Every week I respond to dozens of emails and telephone calls asking the same thing: “Do your courses cover the new NREMT requirements?”
The short answer is, quite simply, yes! The longer answer is that these NREMT requirements are not new, at least in principle.
For many years state EMS leaders and medical directors have asked for more focused and flexible training options from the NREMT. This was delivered in 2012 with the introduction of the National Continued Competency Program (NCCP).
I will admit, initially I was a bit confused and somewhat dubious of this new-fangled re-certification process. After all, change can be scarier than Samuel L. Jackson daring you to say “What?” one more time. However, after a brief explanation I was 110% on board with the NCCP model.
With this model the NREMT has three components and outlines the topics of focus for 50% of your EMS continuing education requirements. This is based on data collected from surveys and feedback from all of you in the trenches of healthcare.
1. National component
The current national component options are the 2012 and 2016 models. There will likely always be two models, with a new model being introduced every four years. I expect we will be hearing about the 2020 model sometime after March 31, 2019.
2. Local or state component
This component gives each state the opportunity to outline 25% of your EMS continuing education requirements. Several states have embraced this and have required at least a few courses specific to the needs assessed.
This component also provides your local medical director with the opportunity to require education specific to your agency or organization. In the event that your state and/or medical director have not set specific requirements, this component is very similar to the individual component in concept.
3. Individual component
Think of the third component, the individual component, as electives. This is where you, as an EMS provider, get to pick and choose which EMS topics you want to study.
This gives you the freedom to make the most of the remaining 25% of your EMS CE requirements. I encourage every EMS provider to take a step out of their comfort zone and learn about something new or reflect on your own weaknesses and brush up on those areas.
As always you can obtain all of your EMS CEU’s through a combination of live and distributive education methods. The NREMT does require that about 55% of your education be live instructor lead.
Pro tip for Massachusetts folks: Your state will not accept distributive education hours for the state or local component.
So, this really is not anything new. The “new” requirements have been in place, in one model or another, since 2012. Our courses have been in compliance with the NCCP model ever since.
Additional information can be found by visiting the NREMT website. Massachusetts providers can find their requirements at Massachusetts Office of Emergency Medical Services website.