Iowa is one of the few states that do not need a candidate to obtain national level EMT certification in order to obtain state level license. EMT Certification in Iowa can be obtained after successful completion of specified state level written and practical exams. Although the terms license and certification are used to mean the same thing, they are different. Certification is a national level authorization while license is a state level permit. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) care for victims of illnesses, trauma, bleeding, injuries, and accidents before these victims are taken to a medical facility. The serious nature of their duties requires them to be thoroughly qualified, something that is ensured through certifications and licenses.
EMT Certification in Iowa
The NREMT is the body authorized to award national level EMT certifications. Five levels of such certifications are awarded and each of these is valid for two years at a time. Candidates who have successfully completed an entry level EMT course can apply for NREMT exams within two years of completion of the entry level training. After obtaining NREMT certification, candidates can apply for state level licenses. This is the general procedure, although some states may prescribe variations in this. The entry level training needs to be approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation EMT – Basic National Standard Curriculum and the respective state.
NREMT certification exams include the cognitive and the psychomotor exams. Theoretical knowledge related to cardiology, trauma, oxygenation, EMS operations, ventilation and the like is tested in the cognitive exam. For EMT Basic certification this exam has between 70 and 120 questions that have to be answered in two hours. Psychomotor exam checks if he candidate is able to act correctly during actual medical emergencies like when the patient is suffering from trauma, bleeding, cardiac troubles, injuries, accidents etc.
Guidance for NREMT Certification
Brady Publishers provide two excellent sources for preparation of NREMT certification. The EMT Practice Test is part of an online guide that comes with practice tests that are immediately assessed. Going a step further is the EMT Achieve that provides notes supplemented with pictures, animations, illustrations, and videos. Answers to questions in practice test come with correct answers that are put in the correct perspective. Similar preparation material is also provided by many other public and private owned websites.
Becoming an EMT
Licenses for EMT in Iowa are awarded by the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, Iowa Department of Public Health. The bureau awards three types of licenses for EMTs viz. EMT, Advanced EMT, and Paramedic. A candidate has to successfully complete the written and practical exam for this state for obtaining an EMT state license. Alternatively, those with NREMT certification can obtain EMT license in Iowa if they possess similar license from another state. The bureau recognizes nineteen EMS training programs in Iowa.
The bureau is located at the following address and can be contacted for further details:
Iowa EMS Bureau
Lucas State Office Building
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319