EMT LEVELS


Emergency medical technology combines theoretical information, practical skills and common sense. Becoming an effective emergency medical technician (EMT) means mastering the given information, becoming competent in the technical skills taught in the classroom and developing common sense. The EMT must also possess a great deal of compassion and understanding.

The Commonwealth of Virginia has established different levels of EMT. Each level is progressively harder to obtain and hold, but shows the relative competence of the individual in administering pre-hospital care. This page is an explanation of those levels and the training required. Click here for a list of drugs and procedures each level is allowed to administer/perform. (Procedures and medications are specific only to our locality and do not represent the State of Virginia as a whole.)

BASIC LIFE SUPPORT PROGRAMS

Eligibility to attend an EMS First Responder or Emergency Medical Technician-Basic course in Virginia requires that you must:

First Responder

The EMS First Responder Program is a 40-hour (minimum) course developed to provide training in the provision of emergency care for those who are likely to be the first medical personnel responding to the scene of an accident, fire or medical emergency. The emphasis of the course prepares the responder to address immediate life threats and injuries until more highly trained personnel are available.

This training is appropriate for professionals such as firefighters, law enforcement officers, school bus drivers, postal employees and large segments of industry such as miners or factory workers and as an introduction to prehospital medicine.

First Responder holds a 4 year certification.

EMT-Basic (EMT-B)

The Emergency Medical Technician - Basic course is designed to provide training to prepare an individual to function independently in a medical emergency. This course provides the basic knowledge and skills needed to provide basic life support (BLS) care and is required to progress to more advanced levels of prehospital patient care.

This course requires a minimum of 111 hours of classroom and skills instruction and 10 hours of Clinical/Field rotations for a total of 121 hours of training. Virginia certification requires successful completion of a written and practical skills examnination. This course is designed to train individuals to serve as a vital link in the chain of the health care team. This includes all skills necessary to provide emergency medical care as an attendant-in-charge with a basic life support ambulance service or other specialized rescue services.

Upon successful completion of the training program, the student will be capable of performing the following functions:

EMT-B holds a 4 year certification.

ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT PROGRAMS

To be eligible to attend an Advanced Level EMT course in Virginia you must:

EMT-Enhanced (EMT-E)

The Emergency Medical Technician-Enhanced: Virginia Standard Curriculum, represents the minimum required information to be presented within a course that leads to a Virginia EMT-Enhanced certification eligibility. All skills and subjects contained in the curriculum for EMT-Enhanced are covered in a minimum of 80 hours of instruction plus a minimum of 48 hours devoted to extensive clinical rotations in specialty units and field internship. Clinical rotations of this type are not usually available for lower level providers to attend. These additional clinical rotations include time spent in OR/Recovery Units, Critical Care Units, Labor & Delivery Units, Pediatrics, Emergency Department, Family Practice, Mental Health Clinics, Dialysis Clinics, Neurovascular Rehabilitation Clinics, Detoxification Units, and Extended Care Facilities.

It is recognized that there is additional specific education that will be required of the EMT-Enhanced who practices in the field, i.e. ambulance driving, heavy and light rescue, basic extrication, special needs, for example. It is also recognized that this information might differ from locality to locality, and that each training program or system should identify and provide special instruction for these additional training requirements.

EMT-E holds a 3 year certification.

EMT-Intermediate (EMT-I)

The Emergency Medical Technician – Intermediate program is designed to certify technicians to a mid-level of pre-hospital advanced life support care in Virginia. This program fulfills all the requirements of the National Standard Curriculum for the EMT-Intermediate.

All skills and subjects contained in the curriculum for Intermediate are covered for a minimum of 272 hours of instruction with a minimum of 50 hours devoted to extensive clinical rotations in specialty units. In addition to the above, the candidate must complete a minimum of 10 patient contact calls in which they act as the team leader on an ALS ambulance. Clinical rotations of this type are not usually available for lower level providers. These additional clinical rotations include time spent in OR/Recovery Units, Critical Care Units, Labor & Delivery Units, Pediatrics, Emergency Department, Family Practice, Mental Health Clinics, Dialysis Clinics, Neurovascular Rehabilitation Clinics, Detoxification Units, and Extended Care Facilities.

The Intermediate program is designed to educate the technician in the following areas of pre-hospital care: preparatory skills, airway management and ventilation, patient assessment, trauma, medical, special considerations and assessment based management.

In Virginia, all initial Intermediate programs are required to satisfy the testing guidelines established by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Upon successful course completion and National Registry EMT – Intermediate certification, the technician must apply for Virginia certification before being allowed to practice at this level. After receiving Virginia credentials, the Intermediate has the option to maintain National Registry Intermediate certification without affecting their Virginia certification. However, Virginia certification must be maintained in order to provide patient care at this level in this state.

EMT-INT holds a 3 year certification.

EMT-Paramedic (EMT-P)

The Emergency Medical Technician – Paramedic Program is designed to certify the technician to the highest level of pre-hospital advanced life support care available in Virginia. This program fulfills all the requirements of the National Standard Curriculum for EMT – Paramedic.

