What Are the Recertification Requirements for Paramedics?

If you have a paramedic certification that has expired or is about to expire, you might need information regarding re-certification requirements. Re-certifying is necessary if you would you like to continue working in the field as a professional emergency medical technician at the paramedic level (EMT-P). You will be required to recertify every 2-3 years, depending on when you initially took the national registry examination. Continue reading to determine how to renew your credentials. Schools offering Fire & Emergency Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of the Re-certification Process

While some states offer their own certifications, many states require or allow paramedics to earn their credentials through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). If you passed the national registry between January 1st and June 30th, you will need to re-certify by March 31st two years after the initial certification. If your certification date was between July 1st and December 31st, you will need to re-certify by March 31st three years from the time of your initial certification. Some states will grant an extension of time for extenuating circumstances, such as federal or state employment deployment, military service or family illness; however, each state is individual in its relief.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Salary (2014) $31,700 (for EMTs and paramedics)
Entry-Level Education Postsecondary non degree awards
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 24% growth (for EMTs and paramedics)
Work Environment Hospitals, ambulances, local government offices

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Requirements

Part of the NREMT re-certification process involves proving that you continue to be knowledgeable and aware of current practices. You have the opportunity to demonstrate this either by completing 72 hours of continuing EMT-P education or taking an examination. Keep in mind that some states do not accept continuing education hours and instead require a traditional refresher course. You must also still be actively working in the field and maintain a clean felony record. You need to submit details of your current CPR certification as well as the signature of your physician medical director alongside your application.

Certain states offer ongoing training and education programs for paramedics, while other states mandate re-certification through the U.S. Department of Transportation National Standard Paramedic Refresher course and do not accept other continuing education courses. Distributive education courses could also be a possibility, in which the student and instructor do not interact in real time but instead through a virtual classroom. You must refer to your state requirements prior to deciding which option to pursue. The NREMT has a complete online brochure dedicated to the re-certification process on its website.

Continuing Education Classes

The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians administers some online continuing education courses, and the NREMT will accept up to ten hours of distributive education. The NREMT divides the continuing education classes into the following subject areas:

  • Obstetrics and Pediatrics
  • Airway, Breathing and Cardiology
  • Trauma
  • Medical Emergencies

Within these categories are mandatory core content topics that you must study, including trauma assessment for suspected spinal injuries and treating children with respiratory distress. The categories also contain flexible core content that you can study, but not all of them are required for completing the re-certification process. Topics of study include assessment of potential child neglect or abuse, treatment of patients with seizures and treatment of burns. The flexible core also has a fifth subject area, operational tasks, which involves communicating with and moving patients.

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