by: Evan Bourgeault
EMT Practical State Test
In order to get your EMT certification you are required to complete a LOT of work which I guess makes sense since you could be saving someone's life! EMT courses can be 6 weeks long to 4 months long depending on how quickly you want to get your certification. Something to keep in mind is that both courses have the same amount of work. I really was not sure I could complete all of the requirements and keep up with the work at school.
The courses have 41 chapters and quizzes at the end of each chapter. You cannot fall behind as at midnight on Saturday of each week the system shuts down and you get a zero for any chapters that you did not complete. There is a final knowledge test at the end of the EMT course. When you have completed all of the chapters and the knowledge test, they take an average of everything and you need 70% to pass. You also need to get CPR certified and once you have completed the EMT course you have to complete (NIMS) National Incident Management System. NIMS is a system that allows different life saving organizations to work together without communication errors. NIMS uses language everyone understands and sets up rules and boundaries during life saving events. After all of that you have to complete two more tests from the state. The first test is the practical skills test from the state. Once you complete the practical test you can take the (NREMT) which is an online knowledge test from the state. I am currently waiting for approval to take the test.
Throughout the EMT program I had two classes per week that went from 6pm-9pm. During those classes I got a CPR and Sex trafficing certification. Along with the certifications my class mainly worked on preparing for the state practical test. The state practical test is composed of five different stations. The test takes about 1-2 hours to complete depending on how many other people are taking it. The first station is Cardiac arrest management (AED) where you have to demonstrate that you properly know how to perform CPR and use an AED. The second station is BVM ventilations where you have to properly use a bag mask device. Giving proper ventilations with chest rising and falling. The third station is a random station where the state picks from three different stations the day of the test. For my test I got bleeding control and applying a tourniquet. I had to treat the patient for shock after applying the tourniquet. The fourth and fifth stations were the hardest, medical and trauma. The medical station is treating a patient for an illness. The trauma station is treating a patient for a trauma injury. Both stations include a full patient assessment, treatment and transport.
After finishing all the stations you have to wait around a week for the results. If you passed all five stations you completed the test and can move onto the (NREMT). If you passed four stations you have to go back to your EMT course teacher and talk about what you did wrong in the station you failed. Once you meet with your teacher they send a note to the state to complete the practical test. If you fail two stations you have to go back to a testing site and retake the two stations you failed. If you fail three or more stations you have to retake the whole test. Lucky for me, my teacher was really good and I was prepared for the test. I got my results back and I passed all five stations. Now all I need to complete is my (NREMT) test and then I will be EMT certified. If you are considering becoming an EMT I recommend you think about it thoroughly. Determine if you're good at managing your time and if you can balance a social life, school and the workload that comes with the certification. I am very excited that I made it this far but am nervous about the NREMT. Wish me luck!!