Online Basic EMT (EMT-B) Certification Program Overview

Find out about online EMT-B courses and in which programs they're commonly offered. Get course descriptions, certification info and online requirements to make an informed decision.

Essential Information

Although there is some physical, in-person training that one must complete to become an Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B), partial requirements can be completed through the Web. Online EMT-Basic courses are available from commercial training organizations and colleges. Commercial organizations might relay content through videos and interactive tutorials that are either downloaded or sent by mail, but candidates must travel to a training site to complete their experiential hours. In this case, prospective students will want to be sure their state's board of health or a national government agency, such as the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, approves the program.

Some colleges and universities offer hybrid programs through their online or distance education divisions. Students must visit the campus at certain intervals, but they primarily use the school's Web-based education services to access class content. These distance-learning options are paired with in-person training modules that teach prospective emergency medical care providers the techniques they need to save lives in crisis situations.

In order to apply, prospective students must have CPR certification and be at least 18 years old. Potential applicants should be sure they're choosing an accredited school so that they can qualify for licensure and/or certification upon graduation.

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Course Content

EMT-B courses are designed to give students the entry-level knowledge required for pre-hospital emergency care situations. This includes first recognizing how serious a patient's condition might be and determining the nature of the injuries, then administering appropriate medical care and moving patients in such a way that they are not injured further. Courses often contain basic information about human physiology, legal medical issues, pharmacology, cardiac emergencies, respiratory ailments, substance abuse problems, childbirth, pediatrics and trauma.

Program Delivery

Online EMT-B classes are usually available through a central learning system created for students to log on and access all of their work in one place. Correspondence with instructors and peers generally takes place via e-mail, instant messenger or discussion forums. Unlike on-campus programs, students participating in an online course can study at their own pace and usually have a longer time period to complete the course.

Certification Requirements

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that EMTs are required to be licensed and/or certified in all states. Furthermore, earning certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), the organization that certifies EMTs and paramedics, qualifies an EMT for licensure in most areas.

To qualify for NREMT certification, individuals must be at least 18 years of age and complete an approved EMT-B training course or program. Candidates must also be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and pass the national certification exam, which contains both written and practical components.

To summarize, students who want to become certified EMTs can get the theoretical and practical medical training they need through partially online preparation programs.

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