How Long Does EMR Certification Last?

Responding to critical medical situations requires a dedicated team of professionals. This includes Emergency Medical Responders (EMRs), who are the first line of medical assistance in these situations. Their main role is to provide immediate and basic medical care to patients before advanced medical personnel arrives on the scene or they are taken to a hospital.

However, those who are considering a career as an EMR often wonder how long it takes to get an EMR certification, as well as how the renewal process works. 

When Does the EMR Certification Expire?

The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), the independent agency that certifies emergency service professionals, requires EMRs to renew their certification every two years. In addition, different states have specific requirements for renewal, so it is important to check state laws where you work.

How Can I Renew My EMR Certification?

EMRs can recertify by either taking an examination or by completing an approved continuing education program. Both methods are valid paths for renewal, but there are different procedures associated with each. 

Here are some important specifics: 

Renewal Through Examination

This option enables you to demonstrate competence without having to complete coursework. There are five steps you should follow to renew your certification by taking an exam.

  1. Do your EMR test prep. You should appear for the test only if you are confident with the results of your EMR written exam practice
  2. Login to your NREMT account. Complete the Recertification by Examination application and pay the appropriate exam fee.
  3. After twenty-four to forty-eight hours, login to your National Registry account and print your Authorization to Test letter. Follow the directions in the letter to schedule your exam.
  4. Upon successful completion of the exam, a Cognitive Competency by Exam form will be in your NREMT account. 
  5. Return your completed Cognitive Competency by Exam form, with signatures and supporting documentation, before the expiration date. All other recertification requirements (including criminal conviction statement, verification of skills, etc.) must be met and verified.

Renewal Through Continuing Education

The EMR National Continued Competency Program requires a total of sixteen hours of continuing education to recertify. This model has three components: 

  • National component 
  • Local/state component 
  • Individual component

All education must be directly related to emergency patient care, and international providers must complete coursework from the list of approved United States education sources. This requirement can be met through online or in-person courses. The courses cover topics such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), first aid, and trauma care.

What Can You Do With an EMR Certification?

Now that you are aware of the renewal process, you might be considering a switch to a new job when it’s time to renew your certification. Here are three career paths you can pursue with this certification:

Emergency Medical Responder

An EMR’s job is to provide first aid and immediate assistance to patients at an emergency scene. They perform duties such as initial assessment, basic life support, and trauma and stress management. You can serve as an EMR with a clinic or hospital. 

Search and Rescue Teams

EMRs can be valuable members of search and rescue teams, responding to missing person cases, natural disasters, or wilderness emergencies.

Event Medical Services

Large events, concerts, and sports games frequently require medical personnel on standby to respond to emergencies. These professionals work at events to provide immediate medical attention to attendees who may experience injuries, illnesses, or medical crises.

In Summary

EMRs play an important role when it comes to bridging the gap between victims of emergencies and advanced medical care. They can work with hospitals, search-and-rescue teams, and event medical services.

The EMR certification lasts for two years, after which you must renew it either by taking an exam or by completing an approved continuing education program. The Paramedic Coach offers invaluable ongoing training, guidance, and advice for emergency medical professionals. Check out our Video Vault today!

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