Changes to EMT Levels by 2014
There have been significant developments regarding EMT training and certification, with more changes scheduled by 2014. The transitions are designed clarify EMT provider levels and provide for uniformity throughout the US states.
National EMS Education Standards and the EMS Education Agenda for the Future
The National EMS Standards (the Standards) was completed in 2009 in order to transition closer to the vision developed in the 1996 EMS Agenda for the Future. The Standards were developed primarily to define minimum entry-level requirements for education for EMTs. Each level of EMT will have to have certain minimal competencies according to those prescribed by the National EMS Scope of Practice Model. The Standards are set to replace current DOT National Standard Curricula. The Standards are designed to be less rigid in order to support diverse methods of implementation and frequent updates to curricula content.
Essentially, EMT training and certification will more closely mirror that of other health care professions. Additionally changes to provider levels will take place in 2014.
New EMT Certification Levels
States like Colorado, Virginia, and Iowa are already scrambling to convert their EMT levels with levels consistent to the National Scope of Practice Model. By 2014 all states are expected to comply.
Certification levels have changed as follows:
- EMT-Basic is now EMT
- Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) has been added
- Emergency Medical Technician Intermediate/99 has been changed to EMT Intermediate (EMT-I)
- Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic has been changed to Paramedic
Additional rules changes were enacted as follows:
EMT educational programs recognizing old levels are authorized to continue providing services with the addition of the new titles for the remainder of their current recognition time periods.
EMT Educational programs recognized as intermediate will automatically be converted to AEMT for the remainder of their current recognition time periods.
The total continuing education hours haven’t changed, but the number of pediatric and obstetrical hours has been divided into two distinct categories.
The new AEMT level will require 36 hours of continuing education.
Newly Revised Curriculum are on the Horizon
Numerous EMT educational programs provide training for EMTs nationwide. These programs are responsible for revising curriculum to meet education standards for EMT, AEMT, and Paramedic levels. However, the curriculum for the EMT-I level has not changed from those required under the EMT-Basic designation.
Scheduled Changes for the National Registry Examinations
EMT students who complete an initial EMT course must also pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians test, in order to be nationally registered. The test is comprised of practical and written examinations. The test has been revised to reflect the National Scope of Practice.
National Registry written examinations based on the National Scope of Practice will begin according to the following dates:
EMT already in progress as of Jan. 1, 2012
AEMT already in progress as of June 1, 2011
EMT-I no scheduled change
Paramedic Jan. 1, 2013
Complying with the National Registry Transition
EMTs and Paramedics who have certifications that are scheduled to expire on March 31, 2012 will have two registration cycles, or four years to complete the transition based on the requirements prescribed by the National Scope of Practice. There are certain gaps between the old scope of practice and the New Scope of Practice that must be amended.
Additional content in the EMT scope of practice
- Assisting patients with self-medication
- Automatic transport ventilator
- Hemorrhage control
- Humidified oxygen
- Mechanical CPR device
- Oral aspirin
- Pulse oximetry
- Oral aspirin
- Partial rebreather mask
- Simple face mask
- Venturi mask
- Tracheostomy mask
Additional content in the Paramedic scope of practice:
- Administer physician-approved meds
- Access indwelling catheters and implanted central IV ports
- Chest tube monitoring
- ETCO2 monitoring
- Morgan lens
- NG/OG tube
Students planning to enter into the health care field as an EMT, must be prepared to meet new standards and requirements. Extensive test prep and studying is required in order to be adequately prepared for testing and certification requirements.
Emergency Medical and Trauma Services Section News. (n.d.). Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Retrieved March 7, 2012, from http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/em/Newsletters/news5.html
Ems.gov. (n.d.). EMS.gov. Retrieved March 7, 2012, from http://www.ems.gov/education/nationalstandardandncs.html
Month. (n.d.). Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics . U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved March 7, 2012, from http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos101.htm