The Paramedic program expands on the skills and subjects contained in the Enhanced and Intermediate courses with a minimum of 800 - 1200 hours of instruction. Of these hours, a minimum of 400 hours is devoted to extensive clinical rotations in specialty critical care units. Additional hours may be required to complete all the required competencies. Clinical rotations of this type are not usually available for lower level providers to attend. These additional clinical rotations include time spent in OR/Recovery Units, Critical Care Units, Labor & Delivery Units, Pediatrics, Emergency Department, Family Practice, Mental Health Clinics, Dialysis Clinics, Neurovascular Rehabilitation Clinics, Detoxification Units, and Extended Care Facilities.

The Paramedic Program is designed to educate the technician in all areas of pre-hospital patient care. These areas include instruction in: pre-hospital environments, preparatory skills, airway management and ventilation, patient assessment, trauma care, medical patient management, obstetrical/gynecological conditions, pediatric patients, neonatal care, psychiatric and behavioral emergencies, special considerations, and assessment based management.

In Virginia, all initial Paramedic Programs are required to satisfy the testing guidelines established by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Upon successful course completion and National Registry EMT – Paramedic certification, the technician must apply for Virginia certification before being allowed to practice at this level. After receiving Virginia credentials, the Paramedic has the option to maintain National Registry Paramedic certification without affecting their Virginia certification, however, Virginia certification must be maintained in order to provide patient care at this level in this state.

EMT-P holds a 3 year certification.

Registered Nurse to Paramedic Bridge Program

The Registered Nurse to Paramedic Bridge Program is designed to certify the Virginia Licensed Registered Nurse to the highest level of pre-hospital advanced life support care available in Virginia. This program fulfills all the requirements of the National Standard Curriculum for EMT – Paramedic.

The Registered Nurse to Paramedic Bridge Program reviews the skills and subjects contained in the DOT Paramedic Curriculum (1999) over approximately 120 hours of didactic instruction with an additional minimum of 136 hours devoted to extensive clinical rotations acquiring specific competencies. Additional hours may be required to complete all the required competencies. Clinical rotations of this type are not usually available for lower level providers to attend. These additional clinical rotations include time spent in OR/Recovery Units, Critical Care Units, Labor & Delivery Units, Pediatrics, Emergency Department, Family Practice, Mental Health Clinics, Dialysis Clinics, Neurovascular Rehabilitation Clinics, Detoxification Units, and Extended Care Facilities.

The Registered Nurse to Paramedic Bridge Program is designed to educate the technician in all areas of pre-hospital patient care. These areas include instruction in: pre-hospital environments, preparatory skills, airway management and ventilation, patient assessment, trauma care, medical patient management, obstetrical/gynecological conditions, pediatric patients, neonatal care, psychiatric and behavioral emergencies, special considerations, and assessment based management.

In Virginia, all initial Paramedic Programs are required to satisfy the testing guidelines established by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Upon successful course completion and National Registry EMT – Paramedic certification, the technician must apply for Virginia certification before being allowed to practice at this level. After receiving Virginia credentials, the Paramedic has the option to maintain National Registry Paramedic certification without affecting their Virginia certification. However, Virginia certification must be maintained in order to provide patient care at this level in this state.

INSTRUCTOR/COORDINATOR PROGRAMS

EMT-Instructor (EMT-INST)

The EMT-Instructor Program certifies the provider to schedule, coordinate and instruct initial EMS First Responder, EMT-Basic, and Basic Life Support Continuing Education courses in Virginia.

In accordance with 12 VAC 5-31-1500, to become an EMT-Instructor in Virginia, the applicant must comply with the following:

ALS Coordinator

The ALS Coordinator Program endorses personnel meeting the prerequisites to coordinate initial pre-hospital Advanced Life Support courses and ALS Continuing Education classes in Virginia.

In accordance with 12 VAC 5-31-1700, to become an Advanced Life Support-Coordinator in Virginia, the applicant must comply with the following:

OTHER PROGRAMS

In addition to the above authorized OEMS programs, outside agencies offer the following specialized patient care certifications.

Critical Care EMT-Paramedic (CCEMT-P)

The CCEMT-P program is a post-graduate program designed to prepare paramedics to function as a member of a critical care transport team. Critical patients that must be transported between facilities require a different level of care from hospital or emergency field patients. Transport patients have already received both types of care and those interventions must be maintained while in transport to the receiving facility. The course consists of 82 hours of lecture with an option for clinical critical care unit time.

The CCEMT-P program was developed and is taught by the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

EMT-Tactical (EMT-T)

The EMT-T program is to teach medics how to provide medical support to tactical law enforcement teams. The program is 40 hours long and is taught at the Casualty Care Research Center located in Bethesda, Maryland. Click here for more information.

Wilderness EMT (WEMT)

The Wilderness EMT course focuses on the unique problems associated with pre-hospital patient care in a non-urban environment. WEMT's can effectively and safely apply their existing medical skills to patients suffering from injuries or medical problems in a wilderness setting.

WEMT is a comprehensive and challenging six day course and will prepare the participant to identify and treat wilderness specific problems, manage patients effectively during extended evacuations, and function in a variety of adverse environmental conditions. Special attention is given to environmentally induced emergencies and advanced techniques for patient care. This is a long and intensive course and students should note that it requires extensive physical activity.

The participants must be an Emergency Medical Technician and have a certificate in Basic Wilderness Rescue or equivalent outdoor experience in Search and rescue, mountaineering, or wilderness rescue training.

The WEMT program was developed and is taught by the Wilderness Emergency Medical Services Institute and is sponsored by the Wilderness Emergency Strike Team and the Center for Emergency Medical Services Education.


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