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How To Become An EMT – General Info

Many people are tempted to start a career as an Emergency Medical Technician, and if you are one of them then you have probably found it a little difficult to understand what is required of you to become an EMT. The decision is made more difficult, as the requirements vary from state to state, but there are a few things to keep in mind that can be listed in a general way.

In this article we will provide you with some very general rules and requirements that you should be aware of. If you do decide to take the step towards becoming an EMT then you should use the map below to take you to your state specific requirements and information about the training and application process.

 

The General Requirements

There are some requirements and restrictions that all states have, and these include being at least 18 years of age, having a criminal background check, taking an approved EMT course and passing the relevant exams. The process for these differs from state to state you should at least know that these are requirements prior to planning to become an EMT.

 

Criminal Background Check

EMT TrainingWhile the process for the criminal background check varies from state to state, what does remain the same is that certain criminal convictions will not allow you to become a licensed EMT. Some states publish the specific felony crimes they do not allow, while others suggest contacting the local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency for further details. In all states, however, applications with criminal convictions are reviewed on an individual basis to assess the details of the crime. If you have a criminal conviction it definitely makes sense to find out first if the crime would make licensing impossible.

 

Approved EMT Course

It is very important that you only sign up for state approved training courses. This is relevant to both the EMT course and CPR course, if required by your state EMS Agency. Before you register and pay for an Emergency Medical Technician course it is recommended that you check with the EMS Agency in your state and verify that the training provider is indeed approved by the state.

Course length varies from state to state but generally the minimum accepted length is 120 hours which includes a clinical field placement. Usually training providers exceed this minimum hours quite a bit in order to provide as much information as possible.

 

Examination

Almost all states require that you pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exams in order to obtain an EMT license. The NREMT examination is divided into a practical exam and a written/cognitive exam. The written exam is provided through computer based testing, while the practical exam will require you to demonstrate procedures learnt during training.

For more specific information for the state that you live in, please click on the map below which will take you to a state specific information page. This page will include requirements and information on approved training providers as well as information on the application process.

The Different Levels Of EMT

Emergency Medical Technicians undergo several levels of training which provide a great and clear idea of how your career as an EMT might progress over the years. The great news is that with each higher level you achieve your earnings potential also increases. This is particularly important considering that the cost of training courses drastically increases as you move up the levels.

So what are the different levels of EMT. Pretty much all states distinguish between 3 levels of EMT: EMT-Basic (EMT-B), EMT-Intermediate (EMT-I), and EMT-Paramedic (EMT-P). While all states simply refer to EMT Basic and EMT Paramedic, a lot of states use different description for EMT Intermediate, which we will get to shortly

 

EMT-Basic (EMT-B):

This is the level that you will start at when you first start your career as an EMT. At this level you will be trained in the basic procedures of patient care, and a basic level of illness and injury diagnosis and first treatment. The main focus for an EMT-B is fast and basic on the scene treatment and transport to a hospital or other medical provider.

In most states basic training is conducted over a 6 to15 week period and consists of a minimum of 120 hours of classroom training and clinical placement.

The things you will be qualified to perform are set by your state’s Emergency Medical Services Agency. Generally speaking an EMT-B is qualified and licensed to perform basic assessment and non-invasive treatment but to give you an idea here are a few things:

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Automated External Defibrillation (AED)
  • mechanical ventilation using bag-valve mask
  • pulse oximetry
  • glucometer
  • splinting of limbs and spinal immobilization

 

EMT-Intermediate (EMT-I):

This is a level that has many different references in throughout the USA. Some states have two levels of EMT-I, some states are phasing out EMT-I and other states refer to it simply as Advanced EMT. To avoid any confusion here, we will simply refer to EMT-I, but you should check our state specific information by clicking on the map on the home page.

This level is achieved through a combination of intermediate level training and passing of related exams.

Just like the EMT-B level, the procedures allowed to be performed by and EMT-I differ by state, but generally speaking they would include all the above listed treatments and may include the following:

  • basic airway management
  • administration of intravenous non-medical fluids like saline
  • administration of epinephrine (with limits on the concentration)
  • administration of medications such as glucagons, naloxone, albuterol and nitrous oxide

 

EMT-Paramedic:

This is the highest level of Emergency Medical Technician and is achieved after extensive training and examination usually over an 18 to 24 months period. In some states you will be awarded with a degree upon passing your exams, which is a fantastic achievement to aim for.

