Emergency Medical Services professionals are required to renew their National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certification every two years. Generally speaking, about half of the EMTs, AEMTs, and paramedics in the United States have a deadline of March 31 in any given year.
But why stop there?
Yes, recertification is time-consuming, stressful, and mandatory. So you may be asking, yourself: “Why would I voluntarily take courses once my recertification process is over and I can get back to work?”
We asked Dr. John Phelps, a 23-year veteran of the Emergency Medical Services industry, this very question. Here’s what he had to say:
“Continuing education will help us save more lives,” he said simply.
In a recent interview, Phelps discussed his views on the value of continuing education courses beyond just local, state, and national licensure requirements.
In one example, Phelps said as EMS becomes more specialized, professionals may find that there are bespoke courses for just about any segment of EMS in existence.
“There’s so many specializations in EMS, you can truly choose your path,” he says. “If I want to, for example, stay in the tactical side of things…I could obtain knowledge in the tactical setting that makes me a better tactical medic while also preparing me for my eventual recertification.”
He spotlights another area such as community paramedicine. “We’ve seen that area grow substantially over the years,” he says.
He admits that taking time off for CE is hard, but we are living in a technological moment that makes access to CE courses and tools easier than ever.
“I can pull up my phone and watch a course while my kid’s at a baseball practice,” he says. “That’s what’s fascinating about continuing education. I identify what I want to learn.”
Now that EMS continuing education explores a range of topics and is quicker than ever to access from anywhere, we're seeing more opportunities for EMS professionals' knowledge base to continue growing and diversify throughout their careers. Sign up for Recert and get 1-year of unlimited access to CAPCE-approved continuing education courses.