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A simple description of the 3 levels of EMT certification

EMTs are individuals trained to handle cases of trauma, emergency childbirth, CPR and basically any emergency situation before the arrival of a medical doctor. They are taught to do this accurately and timely to save a person’s life. In order to get EMT certification, there are three levels that an individual progresses through. These are: EMT-Paramedic, EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Basic, arranged from the highest to the lowest level.

EMT paramedic is the third level and entails extensive coursework with hundreds of hours in ambulances and emergency rooms. The EMT salary offered after completion of this level is very lucrative.  A two year associate degree is mandatory for any individual who wants to become an EMT paramedic. The certification is awarded after passing written and practical exams set by the NREMT.  The EMT programs at this level focus on anatomy, physiology as well as biology.

The intermediate level requires practical and theoretical studies of at least 200hours. The coursework basically entails administering intravenous fluids or any other emergency medication that may be required. Consequently, NREMT exams must be passed for one to be awarded the intermediate certification.

At the basic level, an individual should expect at least 100 hours of theory/class work and several extra hours of practical work, which involves the ambulance and emergency room. The EMT training involves the basic procedures used to save lives like: controlling the loss of blood, operating certain equipment, as well as, assessing the overall condition of the patient. Standard practical and written exams must be passed before the certification is awarded.

Note that, there are cases where additional tests are required to supplement the standard exams by the NREMT in order for one to obtain the certification at any level. This depends on the state.

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