National Registry Emergency Medical Technician

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Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B) is the entry level of Emergency Medical Technician (pre-hospital emergency medical provider) in the United States.

EMT-Bs are not trained to provide definitive medical care, but instead focus on rapid in-field treatment and transport to higher medical providers. EMT-Bs work in conjunction with other medical providers such as paramedics, nurses, and physicians, as well as with other EMT-Bs. When operating in the prehospital environment, their actions are governed by protocols and procedures set by their system's physician medical director.

Education and training[edit]

EMT-B training is regulated at both the state and federal level. At the federal level, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed a minimum content and hour requirement that all states must at least meet. This requirement is known as the National Standard Curriculum.[1] Under the NHTSA curriculum, students receive 110 hours of lecture and lab time covering anatomy, physiology, legal aspects of medical care, assessment, and treatment of medical, trauma, behavioral, and obstetric emergencies. In addition to class time, the NHTSA recommends clinical rotations on board ambulances and in emergency departments.

Using NHTSA guidelines, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians have developed and implemented certification tests for the NHTSA EMT levels, including the EMT-Basic level.[2] As of 2006, 39 US states utilize the NREMT EMT-Basic exam as part of the state licensing and/or certification procedure.[3]

Once certified, EMT-Basics are required to obtain continuing education hours to recertify. Recertification requirements vary from state to state. Continuing education courses can cover a variety of topics, provided that they cover relevant material, including college courses covering anatomy, physiology, or psychology, to more applied courses that are either standardized, such as a Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS), or tailored to the needs of an individual EMS system or region. [4]

Some states allow for an already certified EMT from another state to apply for reciprocity in their state. Reciprocity allows, for example, an EMT-B from New Jersey to apply for an EMT-B certification in New York and be certified as a New York State EMT-B without taking the EMT course over again. The states that participate in this can be found by contacting the certification boards of each state or on their websites.

Scope of practice[edit]

The scope of medical practice for EMT-Bs is regulated by state law, and can vary significantly both among states as well as inside states. In general, EMT-Bs provide what is considered basic life support and are limited to essentially non-invasive procedures. Besides employing basic medical assessment skills, typical procedures provided by EMT-Bs include CPR, Automated external defibrillation, mechanical ventilation using a bag-valve mask, placement of air way adjuncts such as oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal airways, pulse oximetry, glucometer, splinting (including spinal immobilization and traction splints), and suctioning. In addition, EMT-Bs are trained to assist patients with administration of preprescribed nitroglycerin, Metered-dose inhaler such as albuterol, epinephrine auto injectors such as the EpiPen. Non-preprescribed drugs include Oxygen via nasal canula up to non-rebreather and BVM (non-rebreather and BVM being high flow) depending on patient needs,oral glucose, and activated charcoal (usually upon medical direction), and HazMat.[1]

Individually, each state is free to add or subtract to their EMT-Bs scope of practice as they please. For example, EMT-Bs working in California may not administer activated charcoal, an NHTSA approved intervention, under a standard certification. Local EMS systems (i.e. counties in California) can apply to the state to implement an extended scope of practice for EMT-Bs that includes activated charcoal as well as other pharmaceutical interventions not normally allowed to be administered by EMT-Bs.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Emergency Medical Technician-Basic National Standard Curriculum" (PDF). National Highway Transportaiton Safety Administration. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  2. ^ "About NREMT Examinations" (HTML). National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Archived from the original on 2007-10-27. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
  3. ^ "2006 Annual Report" (PDF). National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. p. 11. Archived from the original on 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2008-03-17. "50 states minus non-registry states minus paramedic only states" 
  4. ^ "EMT-Basic Re-registration Requirements" (PDF). National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Retrieved 2008-03-25. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Emergency Medical Technician I" (PDF). California Emergency Medical Services Authority. p. 16. Retrieved 2008-04-02. [dead link]

External links[edit]