many people struggle with the exams because they don’t completely understand how these terms translate into on-the-job action.

With the Video Vault, you have lifetime access to videos, audio files, quizzes, and more that break down these confusing and complex terms into language you understand. The Paramedic Coach shows you how what you learned in your course applies to the job and connects you to an exclusive community of fellow EMTs, paramedics, and other emergency services personnel to help you grow into your career. 

Ready to get started? Sign up for the Video Vault today!

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