12. Stay Updated On Emergency Medicine: Once licensed and working as an emergency medical responder it is important to stay update in your field. The healthcare field and specifically emergency medicine are always evolving and to be a great EMT it’s important to stay updated on new information.
For example, in California beginning 7/01/2019 any EMT that is renewing certification for the first time will need to submit documentation of EMT training for administration of Naloxone, administration of epinephrine, and use of glucometers due to an expanding scope of practice.
A good way to keep up with the latest medical trends is to subscribe to magazines and local newsletters related to emergency medicine. JEMS (Journal of Emergency Medical Services) magazine has been around a long time and has stayed popular with emergency responders.
EMS World magazine is heavily focused on reporting future changes in EMS and the magazine is only a small part of their organization.
Taking classes offered by your employer is another way to stay up to date on evolving technologies and equipment changes. It’s difficult to stay for a class after working a 12 or 24 hour shift, but in the long run these classes will increase your knowledge and skills as an Emergency Medical Technician.
13. Maintain License With CEU Requirements: Currently EMT’s have three recertification models available to get CEU’s (continuing education unit) and refresher courses. They are:
– National Continued Competency Program (NCCP) Model
– Traditional Model
– Recertify by Exam
After March of 2019 all EMT-B, AEMT, and EMTP will be required to use the NCCP Model to obtain their CUE units and recertify, but for now the three choices make the process a bit confusing. There is more in-depth information about each method of renewal below.
It is the responsibility of the licensed EMT to properly take the correct CEU’s and maintain documentation as proof, in case they are audited later. It’s a good idea to take CEU’s which add to skills and enhance knowledge related to your field, rather than taking quick online courses just to get credit requirements met.
Guidelines for all levels of EMT Recertification can be found on the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) website. EMT recertification has requirements that all candidates must meet. They are:
• The candidate must be actively using EMT skills within a patient care setting. (If you don’t meet this requirement you can meet all other requirements and file for inactive status).
• A supervisor or training officer will need to validate that the candidate has maintained skill competency by signing (or electronically signing) the recertification application.
• A candidate will demonstrate cognitive competency by either A) Recertification by exam or B) Documenting Continuing education units.
• The candidate may need to pay an application fee and other fees depending on what process is chosen for renewal.
• The candidate must submit the certificate renewal application with all the requirements met (recertification report) before March 31. This can be done with the online or paper based recertification tools. (Online recertification has a 24 hour processing time and the paper based has a 6 week processing time.)
EMT Certification Renewal
EMT’s need to be recertified every two years to keep up with evolving standards and any changes made to the EMT scope of practice. An EMT needs to stay up to date with the latest medical information and skills and abilities must be evaluated occasionally to prove competency.
As of now all levels of EMT’s have three EMT recertification options to choose from when obtaining CEU’s (Continuing Education Units). They include:
1. Recertify by Exam – This option allows the emergency medical responder to show cognitive competency without documenting any CEU’s. Recertification by exam is the same process whether you are a Basic EMT, Advanced EMT, or Paramedic.
The first step is to complete a recertification by examination application and pay the exam fee. Wait 24-48 hours and then log in to your National Registry of EMT account and print the ATT (Authority To Test) letter. Next read the ATT letter and follow the directions to schedule the exam.
Applicants may only make ONE attempt to take and pass the exam starting one year prior to your expiration date (April 1). Applicants who pass the recertification exam will find a Cognitive Competancy form in their National Registry of EMT account.
The applicant must fill out the form and get any signatures and documentation required before returning the form prior to March 31. All other standard recertification requirements still need to be met and verified like normal.
2. Traditional Model – This model is what has commonly been used up until now, but by March of 2019 it will be phased out and replaced by the NCCP model.
Every level of emergency responder who recertifies using the traditional method are required to get 72 hours of continuing education using an EMT refresher course and CEU’s.
The Emt must show proof that their current BLS-CPR is valid past the NREMT expiration date (March 31) when using the traditional EMT recertification model.
The EMT refresher course requirements can vary by state but some states allow two options to complete the refresher course requirements. The first option is completion of a traditional state approved 24 hour EMT refresher course.
The second EMT refresher option is to complete 24 hours of Continuing Education Topic hours. These are mandatory Core Content hours on specific topics, and a maximum of ten hours can be online type of EMT training courses.
All other courses must involve the student and educator to interact in real-time. These are the standards for all levels of emergency medical responder: EMT-B, AEMT, and EMTP.
3. The NCCP Model (National Continued Competency Program) – Beginning in March of 2019 all Emergency Medical Technicians, this includes EMT-B, AEMT, and EMTP, will be required to use the NCCP model for EMT certification renewal. (Verify which options are currently available in your state by contacting the state EMS office).
The NCCP model offers improvements that allows evidenced-based medicine to reach EMS professionals all over the United States. A couple of benefits of the NCCP model are reduced CEU hours needed and increased local control, which can translate into more relevant continuing education topics for the EMT.
The NCCP model separates the recertification process into three continuing education components: national, local, and individual, which allows state and local agencies the freedom to determine a quarter of the requirements for recertification.
The NCCP model for EMT recertification requires a total of 40 continuing education hours to recertify an EMT-B, 50 hours for an AEMT, and 60 hours for a Paramedic. Those hours are divided among the three components with 50% consisting of the National Component, 25% the Local Component, and 25% the Individual Component.
The National Component refresher topics are updated every 4 years by the NREMT. The topics reflect current trends in evidenced based medicine and changes in EMT scope of practice.
Quick Tip: The National Component portion replaces the traditional DOT Refresher Course (Department of Transportation).
The Local component is decided by local entities such as state agents or regencies. This means 25% of recertification learning will include items such as local protocols that come from a local level.
The Individual Component is the simplest because it leaves the candidate free to use 25% of recertification education on any EMS related education.
This model hasn’t been implemented in all states yet, so check your state EMS office to see if they are participating yet.