Just like with the other two level of EMT each state dictates what a Paramedic is allowed to perform as part of patient assessment and treatment. Paramedics usually work closely with EMTs of different levels as well as with other Emergency Services in order to assure the best possible patient care.

Some of the additional responsibilities and procedures may include:

  • spinal and fracture injury management in the field
  • assistance in child birth
  • advanced airways management including surgical
  • administration of medicines including narcotic pain relief, sedatives, anti-psychotics and cardiac medication

As you can see, the procedures a Paramedic is trained to perform are quite extensive, which explains the reason for the years of training required.

The great thing about a career in the Emergency Medical Services is that you can start off your career and entry level that does not require years of training and effort. Once you start your first job you will most likely be exposed to situations where you will be able to observe EMTs with qualifications at different levels. This will give you a chance to decide on the job whether or not the higher levels are something that you would want to aim for or not.

How To Become A Paramedic – General Info

In the world of Emergency Medical Technicians there is a very clear and achievable career path that greatly helps people to decide on where they want their careers to go. Many EMTs find that once they have achieved their EMT license and gain some experience, they want to extend the amount of help they are allowed to provide their patients. In addition the motivating factor is also the higher wages that come with greater training and experience.

In this article we will provide you with some very general rules and requirements that you should be aware of. If you do decide to take the step towards becoming a Paramedic then you should use the map below to take you to your state specific requirements and information about the training and application process.

 

The General Requirements

There are some requirements and restrictions that all states have, and these include being at least 18 years of age, having a criminal background check, taking an approved Paramedic course and passing the relevant exams. The process for these differs from state to state, but you should at least know that these are general requirements prior to planning to become a Paramedic.

 

Criminal Background Check

While the process for the criminal background check varies from state to state, what does remain the same is that certain criminal convictions will not allow you to become a licensed Paramedic. Some states publish the specific felony crimes they do not allow, while others suggest contacting the local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency for further details. In all states, however, applications with criminal convictions are reviewed on an individual basis to assess the details of the crime. If you have a criminal conviction it definitely makes sense to find out first if the crime would make licensing impossible.

 

Approved Training Course

It is very important that you only sign up for state approved training courses. This is relevant to both the Paramedic and CPR course, if required by your state EMS Agency. Before you register and pay for a Paramedic course it is recommended that you check with the EMS Agency in your state and verify that the training provider is indeed approved by the state.

Course length varies from state to state and among training providers but generally the training is spread over a 1 to 2 year period which includes a clinical field placement.

 

Examination

Almost all states require that you pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exams in order to obtain a Paramedic license. The NREMT examination is divided into a practical exam and a written/cognitive exam. The written exam is provided through computer based testing, while the practical exam will require you to demonstrate procedures learnt during training.

For more specific information for the state that you live in, please click on the map below which will take you to a state specific information page. This page will include requirements and information on approved training providers as well as information on the application process.

Advanced EMT Training Utah (UT)

Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians (AEMT) are EMTs that have undergone training in limited advanced life support practices. The AEMT certificate and training is seen as a stepping stone to becoming an EMT Paramedic, the highest level achievable. If you are looking for Paramedic specific information then take a look at Paramedic Training in UT.

The following is a list of requirements you will need to satisfy prior to becoming a licensed EMT in the State of Utah:

  • 18 years of age
  • EMT certification
  • Criminal background check, criminal records may result in rejection; if you have a criminal record it’s best to contact your local EMS Agency before you invest time and money
  • CPR course certificate
  • 100 hours Advanced EMT training
  • High School diploma
  • Valid drivers license not a requisite for an EMT license but may be required for better job prospects

 

Step 1

Before you do anything you should find a local EMS training provider and register for the 100 hour (minimum) Advanced EMT training. Before you contact the training facility it is best to get proof of immunization that you have and verify with the training facility what other immunizations will be needed prior to registration.

A lot of training providers will require that you have a valid CPR certification card before you start the course, so it is advisable to check with the training providers if they offer CPR training as well if your CPR certification is out of date.

