What Is EMR Certification?

Emergency medical responders (EMRs) are the first people on the scene when things go wrong. These roles are vital during an emergency or medical crisis when emergency transport is still en route, keeping critically injured or ill people alive.

EMRs need to undergo an extensive EMR course and take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam in order to be certified as EMR personnel. EMR certification gives you the knowledge and skills needed to provide immediate, life-saving interventions until additional emergency medical services (EMS) arrives.

Exams for EMR certification can be difficult, with a pass rate of between 60% and 75%–which means EMR certification prep courses and resources are more valuable than ever. In this article, we’ll explore what an EMR does, what ‘EMR certification’ means, how you can get EMR-certified. Let’s jump in!

What Is an EMR?

In the event of an emergency, EMR personnel are trained to provide care to patients in critical condition using the emergency medical services system until higher-level personnel arrive at the scene.

EMRs also provide assistance to higher-level personnel (such as emergency medical technicians [EMTs] and paramedics) at the scene of the emergency and during transport.

What Does ‘EMR-Certified’ Mean?

EMRs generally complete a forty-eight to sixty-hour course that trains and prepares them for providing immediate, life-saving care to ill or injured individuals. These responders perform basic procedures with minimal equipment until additional EMS resources arrive. These professionals do not typically work on ambulances, but that can depend on the area or specific services they work in (such as volunteer departments).

EMR certification can be used in a wide range of jobs and careers, including:

  • Park rangers
  • Law enforcement
  • Lifeguards
  • Daycare providers
  • Security guards
  • Athletic coaches

Many careers that require you to be responsible for others, such as public service or caregiver roles, require you to have EMR certification to carry out the duties of your job. EMR certification is more advanced than first-aid and CPR training, and EMR knowledge is invaluable in an emergency.

What Topics Are Covered In the Certification?

Because EMR personnel provide life-saving care for patients, they need specific training in a number of areas. During the certification process, EMRs learn:

  • CPR and cardiac arrest skills
  • Bag valve mask skills
  • Oxygen administration
  • Medical patient assessment
  • Trauma patient assessment
  • Vitals skills
  • Defensive driving
  • How to respond to respiratory emergencies
  • How to respond to diabetic emergencies

EMRs are also permitted to assist patients with taking their prescribed medications and need to understand pharmacodynamics–the study of how drugs interact and impact the human body. 

What Do You Need to Get Certified?

To become a certified EMR personnel, there are several steps you need to take. First, you need to successfully complete a state-approved EMR course that meets or exceeds the National Emergency Medical Services Education Standards for EMR. These courses can take between forty-five to sixty hours and must have been completed within the last two years. 

The program director needs to verify your successful completion on the National Registry website. Keep in mind that most courses will require you to be at least eighteen years of age and to have a high school diploma or equivalent education level, such as a GED.

Next, you need to have a current CPR-BLS (basic life support) for ‘Healthcare Provider’ or some equivalent credential. This credential will give you foundational knowledge that will be built on during the course.

You must also complete two different exams: the EMR state-approved psychomotor (skills) exam and the National Registry’s cognitive (knowledge) exam. The psychomotor exam is administered by your state’s EMS office or at the training institution that provided your EMR course. The National Regsitry’s exam is administered by the National Registry once you have submitted your EMR application.

Once you have completed your EMR course, passed your psychomotor exam, and have your CPR-BLS Healthcare Provider card, you can finally start the application process. You can do this by creating an online account on the National Registry’s website. After you’ve completed your application and are deemed eligible for the exam, you will receive an electronic Authorization to Test as well as information about scheduling and identification required at the testing center.

Prepare With Paramedic Coach

Taking an EMR course alone is not enough to prepare you for the exam and the job. These courses use complicated medical terminology that can be overwhelming–even to competent, passionate individuals like you.

At Paramedic Coach, we use straightforward language to explain these concepts in a way that makes sense. Our Video Vault comes equipped with more than 480 video lessons, including practice questions,audio files, and access to a community of professionals in all tiers of the emergency responder field. If you’re looking to more easily pass your exams and gain deeper knowledge into this field, check out our Video Vault today!

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