How to Become an EMT in Washington State
EMT training in Washington State is similar to many other states. Washington State EMT training begins with going through an EMT program, passing the National Registry of EMT (NREMT) exams for certification, and finally getting a Washington EMT state license. Scroll down for more detailed information about each step in the Washington State EMT training process.
This page will also discuss Washington EMS protocols for EMT scope of practice skills that emergency medical technicians of all levels are allowed to perform on the job.
Washington State has Emergency Medical Services (EMS) care separated into eight regions, which are pictured on the map below. Every two years the eight EMS and Trauma Care Regional Councils in Washington prepare plans to achieve overall goals within their boundaries.
The EMS plans are subject to State Department of Health review and approval, with the statewide goal being optimal care. Washington state has the simple goal to “Get the right patient to the right resources in the right amount of time.”
EMS Levels Recognized in Washington State
• Emergency Medical Responder
• Emergency Medical Technician
• Advanced Emergency Medical Technician
EMT Training in Washington State
EMT training in Washington State is offered at many schools and Universities. Most Washington EMT schools only offer the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT), and Paramedic programs for study.
When signing up for a Washington Paramedic program, you want to make sure the course is accredited. For a list of accredited programs in Washington state scroll down to the bottom of this page.
Good EMT training schools will teach students to quickly respond to emergency situations and transport the sick and injured while providing life saving care. Washington State EMT training programs will prepare graduates to complete patient care assessments, identify signs and symptoms, and perform the proper patient care interventions.
After graduating from EMT training students will be able to perform life-saving skills and respond to emergency situations. Some of these life-saving skills include stabilizing fractures, controlling bleeding, and administering oxygen. Common emergency situations an EMT will respond to are cardiac arrest, motor vehicle accidents, falls, and gunshot wounds.
Washington State EMT’s also have additional training which allows them to administer epinephrine to patients in anaphylactic shock, place intermediate airway devices, and use semi-automated external defibrillators.
EMT School Requirements Washington State
Washington State EMT training programs have a set of requirements which must be met in order to be accepted into the different levels of EMT training.
Each Washington EMT training program can add requirements, but in general most schools will want the following standards met.
• EMT training in Washington State applicants can be 17 years of age prior to the first day of EMT course. However, they must be 18 years old by the end of the EMT training program.
• EMT programs in Washington State require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
• EMT training in Washington State requires applicants complete the American Heart Association BLS – CPR for the Healthcare Provider. An acceptable alternative is American Red Cross BLS – CPR for the professional rescuer. (Some EMT programs include this as part of the course instead of as a prerequisite.)
• EMT training in Washington State applicants must have a current first aid card.
• Some EMT training in Washington State will require a 4-hour Infectious Disease Prevention for EMS Provider’s class or 7 hours of HIV/AIDS education. (This is also a requirement for EMT certification in Washington.)
• Some EMT programs in Washington State require a current Drivers License.
• EMT training in Washington State requires candidates have Current Medical Insurance verification to begin the program. Students will need to remain insured throughout the EMT training program.
• EMT training in Washington State requires a 10-panel urine drug test within the last 3 months for all candidates.
• Applicants for EMT training in Washington State must have a TB skin test completed within the last 12 months.
• EMT training in Washington State requires applicants show proof of immunizations or titers for the following:
– MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
– Varicella (Chicken Pox)
– Tetanus, TD, or TDaP depending on the EMT program.
• EMT programs in Washington State require applicants show proof they have begun the Hepatitis B series of vaccinations.
• EMT programs in Washington State require a flu vaccine within the last year.
• Some EMT programs in Washington State will require students to complete an English, Math, or Reading class as a requirement for school enrollment.
• EMT training in Washington state requires applicants to pass a finger-print based National Background check. May need to be done within 3-6 months of application deadline.
While researching EMT training in Washington State you may find some programs mention that applicants should be affiliated. Not all schools require affiliation to complete EMT training, but eventually you will have to become affiliated to obtain Washington EMT state certification.
What do you mean I have to be affiliated or associated?
An important factor for Washington State EMT certification is the requirement that all candidates be associated, aka affiliated, with a qualifying EMS agency or law enforcement agency.
This means the candidate needs to volunteer with or be employed by a Fire agency, EMS agency, Law Enforcement agency, or a business with an organized industrial safety team that has an affiliation number with the State of Washington.
Some EMT schooling programs in Washington State will give affiliated applicants priority for registration. They will then give any leftover seats to non-affiliated applicants. It’s even possible for all seating in an EMT training class to be filled by affiliated students.
It is possible to get accepted into an EMT program in Washington State, complete the course, and take the National Registry of EMT exam without any affiliation. However, within a year the EMT candidate will need to obtain affiliation in order to receive Washington State EMT certification.
EMT Certification Washington State
After completing EMT training in Washington State the next step is to pass the National Registry of EMT (NREMT) exams. Passing both these exams will award you with a National EMT Certification for Washington State. There is more detailed information about both of these exams on our NREMT page.
The first NREMT exam is the psychomotor exam and will be introduced to the student by their EMT school in Washington State. The psychomotor exam is a practical exam that will be scheduled at the end of EMT training through individual EMT programs in Washington.
Before taking the psychomotor exam check out our page with 7 expert tips to pass the psychomotor exam.
The second National Registry EMT exam is the Cognitive exam which is a written test. The Cognitive exam is a computer adaptive test and you can register for it on online at the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) website.
After registering, EMT students in Washington State should contact their training program coordinator to verify the program has also registered online with the NREMT and is approved by the Washington State Department of Health Office. Once this is done the student will be eligible to make an appointment for the NREMT cognitive exam.
After successfully passing both the cognitive and psychomotor exams in Washington State, the National Registry of EMTs will automatically send your EMT certification in the mail.
After receiving your Washington State EMT certification you will likely want to begin work as an EMT immediately.
Are you legally able to begin working as an EMT once you get Nationally certified?
The answer is:
No, not yet.
First you must get an EMT state license/certification in Washington State before working as an EMT.
EMT State License Washington State
The Washington EMT state license is also called a Washington EMT state certification or Washington State EMT certification. The Washington EMT state certification is different from the NREMT Washington certification because it is a State level certification.
(Cont. below to Page 2)