How to Get EMR-Certified

Jobs in healthcare are expected to grow much faster than the average for all other occupations from 2022 to 2032 in the United States. This means no matter what else is happening in the world, there is a need for healthcare professionals. 

Emergency medical responders (EMRs) are the first people on the scene following a medical emergency, providing life-saving care in a moment’s notice. In this article, we break down exactly what it takes to become an EMR, what EMR certification is, and the best test prep for the EMR exam.

What Is an Emergency Medical Responder?

EMRs provide immediate, life-saving care to critical patients (patients who have an illness or injury that negatively affects one or more vital organs) using the emergency medical services system. These professionals have the knowledge and skill needed to provide life-saving interventions until Emergency Medical Services (EMS) resources arrive.

EMR personnel are healthcare providers at the most basic level of prehospital medicine (care that takes place before a patient arrives at a hospital). Because they require the least amount of education of any level of hospital care, EMRs provide basic life-saving procedures and assist Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and paramedics in stabilizing patients before transporting them to a hospital.

Steps to Get Certified as an EMR

While EMRs are just the first level of responder in emergency medical response services, they still require specific training and certification. Let’s jump into each step with detail so you know exactly what to expect:

Enroll In an EMR Course

Most EMR certification courses require you to be at least eighteen years old and have a high school diploma or general educational development (GED). We always recommend selecting a course that is state-approved, because if your school’s accreditation is not approved by the state, you will be unable to get a license to practice.

Pass the Course

Most EMR courses consist of between fifty to sixty hours of classroom instruction before you take the exams. These courses cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Basic life support
  • Bleeding control
  • Airway management
  • Spinal immobilization
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

If those terms are already making your head spin, you aren’t alone. These courses use complicated medical terminology that can make simple concepts feel like rocket science. Luckily, there are programs you can enroll in to supplement your courses. 

At Paramedic Coach, we offer lifetime access to our exclusive Video Vault, which deep-dives into all of the topics necessary for EMR certification. We break down everything you learn in your class in a way that’s easy to understand so you can pass your course more easily.

Complete the Exams

Once you have completed the course, you have two years to complete the rest of the steps for your EMR certification, including the exams. Your course program director must verify that you have met or exceeded the educational standards for the course you took.

You need to pass two different exams in order to receive EMR certification: the National Registry EMR cognitive exam (knowledge exam) and a state-approved psychomotor exam (skills exam). After you’ve passed both exams, your passing grades remain valid for twenty-four months.

Some states will integrate the EMR psychomotor exam into your EMR course, so you may not need to schedule a separate time to take this exam. Ask your state’s emergency medical services (EMS) office or your course instructor for guidance.

Have a Current CPR-BLS for ‘Healthcare Provider’

A CPR-BLS certification simply means you have completed coursework for basic life support (BLS). This training is really similar to CPR and first aid training, but more advanced. This course is designed to train healthcare professionals to respond to breathing and cardiac (heart-related) emergencies in adults, children, and infants.

Pass the Exam With Ease With Paramedic Coach

We all know what it’s like to have the passion to want to make a difference, only to get stuck and confused by complicated medical information and terminology. At the Paramedic Coach, we take the complex concepts discussed in your EMR course and break them down into simple terms you can understand. Rather than reading off a slide, we use dynamic teaching methods so you understand why certain interventions save lives, so that you have the context needed to pass the test and feel prepared for the job.

With our exclusive Video Vault, you have access to more than 480 videos, audio files, practice questions, and access to our private community. Our community is filled with current EMS personnel and students like you who can provide you with valuable insights to take with you into your career. Ready to get started? Sign up today for lifetime access to materials for EMR, EMT, AEMT, Paramedics, and more!

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