How to become an EMT-Basic
If you decide that you do want to undergo EMT training and begin your career in emergency medicine, you will most likely be introduced to the profession as an EMT-Basic. The EMT-Basic, or EMT-B, is the entry level position for pre-hospital emergency medical care and requires EMT training specifically designed for this position.
Prerequisites to Apply for Certification as an EMT-B
*High school diploma
*Applicant must be 18 years of age
*Valid CPR credentials
*Completion of a state-approved EMT-B training course within the past 2 years
*Completion of state-approved EMT-B psychomotor exam
The EMT-B Training Course
While training courses for the EMT-B are regulated at both state and federal levels, the curriculums for the courses are standardized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. EMT-B training courses are offered in most major cities and towns across the country through private agencies and local colleges.
During the EMT training for the EMT-B, you can generally expect the modules to be broken down into areas of study as follows:
Basic preparation: These modules will include general information to educate the student on anatomy and physiology, ethical and legal issues surrounding patient care, and self-care in the field.
Introductory Operations: Instruction on the ambulance operations, patient transfer, hazardous materials training, rescues, and often helicopter transport.
Patient Assessment: This portion of the course is designed to provide fundamental techniques relating to patient assessment, vital signs analysis, patient communication, and treatment documentation.
Airway Management: Designed to instruct the student in the basic anatomy of the human oxygen passageways and best practice techniques for managing patient airway obstructions and constrictions.
Dealing with Medical Emergencies: This segment of the courses prepare the EMT-B to deal with specific methods for handling many types of medical emergencies such as respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and cardiac arrest.
Trauma Management: The trauma management modules are designed to prepare the student for the treatment of trauma situations such as blood loss, neck and spinal injuries, as well as any other form of soft tissue or musculoskeletal trauma.
In addition to the state-approved course, the EMT-B candidate will be expected to pass the state’s cognitive examination and psychomotor assessment. We will go into more details on these exams in a future article, however, successful completion of these tests will be required prior to applying for certification. We will also explore the continuing education component required of the EMT-Basic in a future post.
Hopefully, this introduction to the structure of the EMT-Basic course provides you with a sense of excitement. Beginning your EMT training to lead you toward a career in emergency medicine is a thrilling time.