EMTs work faster than lightning. More than 265,000 Americans respond to medical emergencies using quick thinking and physical skills.
There is no better way to save lives and make a difference than to become an EMT. But the path is difficult. You need to receive EMT national training.
What is an EMT training course like? What should you do in terms of undergraduate education and job experience? What are the tests you need to pass to get a certificate?
Answer these questions and you can become a fast-thinking and professional paramedic. Here is your quick guide.
Most state boards require EMTs to have a high school diploma or GED. You are not mandated to get a college degree. But getting a college education will give you the knowledge you need for ambulance EMT training and certification.
Try to get a Bachelor’s degree in medical sciences from a four-year college or university. Some schools may offer courses for ambulance work, while others may have a general pre-med program.
Make sure you get CPR training. CPR is a procedure you will be performing on a daily basis. The more experience you have with it, the more lives you will save.
Once you have your undergraduate degree, you can pursue a post-graduate degree in emergency medical services. Most community colleges offer these programs, but you may be able to stay at your university and get one.
Get Some Job Experience
There is no formal requirement for job experience in order to receive an EMT certificate. But job experience will help you get a formal job as an EMT and it will let you decide if you want to pursue EMT work.
You can find a volunteer position at most hospitals. You can work as a greeter, directing people to different parts of the hospital. You can also volunteer in the emergency or outpatient departments, gaining a little medical experience.
You may be able to shadow a doctor or nurse while they are working. But you must get formal EMT training before you can step foot in an ambulance.
In addition to CPR training, you must receive official EMT training from an approved organization. State guidelines differ, but most states require at least 150 hours of training.
You should get an education in all of the devices and technology you will use on the job. Read more here about different tools you can use, then start learning how you can implement them in emergency situations.
If you don’t know where to get training, touch base with your local board of emergency medical services. They should have a list of programs that will meet your requirements.
Make sure you have the paperwork proving you got your training. Talk to your program director so they vouch for your credentials.
Meet Your State’s Requirements
Each state has additional requirements for training and personal background. These requirements vary, but most states have a few in common with each other.
You cannot receive EMT certification until you turn 18. You may be able to take training before that age, but your opportunities are limited.
You must have no dependence on drugs and alcohol, and you must be physically and mentally fit. You should have good vision, dexterity, and alertness. There are very few accommodations for EMTs with disabilities.
You must have a clean criminal record. Even misdemeanor convictions can result in rejections.
Apply for Certification
Once you’ve met the initial requirements, you can apply for certification with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). You must give your personal details, describing how you meet the initial requirements.
You must also give information about your criminal background. If you lie, you will get rejected.
The NREMT will take some time to determine if you are eligible for the next steps. After you receive notification, you can move on with your application.
Pass the Cognitive Exam
The cognitive exam is the first of two exams you must pass. It covers the practical knowledge of emergency medical services. You must understand how to preserve someone’s airway and prevent bleeding.
Most of the test focuses on adults, but you will receive questions on children. Some of the questions do not count toward your end result. They are designed to test material for future exams, but you will not know what these questions are in advance.
You should intend on passing at least 90 percent or more of the questions. But you can get rejected if the state board believes you cannot provide safe care. You must spend a long time practicing for the exam, utilizing your training and other resources.
Pass the Psychomotor Exam
The psychomotor exam focuses on particular issues that many EMTs face. You may need to understand how to make a traction splint or control extensive bleeding.
You may need to describe in writing the steps that you have to take to help a patient. This includes an initial examination before you begin administering certain steps.
The administrator may randomly select a skill that you then must perform. This means that you must rehearse all important skills, including less common ones. Study anything that might come up on your exam, even for one question.
What EMT National Training Is Like
EMT national training requirements are stringent for good reason. You should get an undergraduate degree in medicine. As you study, you should get job experience in a medical setting.
You can then get EMT training online or in person. You may need to take hundreds of hours of training before you can apply for certification.
After you receive permission from the NREMT, you can take your cognitive exam. You then must pass a psychomotor exam, in which you perform specific tests and procedures.
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