Becoming an emergency medical services (EMS) professional is a challenging feat. To help people and save lives requires a lot of education and training, and those who can officially perform interventions can only do so after passing a course and a corresponding National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) test.
EMS schooling is very accelerated, and going into the course with little to no context of the field can get intimidating. The EMT test prep Video Vault by The Paramedic Coach is designed to help you get through these classes with comprehensive emergency medical technician (EMT) test prep.
Our course and exam vault breaks down everything you need to become an EMT in the simplest terms, so your foundations are backed by solid understanding. Plus, you get lifetime access to practical advice and guidance, on-the-job tips, medication review and you also get to be part of our test prep EMT community that is actively learning about the field.
EMS encompasses four certification levels, per the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT): emergency medical responder (EMR), emergency medical technician (EMT), advanced EMT (AEMT), and paramedic.
In most cases, those who want to get into EMS start at the EMT level, since this provides entry-level experience before being able to move up the ladder and pass the EMT certification exam. The EMR rank, which is lower, is usually taken up by volunteer ambulance staff, security personnel, public service staff, etc. who need some emergency medical training but may not be interested in becoming full fledged EMTs.
What Is an EMT?
An EMT is an EMS personnel who provides basic life support care to patients during emergencies, both onsite and in transport (i.e. in an ambulance). They are educated and skilled in assessing patients and determining the presence of any life-threatening injuries or illnesses, and can administer any relevant interventions–from giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to splinting to issuing medications. To become a national EMT, you’ll need to take a course and pass the EMT exam.
What Does an EMT Do?
The goal of an EMT is to stabilize patients and safely bring them to a medical facility that can further assist them with their injuries or illnesses. Some of their actual duties and responsibilities include:
- Providing basic first-aid treatment
- Assessing a patient’s medical condition and determining what specific care is needed
- Administering life-saving medical interventions
- Determining where to transport patients for continuing care
- Working with first responders and other EMS staff
- Documenting medical interventions given to patients
- Recording patient assessments and reporting them to appropriate care providers
Most EMTs drive and operate out of ambulances, but some may also work out of other emergency vehicles (though those on helicopters and planes are usually paramedics).
Who Can Be an EMT?
Almost anyone can be an EMT. The only main prerequisite in most areas is that you have to be at least eighteen years old and have a high school diploma or have taken the General Education Development (GED) exam. Some regions even offer high school EMT programs! You’ll also need a valid driver’s license.
You don’t have to have any previous medical experience to be eligible to enroll in an EMT course or take the NREMT exam. That said, there may be prerequisites for certain courses and schools, so it’s best to check for those when you apply.
EMTs Versus Paramedics
During an emergency, you often see EMTs and paramedics doing similar tasks, but their level of training is different. Paramedics are capable of more advanced medical procedures, like providing intravenous (IV) medications or performing endotracheal intubation (an airway management procedure). They also assist in providing care to patients as they enter hospitals and emergency rooms from ambulances.
How to Become an EMT
There are four general steps to becoming an EMT: joining a training program, passing the NREMT exam, getting licensed, and looking for work or volunteer opportunities. Let’s break down each step of EMT prep and certification.
Join an EMT Training Course
An EMT training program equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to professionally provide emergency care to individuals in critical moments. These EMT study courses are very accelerated; they often last about three months but some students may progress within four to eight weeks through class and move on to EMT exam prep.
It can be very intimidating to get into training for an EMT (exam) if you have minimal knowledge of the field, so it’s great to build a foundation with EMT test preparation resources like The Paramedic Coach’s Video Vault.
Pass the NREMT Exam
The NREMT exam checks what you’ve learned in training through cognitive (written) and psychomotor (physical) tests.
It’s The EMT exam is pretty difficult, with about two-thirds of test takers failing on the first try. Those who pass the exam become nationally registered and receive an EMT certificate. Taking an EMT exam prep class can help you effectively study and prepare for the exam through flashcards, practice tests, and additional resources.
Once you’re a certified EMT, you must get a license to practice in your state. States’ requirements and standards for this recertification vary, so be sure to check what you need.
Find Work Opportunities
With your exam certification and paramedic license, you can now put all your hard work into practice! You can finally seek out work opportunities. While looking for work opportunities, apply everywhere that you can but volunteering at an ambulance service is a great way to build additional EMT practice while awaiting to get hired.
Test Preparation for the EMT Exam
EMT test preparation is an important part of securing passing marks in the NREMT exam. While your course training will provide you with what you need to know, it may not be enough to fully grasp the concepts required for actual practice and to pass the exam.
You must build your knowledge and skills on a foundation of understanding. Before you even get into training, it’s best to familiarize yourself with anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, common medical and trauma emergencies, and patient assessment procedures. EMT flashcards, practice questions, and a simulation exam are a great way to help you prepare for your course and exam.
Pass the Exam With Proper EMT Prep From The Paramedic Coach’s Video Vault
The Paramedic Coach has designed the Video Vault to help future EMTs (and other EMS professionals) pass the NREMT exam and become the best care providers on the job! The course vault consists of hundreds of useful videos that teach you key EMS concepts in a way that’s easy to digest, so you can be better prepared for EMT training and the NREMT exam. The Video Vault also includes other practical resources, including flashcards, worksheets, and practice tests, plus access to a community of like-minded learners! For only $137, you can get lifetime access to our Video Vault, making it a valuable investment that you can keep coming back to!