How You Can Get Your EMT B Certification

emt b certification

To start a career as an EMT, you will first need to pass your EMT-B certification and obtain your license. The test is challenging and robust. Luckily, the right EMT training program can help you learn the key skills and concepts you need to know. Once you earn your EMT-B certification, and obtain licensure, you can apply for jobs in this fast-paced healthcare career. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s first start with what the EMT-B certification is and how to get one.

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What is an EMT B certification

The EMT-Basic certification is your entry level ticket to an EMT career. This is more commonly referred to as the licensure test you’ll take in order to practice in the state. The certification proves you know key lifesaving skills and measures from CPR to the Heimlich. It’s a challenging test, and for good reason. Emergency medical technicians are crucial members of our healthcare system. They are usually the first to respond to medical emergencies or mass casualty events. They deal with a variety of emergencies every day, from car accidents to childbirth. They need to know how to quickly identify and treat certain illnesses and injuries. To work as an EMT-B, you need to be dependable, adaptable, and calm under pressure.

There are other skills you’ll need to work as an EMT-B. These skills will be the key focus of any EMT-B certification. Those skills include:

  • Assessing patients and triage
  • Managing trauma
  • Administering basic medical care
  • Taking patients to the hospital
  • Keeping patients calm
  • Communicating patient conditions to other healthcare professionals

How to get your EMT B certification

To earn your EMT-B certification / licensure, start by making sure you meet the requirements. In most cases, to be an EMT you need to be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED. You’ll also need a driver’s license as EMTs regularly drive ambulances and other medical transportation vehicles. Once you have these things, you can move forward!

The process to get an EMT-B certification will likely look like this:

  1. Find an approved EMT-B training program and complete the required coursework
  2. Pass the NREMT exam and get licensed through the state

Once you complete these steps, you’re ready to apply for jobs! This is an exciting time to join this career path. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the EMT career field is growing faster than average. That means more jobs are available than there might be in other industries. If you’re ready to get to work in a fulfilling career, starting this process might be a good idea. This guide will help you narrow down the best program so you can take your EMT-B certification and get going.

Step 1: Complete an approved training program

The first step to obtaining your EMT-B certification / licensure involves a bit of homework. Yes, there’s homework before the actual coursework begins! You’ll need to research different EMT training programs in your area to make sure they fit your career goals. It’s also important to research the requirements your state has in place for EMTs. Some states require certification, others may call for an associate degree. Look up the rules in place for your area before you select an EMT training program. This can save you some time down the road.

There are a few other factors to consider as you explore EMT-B training programs. Some of them are:

  • Curriculum: Make sure the subjects in the program will teach you the skills included in the EMT-B certification test / licensure exam.
  • Accreditation: An accredited program or school is essential! This means the training meets high quality standards. These standards are set in place by a few officials including healthcare professionals. This way, you can be sure you’re learning the right material for the job.
  • Instructors: Make sure experienced instructors are teaching the coursework.
  • Location: Is the program you’re looking at offered in your area? Is it 100% in person, or is there a hybrid and flexible learning schedule? What kind of learning location will work best for you and your learning style?
  • Reviews: Look at what past students say about the program to help you make your decision.

Once you find the right program, it’s time to enroll and the actual homework begins! Most EMT-Basic programs take a few months to complete. As you explore different options, you’ll notice courses range in instruction hours, based on the requirements set forth by your state. You’ll also need to factor in time for studying and reviewing.

In your EMT-B program, you’ll have the opportunity to learn physiology, anatomy, trauma management, obstetrics and pediatric care, and more. Depending on the program, you’ll also have opportunities to practice what you learn in real-life settings called clinicals. This is when you take what you’ve learned in the classroom and use that knowledge in real life.

Step 2: Take the NREMT exam

After you complete the program, it’s time to earn your EMT-B certification / licensure! The NREMT EMT-B exam is difficult, because it’s important to make sure the people responding to emergencies know what they’re doing. Having the skills, tools, and tactics necessary to save lives and remain calm under pressure is crucial. But don’t worry! Although the exam is robust, if you work hard in your EMT-B program, you can walk into test day prepared. It’s important to note that licensure is granted by each individual state. So, in addition to passing the exam, make sure you meet any other requirements set forth by the state, to ensure you can obtain your license!

Get started with Dorsey College

With campuses in Madison Heights, Grand Rapids, and Woodhaven, Dorsey College offers a robust EMT-B training program for people in Michigan. The Emergency Medical Technician program is exceptional because it:

  • Exceeds the US-DOT’s EMT-Basic National Standard Curriculum
  • Is approved by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)
  • Is designed to prepare students for the EMT-B certification test / licensure exam and EMT-B career

No matter which campus you enroll at, students at Dorsey College can learn:

  • How to treat patients in shock
  • Basic airway procedures
  • Patient privacy laws
  • Spinal immobilization
  • How to assess a patient
  • How to triage and respond to triage
  • And more

Are you ready to start your career as an emergency medical technician and are ready to explore EMT Training Programs? Your first step is the right program to help you prepare for the EMT-B certification / licensure process. If you’re ready for the challenge, learn more about Dorsey College’s Emergency Medical Technician training program.


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Dorsey College has determined that its Emergency Medical Technician training program curriculum is sufficient to fulfill educational requirements for licensure in the State of Michigan only. No educational determinations have been made for any other state, district, or US territory in regards to licensure requirements.

Dorsey College is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE). This applies to the Madison Heights campus (which serves as the main campus) and the Grand Rapids and Woodhaven campuses (which are branch campus locations of Madison Heights).