EMT certification in Tennessee can be obtained by those with national EMT certification, EMT license from another state, or with EMT training from a federal agency. Certification is a national level authorization while license is its state level equivalent, although the terms are taken to mean the same in common discourse. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) provide basic emergency medical care to victims of cardiac problems, illness related complications, bleeding, trauma, accidents etc. before these can be safely admitted to a medical facility. The need for certification – license arises from the fact that such momentous responsibilities should be executed by professionals only.
EMT Certification in Tennessee
NREMT is the authorized body to award national EMT certifications. Five types of such certifications are issued and each is valid for two years at a time. A candidate first clears an entry level EMT course of a certain level. Such a course needs to be approved by the respective state and by the U.S. Department of Transportation EMT – Basic National Standard Curriculum. Within two years (usually) of passing this primary level, the candidate needs to apply for NREMT certification of the level for which he has cleared the entry level course, obtaining which he can apply for state level license.
The certification exams consist of the cognitive and the psychomotor exam. Cognitive exam analyses the applicant’s theoretical knowledge of areas like EMS operations, oxygenation, ventilation, cardiology, trauma etc. Depending on the level of certification applied for, there are between 70 and 150 questions to be answered on a computer within 1 hour 45 minutes to two and half hours. Psychomotor exam checks if the candidate can actually handle medical emergencies.
Preparing for the NREMT Exams
Study material and practice tests are made available by numerous websites. Two of the top names in this list are EMT Practice Test and EMT Achieve by Brady Publications. EMT Practice Test is part of an online guide by multiple authors and provides notes and online practice tests that are immediately assessed and scored. EMT Achieve sets higher standards in that the notes that it makes available are supplemented by animations, videos, illustrations, slides, and pictures for comprehensive understanding. Results of online practice tests come with proper explanations making this an exemplary source for similar state level exams as well.
Becoming an EMT in Tennessee
The Division of Emergency Medical Services of the Tennessee Department of Health is the licensure authority for the grant of EMT License in this state. Three levels of EMT are recognized by the said authority. These include: EMT- Basic, EMT-IV, and EMT-Paramedic. The EMT-IV level is equivalent to the EMT-Intermediate level. Here is a link to the EMS Reciprocity Application for the state of Tennessee: http://health.state.tn.us/ems/PDF/Reciprocity.pdf
Those with current state licenses from other states and current or past NREMT certification of the appropriate EMT level can apply for EMT license in Tennessee. Those with EMT training from a federal agency can also apply provided they possess current NREMT certification. Other requirements include High School Diploma or GED Certificate and current CPR card from the American Heart Association or American Red Cross. Entry level EMT courses in Tennessee are based on U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines.