How to become an EMT and Paramedic
Step 1 – Basic Training (EMT-B)
The first step to be on your way to the career of your dreams is EMT- Basic training. This can be offered at technical schools or two year colleges and usually includes 120 to 150 hours of course work. While enrolled in EMT-Basic, you learn how to complete patient assessments and handle emergency situations. A hands on learning component, called a practicum, will also instruct you on proper use of field equipment.
Step 2 – Pass a National or State Exam to get certified
Both EMTs and Paramedics are required to pass a national licensing exam after completing their training. Administered through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). The exam includes a cognitive section and a psychomotor section, and uses computer adaptive technology to tailor questions based on student responses.
Candidates have three opportunities to pass the exam, with 15 days between each attempt. If a student doesn’t pass by the third attempt, remedial training may be required. Once passed, professionals are required to get recertified every two years to maintain their emt certificate.
Step 3 – Complete a Two-Year Degree Program
You are required to complete a state approved certificate program to become an EMT-Basic or Paramedic. Coursework typically covers anatomy and physiology, as well as advanced life support, which is practiced through clinical training in hospitals and ambulances. The degree adds a career advantage, as well as an increase in knowledge in other areas relevant to EMS.
After completing a two year degree in an emt college program, and passing all state and national requirements like getting your paramedic certificate, you may be employed as a certified EMT Paramedic.