What Is the Education Level Needed for EMR Certification?

If you’re thinking about becoming an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), be aware that this is a journey that demands a solid educational foundation. 

The path from student to certified EMR involves rigorous training, clinical experience, EMR test prep, and successfully completing exams, particularly the one administered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam. The NREMT is an independent, not-for-profit agency that certifies emergency medical personnel.

Training Required to Become an EMR

An EMR is a healthcare provider at the prehospital level. Although EMRs have fewer education requirements than other prehospital medical personnel, the NREMT exams are notoriously tricky. Entering the field does require hard work, training, and persistent study. 

EMR education typically involves around fifty to sixty hours of instruction in a classroom. Some EMR schools also require their students to have passed a General Education Development (or GED) exam or have a high school diploma. Most schools require their students to be at least eighteen years of age. 

If you’re looking for an EMR training program, it’s important to make sure it is state-approved. If your school’s program is not accredited by the state, you will not be able to get your license to practice. 

What Is the Licensing and Certification Level for EMR?

To become certified as an EMR, you will have to complete the following steps:

  1. Enroll in an EMR program: When it comes to how long an EMR program is, these training programs typically take a month to complete, with about fifty to sixty hours of instruction. 
  1. Register for the EMR exam: Once you complete your training and are preparing for the exam, register for the EMR exam with the NREMT. To be authorized to take the exam, you will have to submit an application, your program director’s approval, and make a payment. 
  1. Pass the EMR cognitive exam: The next step is to take the EMR cognitive exam on a computer in an authorized testing center. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, the NREMT will provide feedback on your results and you can reapply fifteen days after your last attempt.

The exam covers various areas and has between ninety and 110 multiple-choice questions. The questions are divided as follows:

  • Medicine, obstetrics and gynecology (27% to 31%)
  • Cardiology and resuscitation (20% to 24%)
  • Airway, respiration and ventilation (18% to 22%)
  • Trauma (15% to 19%)
  • Emergency medical services (EMS) operations (11% to 15%)

Of these questions, 85% relate to adult and geriatric patients, while 15% focus on pediatric patients.

  1. Pass the EMR psychomotor exam: You also have to pass the EMR psychomotor exam; this exam is not administered by the NREMT–it is either administered by the state EMS office or by a training institution approved by the state agency. The exam involves certain performance checklists to verify the test taker’s required physical skills. These may be conducted in different formats depending on the training institution, but typically include: 
  1. Patient assessment and management in trauma situations
  2. Oxygen administration by non-rebreather mask
  3. Patient assessment and management in medical environments
  4. Cardiac arrest management/automated external defibrillator 
  5. Bag valve mask ventilation of an apneic adult patient

Once you have passed both the cognitive and psychomotor exam components, you can apply for a license to practice in the state you’d like to work in. This involves the state conducting a background check to confirm your identity and verify your certification, after which you can be officially granted a license to practice. 

EMR Test Prep: How Our Video Vault Can Help

Passing the NREMT exam is the biggest milestone in an aspiring EMR’s educational journey, but this can be difficult for many test-takers, particularly on their first try. To ensure your success, it’s important to enroll in a solid training program and engage in comprehensive exam prep. 

The Paramedic Coach’s Video Vault is crafted to guide students through every step of their EMR educational and testing process and offer career guidance to those already in the profession. From preparing for school to reviewing chapter material and tackling the NREMT exam’s five sections, our Video Vault is a comprehensive solution to ensure you ace your exam with flying colors. 

Wondering how to go about listing EMR experience on a resume? We’ve got you covered–check out our latest post!

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