If you have decided to pursue a career in the medical field, specifically as an Emergency Medical Technician, you might become overwhelmed with all the information there is to sift through, either online or via personal resources.
The bottom line is that you will need to acquire EMT certification before becoming a practicing professional in the field of emergency medicine.
To avoid being overwhelmed, take one step at a time.
- Remember, you need to be at least 18 years of age
- Either have a high school diploma or have passed the GED test
- You need to enroll in classes to begin work toward EMT certification.
- Start with step one and good luck.
There are multiple Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) tests that must be completed and passed before becoming an EMT.
In most states, earning a high school diploma or passing the General Education Development (GED) test is a prerequisite for taking any of the EMT exams. Certification is obtained via the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). EMTs must be licensed, but levels of licenses and formal titles will vary depending on the state in which the EMT tests are completed and passed. If an individual has a criminal record, the NREMT can implement restrictions on his/her license. In addition to passing the EMT tests, a candidate must be agile, weather-adaptable, mentally stable, and physically strong. Below, you will find more specific information on the testing process and the tests themselves.
The tests are:
- Advanced EMT
Take Both the Practice Tests:EMT Practice Test | Paramedic Practice Test
Test questions are multiple choice with 4 possible answers to choose from. Questions on the EMT tests are based on information that you would expect to learn in an EMT course. However, the questions are compiled by a panel of Emergency Medical Services experts and are not directly based on text book information. Most test questions will have 4 plausible answer choices. Therefore it is vital, when taking any of the EMT tests, to choose the best or most appropriate answer.
The NREMT uses Computer Based Testing to conduct all exams; thus, pencil and paper are not needed. Testers are given individual work stations to complete the tests. Due to the computerized nature of the EMT tests, the exam process ends automatically once a candidate's ability to either pass or fail is proven at a certainty of 95 percent. That does not mean you have to receive a test score of 95. The computer uses statistical technology called Item Response Theory to gauge each candidate's understanding of the questions in order to be more precise and fair throughout the testing process. Candidates who do not pass some or all of the EMT tests must wait at least two weeks before making a second attempt. Individual results are posted on NREMT's website (www.nremt.org) within 24-48 hours of exam completion. Testing locations are also listed on this website and exam fees for EMT tests may be paid online once registration is completed.
To prepare for the EMT tests, it is recommended that candidates:
- Eat breakfast and get plenty of rest
- Do not cram, as this might induce anxiety
- Arrive on time and know the exact location of your testing center
- Bring two forms of identification; at least one of which must include a photo
EMT Training Courses
During EMT training courses, you can expect to learn vital life-saving techniques, how to remain calm and how to respond quickly in emergency situations. Training courses are a mandatory aspect of becoming an emergency medical technician in all 50 states. You must prove yourself to be physically agile, emotionally stable, and coordinated in order to successfully complete coursework. EMT training courses are typically offered at vocational schools, hospitals, or community colleges; they vary in price and length depending on the level of course in which you enroll: Basic, Intermediate, or Paramedic.
While most EMT training courses are streamlined across the nation, Advanced EMT and Paramedic training courses vary by state. However, all EMT training courses must comply with the United States Department of Transportation curriculum requirements. During this intense training, you will experience hands-on techniques such as CPR, managing trauma, and the use emergency medical equipment.
The duration of an EMT training course will depend on the level for which you enroll. EMT training courses can be completed in a single semester. Advanced EMT courses may vary from 30-335 hours of coursework, and Paramedic training can take 2 years to complete, depending on the state in which you enroll or wish to become certified.
Most training facilities will offer EMT training courses during the day, night, or on weekends to accommodate every candidate's schedule. You can typically tailor your coursework to your life, choosing either a full or part time course load. All candidates must be at least 18 years of age, and already have a high school diploma. If you do not have a high school diploma, you will be required to pass a GED test. In addition to EMT training courses, you are required to pass computerized examinations that will test your understanding of emergency medicine and life-saving techniques. EMT training courses are not easy, but a career as an EMT can be rewarding, exciting, and challenging.
Last Updated: 10/01/2013