How to become an EMT in New Jersey

How to become an EMT in New Jersey: Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are skilled medical care responders to any emergency situations concerning accidents and other medical matters. As part of the Emergency Medical Service response system, they have to be fully trained before they are allowed to give medical treatment and care to patients that need immediate attention.

Becoming an EMT offers an exciting career. It will open more opportunities to you as you will be working with people that are motivated, inspiring, and serve a purpose. If you desire to be part of the emergency team, then you’ve come to the right place. This article will give you information on how to become an EMT in New Jersey.

Prerequisite Requirements

New Jersey’s Office of Emergency Medical Services certifies the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) once he or she meets all necessary requirements. If you are interested to apply, you must comply with the following:

  • You must be at least 18 years old or older (students from age 16 may be allowed to enter the program as per state administrative code but certain restrictions are given until the age of 18.)
  • You must acquire a CPR certification first before enrolling for EMT training. The certification should be at a level suitable for professional rescuer or healthcare provider.
  • You must complete the EMT training program to pursue a career in this field.
  • You must have a satisfactory legal background to be allowed to take the certifying examination.
  • You must pass the written and practical examination then get certified by the state.

EMT course overview

Basic emergency medical technicians (EMT-B) can only have their practice once they receive their state licensure. Applicants must finish first an EMT-B course to become licensed. The training course must be approved by the New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services, Office of Emergency Medical Services. The program will help aspiring students to be equipped with EMT knowledge and skills such as basic life support for all ages.

Learning set up can be done in two ways. The student may enroll in a traditional EMT or hybrid EMT course. For the Traditional EMT initial education, there are a series of classroom lectures, hands-on and simulated activities as well as clinical time to perform in a hospital. Meanwhile, the Hybrid EMT initial education is designed for those busy students who wish to shift career paths and obtain an EMT certification. They are taught with pre-hospital emergency care and may use field equipment for different interactive scenarios based on real-life situations.

You can check the State of New Jersey Department of Health website to know more about the educational program.  

CPR Certification       

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or CPR is a series of immediate actions taken during emergencies especially when a person suffers from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Doing CPR enables to restore the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain of the emergent patient under cardiac arrest situation. If the oxygen is not restored within a few minutes, the patient will die. This emergency approach is usually done through chest compressions and rescue breaths. 

If you want to enroll for EMT course, then get a CPR certification. A person can only be certified when he or she is done with training and his or her CPR skills can be on par with a professional rescuer and healthcare provider. Take note that, the Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) will not accept CPR courses for either initial certification or recertification.

         The New Jersey Department of Health has a list of approved CPR certifications. You may check it out on their website. 

The Examination Process

The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) is an organization for national testing. New Jersey adopted NREMT’s certification examination wherein the examinee is given three attempts before imposing additional training requirements. The student must complete the EMT course before he or she can take the examination. The EMT exam is created to assess the competence of EMT practitioners. There will be two types of examinations which are written (cognitive) and practical (psychomotor) exam.

The Practical Examination has a total of five (5) stations. It is expected to have the examinees perform direct patient care and be graded individually for each station. If the examinee passes the practical exam, then he or she can proceed to Cognitive Exam. To take the next examination, eligible applicants are given an Authorization to Test (ATT). The instruction of ATT contains information about the scheduling of examinations. 

The written exam is a computer adaptive test (CAT) and the coverage will be the whole EMT spectrum. A number of items will range up to 170 to 120 while each test has 60 to 110 items that will be included in the final score. The examinee must finish the exam within 2 hours. Furthermore, the NREMT registration must be filled out and the associated registration fee for the examination must be paid.

Disclaimer:

         If you who want to take part in educational programs for emergency medical services, then you are given the privilege to do so. Anyone is welcomed by the Department of Health and Senior Services but you must remember that the certification process in New Jersey to give emergency medical service is only granted by the Department and not a right of each applicant. There is also no assurance to get a certification if the person enrolls and completes the educational background. For those with a criminal history, they are obliged to finish the Department’s criminal background investigation. The result of the background check will be based on the findings and will be determined by the Department.

Out-of-State Emergency Medical Technicians

An out-of-state certified emergency medical technician (EMT) may apply for a New Jersey certification through reciprocity. Reciprocity means granting New Jersey (NJ) certification based on certification from a different state. New Jersey approves reciprocity to out-of-state EMT but there will be additional requirements to be imposed. The out-of-state licensee or certificate holder needs to pass the verification of his or her licenses or certifications. It is applicable to all cases of applicants. To apply for reciprocity, you may visit the State of New Jersey Department of Health website.  

In addition, those individuals who are or were in the military shall do as follows:

1. Complete the right and approved military medical training in the last 3 year
2. Become a National Registry EMT (NREMT) credential holder through the completion of both practical and written examinations.

The Application Process

After completing the training program and certified courses, you can then begin with the application process. Usually, the application is done online, and it will take a few weeks for your application to go through. If you are obliged to get retake courses, then you cannot proceed further unless your application is approved. 

There are a series of instruction document in the forms section of the OEMS’ site. The applicants must make an account and wait for about three to five days for the confirmation. You may also call their contact number at 609-633-7777 for more information before completing the application.

Applicants for reciprocity are required to apply online. They have to send supplemental forms including license verification form and must create a copy of their CPR card EMT credentials (certification and licensure). Some of the additional forms can be downloaded from the website of OEMS. Those who cannot find the forms shall contact directly the OEMS office. 

The Renewal Process

The basic Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) licensure is issued for five years. There is a continuing education resource page as provided by the Office of Emergency Medical Services.

You may call the New Jersey Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) via telephone number at (609) 633-7777 or visit their website at https://www.state.nj.us/health/ems/.

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