EMT Certification Requirements – Understanding the Process
Whether you are considering pursuing a career as an EMT after high school or you are planning to make a career change, it is important that you understand all about the EMT Certification Requirements so you are able to meet them. There is a process you must go through for certification and having a working knowledge of this process can definitely be a huge help.
Before Entering the Program
First, you need to prepare to enter a program for EMT training. Certain requirements must be met before you will be accepted in a program. You will need to have your GED or high school diploma to get into one of these programs. Also, you will need to pass a background and criminal record check as well. Usually you will be required to show your immunization records before you are accepted in a program. A current certificate in CPR is also a requirement.
Formal Training and Certification Process
Once you have met the requirements to start a program, then you will need to go through your formal training and the process for certification. It’s important to realize that there are three levels of emergency medical technicians. This includes the EMT Basic level, the EMT Intermediate Level, and the Paramedic Level.
When you begin taking the first level of education, you’ll find that the primary focus of your education will be based on knowing human anatomy, CPR, understanding first aid, doing physical damage assessment, doing physical exams, splint applications, controlling blood loss, and taking vital signs. Once you complete the certification program for EMT Basic, then you can submit an application to take the NREMT test. This test is done on a computer and it focuses on what you learned in your course, including cardiology, emergency services basics, trauma care, and more. Once this test is past, then you will need to re-certify every two years. If you decide to go on and receive a higher certification level, then being employed as an EMT will be one of the further EMT Certification Requirements.
Reaching the Next Level
Once you have your certificate as an EMT Basic, you then can take even more class work and then another exam that will allow you to become certified at the EMT Intermediate Level. This class work will involve training that is more in depth on topics like using defibrillators, advanced intubation, and other more advanced life saving techniques. Lectures and clinical training and both involved and students at this level learn to execute certain procedures under physician direction. Students also learn how to administer medications intravenously at this level. All the information learned at the Intermediate Level is based on the basics learned at the Basic Level of training.
There is still one more level that you may wish to achieve after becoming certified as an EMT. The final level is the paramedic level. When it comes to emergency medicine, this is the highest level that can be attained. The training needed to become a paramedic will include administering meds, reading EKGs, starting IV lines, and more extensive learning on critical care, elderly care, and trauma. Some of the coursework that will be required at this level includes cardiology, gastroenterology, facial trauma, toxicology, pathophysiology, communications, and infectious diseases.