EMTs, who are emergency medical technicians, respond to emergency situations throughout the community, including in individuals’ homes. They provide quick assistance, including CPR, certain medications and other first aid treatments while transporting these ill individuals to medical care facilities.
To become an EMT, one must complete a state-approved program and receive certification for licensure. In addition, these individuals must hold valid CPR certifications.
As is the case for most health care workers, continuing recertifications are necessary to continue working as an EMT. In the state of California, individuals must recertify as EMTs every two years. Not only must EMTs complete appropriate continuing education modules, but also they must complete EMT skills verification checks for renewal if they have allowed their licenses to lapse.
Along with 20 hours of continuing education on the national level, 10 hours on the local or state level and 10 hours on the individual level, EMTs are faced with stringent requirements when they wish to recertify if they do not complete this on time. EMT skills verification checks ensure that they’re maintaining their knowledge bases, are staying up-to-date with health care changes and are able to perform the most basic and necessary on-the-job tasks.
There are 11 specific skills that the state of California requires to be verified at these skills checks. These include such basics as examination of both medical and trauma patients, ventilation and oxygen administration, AED usage, chest injuries, spinal restrictions, childbirth, neonatal resuscitation and blood sugar testing among many others. Each skill must be performed through actual patient contact and viewed by the verifier who will sign off on the EMT Skills Competency Verification Form.
While the majority of EMTs renew their certifications before they expire, some accidentally allow their certifications to lapse. Thankfully, California has several rules in place that help to make the recertification process as easy as possible in these instances.
For example, if the certification has lapsed for less than six months, the individual will need to have completed 24 hours of continuing education and must turn in a completed skills competency verification form. For those whose licenses have lapsed between 6 and 12 months, they must provide evidence of 36 hours of continuing education in the past two years along with the completed skills competency verification form.
Those whose licenses have been expired more than a year must complete at least 48 hours of continuing education along with the skills verification. In addition, they may have to undergo an additional DOJ/FBI background check.
When it comes time to renew your EMT certification, it is important that you work with a trustworthy organization in the state of California who is familiar with state laws. At Project Heartbeat, we make it our goal to meet all of the state’s requirements so that EMTs can renew their certifications efficiently and without any undue stress. We offer classes in both Oakland and Sacramento throughout the year to best meet the needs of our many students. Through hands-on EMT skills stations that take only two hours on a single day, individuals will get the chance to prove their competencies and recertify with the state for another two years.