It is absolutely crucial that you only register for an approved training course at a state approved facilityThe Utah Bureau of Emergency Medical Services provides a great search function for scheduled courses (https://bems.utah.gov/bems/do/courseScheduleAction?dispatch=viewSearch)

Training courses are generally spread over a 6 week period and the price usually ranges between $800 and $1,300.

 

Step 2

You must complete a criminal background check in order to become a licenced EMT, and this process may require fingerprinting if you have lived outside the state of Utah. More information is available here: http://www.health.utah.gov/ems/certification/background.html

 

Step 3

In order to submit an application an applicant must do the following:

1) Complete the application form (http://www.health.utah.gov/ems/certification/application.pdf)

2) Bring the application to your EMT training provider

3) Upon successful completion of the training and related exams your instructor will complete the application and send it back to the OEMS

4) Submit a photo with your application

5) Submit copy of valid CPR certificate

6) Submit documentation of completed courses in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support

7) Submit payment of initial certification fee of $160 plus $35 for fingerprinting (check or money order)

8) Submit criminal background check results

9) Submit tuberculosis test results

10) Submit course completion documentation

 

Step 4

Once you have completed the EMT course you can apply to do both the written and practical examinations. You can pply for these through your training instructor, and you will have to successfully pass before you can be fully licensed.

 

Knowing all these steps in advance will greatly help in planning your training and ensuring a quick and efficient process as possible.

Related Articles:

Paramedic Training Connecticut (UT)

EMT Training Michigan (MI)

The following is a list of requirements you will need to satisfy prior to becoming a licensed EMT in the State of Michigan (MI):

  • 18 years of age
  • Criminal background check, while you may be able to get an EMT license with a felony conviction, a criminal record will limit where you will be able to work
  • 120 hour EMT Basic training
  • CPR course certificate
  • NREMT certification
  • High School diploma
  • Valid drivers license not a requisite for an EMT license but may be required for better job prospects

 

Step 1

Find a local approved training facility and register for the 120 hour EMT Basic training, but note that many training providers exceed the minimum 120 hours of training. Prior to contacting the training facility you should get proof of immunization and verify with the training facility what other immunizations you will need prior to registering.

It is very important that you only register for an approved training program at a state approved facility. as non-approved courses may not be accepted for an EMT license. For a full list of approved training programs see here: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/EMS_Education_Program_Sponsors_5-1-06_160653_7.pdf

Training programs are usually spread over a 2 to 4 month period and cost usually ranges between $750 and $1,500.

 

Step 2

A lot of approved training facilities also offer CPR certification courses. It would make sense for an applicant to choose a training facility that does indeed offer both the EMT and CPR training courses. Applicants should also talk to the training provider about the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) psychomotor examination and whether they will be able to provide such a certificate (see next step).

Upon completion you will receive a certificate that is needed for the state EMT license application.

 

Step 3

EMT license applicants must pass the NREMT exams, which are made up of two parts, a written cognitive exam and a psychomotor exam. For the written exam an applicant will need to register with the NREMT (http://www.nremt.org) and pay the $70 application fee. When the applicant is ready to take the exam they will need to get in touch with Pearson Vue (http://www.vue.com) who provide the computer based testing for the NREMT exam.

For the psychomotor examination you should check with your EMT training provider whether they are able to provide such certification in conjunction with the EMT course. Note that fees for this certificate may apply.

Once the applicant has received certification for both exams they will be issued with an NREMT certificate which is valid for 2 years; this certificate is needed for the state EMT license application.

For some tips and recommendations on preparing for these exams take a look at our Preparing For NREMT Exams page.

 

Step 4

EMT Applicants must undergo a criminal background check prior to starting the clinical rotation of the EMT training course. The process for the criminal background check can be initiated through the training facility you choose. If you have a criminal record it would probably be best to contact the New Hampshire EMS Agency and discuss the prospects of obtaining a license and subsequent job.

 

Step 5

In order to submit an application an applicant must do the following:

1) Complete the Michigan EMS Agency’s EMT application form (http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdch/License_Packet_4-07_197521_7.pdf)

2) Include proof of CPR course completion

3) Include copy of EMT course certificate

4) Include photocopy of NREMT registration

5) Include $40 application fee

 

Knowing all these steps in advance will greatly help in planning your training and ensuring a quick and efficient process as possible.

 

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