EMT-Intermediate Refresher Course Information

Jan 02, 2019

An intermediate emergency medical technician (EMT) refresher course covers emergency response skills that include the protocols and procedures relating to trauma issues, cardiovascular emergency response and life support. This article summarizes the most common topics of study explored in an EMT-Intermediate refresher course.

Essential Information

Though requirements vary by state, EMT professionals must typically complete continuing education to maintain a valid license. In addition, those who have been certified by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians must complete continuing education hours to re-certify. The complete EMT-Intermediate refresher course consists of 30-36 hours of classroom instruction that include six required course units. The courses are available through community colleges, universities, medical centers and local government offices. Subjects covered in the course are as follows:

  • Diabetes
  • Seizures
  • Hypoperfusion
  • Spinal injury
  • Burns
  • Communicable disease
  • Oxygen delivery

List of Topics

EMS Operations

This unit reviews the various responsibilities, protocols and ethical standards required for a successful emergency response operation. Students learn to assess the emergency scene and follow precautions by identifying hazardous materials, protecting personnel from air and blood borne pathogens, reducing stress in patients and handling violent situations where firearms or other weapons play a role. Students practice a number of scenarios which cover the handling of substances and proper disposal of materials.

Airway and Ventilation

Airway and ventilation classes cover various breathing and CPR techniques for adult and child patients. Students review the steps used in artificial ventilation through both basic and advanced adjunctive devices. At the end of this unit, students are able to perform procedures like mouth airway support, tubing a trachea, jaw thrusts and head-tilt chin-lift.

Medical Emergencies

In this unit, students learn to determine the nature and extent of illness or injury before establishing a list of priorities for emergency treatment. EMT students practice administering first aid assistance, including applying splints, treating wounds, restoring consciousness, giving initial care to poison victims and assisting during childbirth.

Trauma Issues

Intermediate EMTs in this unit focus on mastering quick trauma assessment with the appropriate emergency response procedure. The coursework discusses common trauma situations, such as lung, myocardial, esophageal, spinal and chest wall injuries. The proper response for hemorrhage and shock cases is also covered.


Students practice providing emergency care to infants, children and adolescents during a variety of emergency situations, such as respiratory failure, trauma and distress. Throughout the course students assess different age groups and determine appropriate equipment sizes, drug doses, use of ventilation devices and the right technique for medications. Additional time is also spent on providing basic emergency life support for this age group.

Obstetrics and Gynecology

EMTs in this refresher course discuss how to assist during childbirth and care for victims of sexual assault. Students gain an in-depth understanding of the reproductive system and the skills necessary to determine signs of a normal and abnormal child delivery, deliver premature and full-term infants, and care for the mother and child post-delivery. Students also learn how to provide psychological assessment and management to patients with gynecological complaints and emergencies.

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