Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) are very well-trained and they work alongside emergency response teams to provide patients with emergency care at the scene of accidents and incidents. It is a compulsory requirement in the United States of America for EMT professional to renew their certification every two years.
To renew their certification there’s an EMT Refresher Course that they must complete and pass the examinations. The aim of the refresher course is to ensure EMT professionals are kept up-to-date with new procedures, technology, and equipment. The full duration of the training for the refresher course is between forty to seventy-two hours and covers the lifesaving techniques and procedures they had learned previously.
EMT Refresher Course Options
EMTs have three options for recertification. The first option is the traditional model; the second option is the National Continued Competency Program (NCCP) and the third option is to recertify by exam. EMTs will need to check and verify which options are valid and acceptable in their state from their state EMS Office.
Refresher Course Overview: National Continued Competency Program (NCCP)
Ever EMT professional that will require recertification after March 2019 will need to use the NCCP. The NCCP has a requirement for forty hours of continuing education for recertification. This program has three different sections, a national section, a state or local section and an individual section.
The national section has a requirement of twenty hours of continuing education for all EMTs, which break down as follows:
- Airway/Respiration/Ventilation: 1.5 Hours
- Cardiovascular: 6 Hours
- Trauma: 1.5 Hours
- Medical: 6 Hours
- Operations: 5 Hours
The state or local section has a time requirement of ten hours. This section is developed by either the EMS office in your state, region directors, or agency level administrators such as medical directors or training officers.
The individual section has a time requirement of ten hours and these hours considered to be flexible content. EMT professionals can use any Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE) or state-authorized EMS related education to complete this section.
Refresher Course Overview: Traditional Model
The traditional program for EMT re-certification has a continuing education requirement totaling seventy-two hours to achieve re-certification. This program has two parts, a refresher course along with continuing education. Professionals choosing this route are required to provide evidence of their BLS-CPR certification or equivalent healthcare provider level certification.
There are two different choices for completing an EMT Training refresher program as follows:
Traditional Refresher Course: – Complete a state or Commission on Accreditation for Pre-hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE) approved twenty-four-hour emergency medical technicians refresher course.
Continuing Education Topic Hours: – With this option, the refresher course can be completed by completing an education program based on set topics and study hours. All of the study hours have to be approved by the state or CAPCE.
The twenty-four hours of mandatory education content for this option breakdown as follows:
- Section One: Preparatory – this section has a time requirement of one hour. The topics covered in this section include human anatomy, personal protection, medical and legal, lifting and moving and scene safety.
- Section Two: Airway – this section has a time requirement of two hours. The topics covered in this section include adjuncts, basic airway management, oxygen therapy, and oxygen delivery systems and techniques.
- Section Three: OB, Infants, and Children – this section has a time requirement of two hours. The topics covered in this section include childbirth and complications, medical emergencies in pediatric patients, trauma emergencies and care in pediatric patients, airway management in pediatric patients, gynecological emergencies, obstetrical emergencies, assessing the pediatric patient, and care of the newborn.
- Section Four: Patient Assessment – this section has a time requirement of three hours. The topics covered in this section include assessment of medical patients, assessment of trauma patients, secondary assessment, vital signs and history taking, scene size-up, communications, primary survey, and documentation.
- Section Five: Medical / Behavioral – this section has a time requirement of four hours. The topics covered in this section include allergic reactions, respiratory emergencies, diabetic emergencies, acute abdominal emergencies, general pharmacology, poisoning and overdose, environmental emergencies, and behavioral emergencies.
- Section Six: Trauma – this section has a time requirement of four hours. The topics covered in this section include bleeding/wounds, chest trauma, musculoskeletal injuries, management of shock, burns, injuries to head and spine, and soft tissue injuries.
- Section Seven: Electives – this section has a time requirement of eight hours. The topics covered in this section include HAZMAT, incident command system, emergency driving, and ambulance operations.
Refresher Course Overview: Re-certify by Exam
This method for re-certification allows professionals to show their competency without the need to document continuing education.
Examination Pass Rate
To pass an EMT fresher course and get their certification a candidate must achieve a score of 75% or more. A mark of less than 75% will require a candidate to redo the exam again to achieve the pass mark.
Why Refresher Courses are Necessary
Every emergency medical technician is required to take and pass an EMT refresher course every two years. EMTs that do not complete a refresher course will not be certified and therefore unable to practice or renew their license.
EMT Refresher Course Certificate
Candidates that attend their EMT refresher training at a school approved by their state will receive their certificate upon successfully completing the course. As soon as you complete and pass the last examination your school will give you your course validation certificate. The course certificate you receive will include the following information:
- program school’s name and registration details
- your name
- state authorization number
- number of hours dedicated to each type of program.
- program director’s signature
Expired EMT Certification
If an emergency medical technician allows their certification to expire by more than six months but less than two years then they are able to renew their certification by successfully completing an EMT refresher course. When someone allows their certification to expire by more than six months they will need to undertake further continuing education units and tests to renew their certification.