Requirements for an EMT B Certification

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EMT-B, or Basic, is the first level of Emergency Medical Technician certification. Health workers certified EMT-B are qualified in CPR, first aid, airway management, oxygen administration, bleeding control and other basic emergency health care skills and must also be trained in the administration of certain medications. EMT-B certification doesn't require as many qualifications as Intermediate or Paramedic certification, but a prospective EMT-B is still required to satisfy both state and national certification requirements and to undergo at least 100 hours of work training.

NHTSA Requirements

  • The national requirements for all levels of EMT certification are overseen by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. No matter what state you plan to practice in, you need to meet these generic requirements. These include general anatomical knowledge, patient assessment skills, treatment strategies for various medical and behavioral emergencies (including trauma,) and skill with child and infant care. The (very long) full document is linked in the "Resources" section below.

Training

  • Before entering a specialized EMT training program, a prospective EMT is required to have a high school diploma or equivalent. The training program will allow students to gain the required six months of hands-on EMT experience and prepare them for the examinations—both written and practical—administered by their state or by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. An EMT-B certification requires knowledge of patient assessment techniques and competency with cardiac, trauma and airway management. EMT training programs are often available from state and local governments, as well as from trade schools, hospitals and some colleges and universities.

Examination

  • After you've completed training, you will be required to pass an examination as the final step to certification. Many states accept the standardized examination of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, which can be applied for online (see "Resources" for a link to the NREMT's website), but a handful of states accept the NREMT only for Paramedic certification, not Basic, and another handful do not accept it at all. Check Page 10 of the PDF linked in the "Resources" section to see where your state falls. If the NREMT isn't accepted where you are, contact your state government for information on its particular requirements.

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  • Photo Credit paramedic image by JASON WINTER from Fotolia.com
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