Being an emergency medical technician (EMT) can be an emotionally draining and stressful job. EMTs provide lifesaving care and act quickly under pressure. On the flip side, it is also an incredibly fulfilling career. Knowing that you're making a profound impact on people in life-threatening situations is very different from your run-of-the-mill office job. EMTs and paramedics provide the emergency care needed prior to and while the patient is being transported to a hospital.
As you're looking for programs that offer EMT, AEMT, or paramedic training, make sure the program is accredited. It has to be, to count for certification with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.
Finding Accredited EMT Programs
Finding accredited EMT programs can be done in a few different ways:
- Call the school, hospital, or facility that offers the program.
- Check the school, hospital, or facility's website. Once you find an EMT or paramedic program online, scan the program page for accreditation details. More often than not, they list accreditation details for the program front and center. Calling is still recommended, as website information might be outdated. Accreditation can be revoked if a program has changed and no longer follows correct accreditation protocol, or if the accreditation rules have changed and the program didn't change to meet the new rules.
- Check the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP) registry. This organization is the governing body when it comes to EMS accreditation, specifically AEMT and paramedic programs. This committee has the ultimate power of accrediting certain EMS programs and removing accreditation.
What Makes A Program Accredited?
An EMT or paramedic program needs to follow certain guidelines to become accredited. According to the CoAEMSP, official accreditation is given when the program is in compliance with the accreditation standards set forth by the qualified individuals within the CoAEMSP. The guidelines includes educational goals that determine program competency levels and teach the required psychomotor, behavioral, and knowledge skills for an EMT or paramedic. There are a number of other guidelines that programs must follow. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) currently grants accreditation to over 2000 EMS programs in 26 different health sciences fields.
Receiving Certification From An Accredited School
If you receive your EMT or paramedic certification from an accredited program and pass the required NREMT examination, then you will have the peace of mind that you've met all of the requirements to become a licensed EMT or paramedic.