First Responder and EMT certification is one of the initial steps towards paramedic certification and licensure. Demands, responsibilities and conflicting schedules can make this seem impossible. Don’t give up on becoming an EMT or paramedic if this is your dream or aspiration. EMS, EMT (Basic and Intermediate) and paramedic training courses are available online. If your current circumstances and responsibilities hinder you from attending traditional classroom instruction, consider the benefits of online courses.
Benefits of Online Courses
Not only do many of the online EMS courses let you begin your coursework as soon as you have registered, you are not held to the restrictions of a traditional classroom. Therefore transportation, family obligations, work schedules, and even finances (traditionally online courses are less expensive), are not a hindrance to the education you need to become certified. Another benefit of online instruction – if you have 24-7 access to a computer, you can work at your own pace.
While online EMS courses offer flexibility and a “go at your own pace” schedule, an online education does have a “completion time” requirement. This completion deadline can be as little as a few weeks or up to a year, depending upon the course or courses you are taking. We found many online EMT training pre-requisites offering a completion time of four months, for EMT-Basic.
Online courses begin at the level of First Responder and continue through the highest level, that of an EMT paramedic.
Online Programs Summary
Many of the programs offered online are state of the art. These courses offer access to all the traditional class handouts, PowerPoint presentations, videos, live chats, and even live lectures. There are online EMS courses that are available and easily imported through your I Phone, I Touch, Notebook, MP3 player, and other such devices.
While the argument against online courses is the added benefit of a face-to-face student/instructor education that is provided in a traditional classroom, “real time” interaction, now available due to advanced technology, dispels that negative perception.
Not all the EMT course training required for certification can be completed online. Once the online courses are successfully completed, you will be required to participate in and complete an in-hospital, or medical facility clinical rotation. In addition, and again just as with traditional programs, you will need to participate in field work, such as an internship with local ambulance or EMS services in your area.
A good, high quality online EMS program will provide coursework that is accredited and approved by the state in which you want to receive your certification. There are some online programs that provide certification in all 50 states, as well as other countries. Most are designed to meet, and even exceed, the requirements set forth by a specific state. They are also designed to prepare you for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam, which will be required for you to receive certification at any and all EMS levels.
Each online EMS course has specific requirements in order to access the online program. Here we list a few, however, be sure you research all criteria PRIOR to enrolling in any online school.
Online course requirements
Technology requirements include:
• Access to a computer with a specific operating system (most courses will give you the version your computer operating system must be, including a processor speed of at least 1Ghz.)
• A broadband internet connection (dial-up is discouraged, due to the tendency to “time-out”)
• A webcam, microphone and speaker
• Windows Media Player
• PowerPoint Viewer
• Adobe Reader
It is beneficial to have both Internet Explorer and FireFox as your browser options, due to some course material viewing better with one program over the other.
Online EMS Course Pre-requisites
These are usually the same as traditional EMT training pre-requisites. They include (but are not limited to):
• must be at least 18 years of age (some programs allow 17 years of age)
• must hold a current CPR card
• must meet math and reading level requirements
• must possess a high school diploma or GED, though some courses can begin during or through a high school program
Additionally, and usually within 30 days of beginning your hospital or EMS rotations, you will be required to (but are not limited to):
• pass a background check • have current immunization records • pass drug screening
Advanced EMT and paramedic programs require additional pre-requisites, which include certification of the “previous” level of certification, as well as pre-testing. These are necessary for acceptance in the program to be granted.
Each online course has specific conditions to be met in order to access the online course. Be sure you can meet these criteria PRIOR to enrolling and handing over your money.
Online EMS and EMT training courses include, but are not limited to: skills and training to respond to and provide medical care for emergency life-saving situations, heart and asthma attacks, drug overdoses, choking, strokes, childbirth, trauma and fractures and injuries. The programs also provide training videos and instruction in lifting and moving patients, taking vital signs, performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), handling airway obstructions, setting fractures, stopping bleeding and how to use medical emergency equipment such as oxygen, backboards, and stretchers.
Online EMS courses for the EMT-Intermediate and Paramedic level include: instructions in administering oral and intravenous medication, the use of EKGs, intubating patients, medical emergency surgical procedures, medical triage, diagnosis, and basic anatomy, physiology, pathology, and toxicology.
Currently active duty members of the U.S. military can receive funding for online EMS certification. This funding can also be awarded to the spouse of active duty military personnel who wish to take EMT courses.
Those who excel in a fast paced environment or with an accelerated schedule will enjoy (and be successful) with online EMT training courses. Your answers are given immediately, upon completion of the assignment, and the exams are scored faster.
The down side of online instruction is the lack of “hands-on” experience. While you will be required to complete this at clinicals and with field work, the firsthand experiences you receive in a traditional classroom are invaluable. They are also something potential employers look for. Our suggestion ~ volunteer as much as possible at a local health care facility, or another EMS provider. This allows you to still be the master of a flexible schedule and receive the benefits of an online, education, yet you still get the necessary and valuable experience you need in health care services and patient care.
If your current circumstances make attending a traditional classroom difficult, if you need flexibility, if you are juggling a job and/or family obligations, and if you are a fast learner and want to move ahead, then an online EMT training program is an excellent choice for you.
International EMT Paramedic Training
The question of how and where to get EMS training certification is one not easily answered. There are too many factors that will determine which is the best path for you to take. Nonetheless, one can find EMT and paramedic training in a majority of countries and regions around the world. Read more …