The EMT Basic Curriculum

There are several different levels of EMT training. The top level certifies you to work as a paramedic, while EMT Basic training means that you will only be able to provide very basic care to the patients that you see on the scene. The EMT Basic curriculum does not, generally speaking, take very long to complete and there are accelerated EMT Basic training courses available that are even quicker.


EMT Basic training involves becoming skilled in the following:

  • Primary skills needed for emergency treatment
  • Making patient assessments
  • Delivering respiratory care
  • Anatomy and emergency cardiac services

These are not the only skills that you will be taught in your EMT Basic curriculum, but they are some of the more important topics that will come up during your training. The coursework will consist of a certain amount of theory work, but in addition to this you are required to receive practical hands-on training. The reason for this is obvious: the role of an EMT is extremely hands-on and you will be unable to adequately prepare for the profession if you do not receive practical training for it in the field. Consequently you may assist in emergency rooms or rise along in ambulances during your EMT Basic training and preparation.The EMT Basic Curriculum

Module 1

Module 1 consists of:

  • Introduction to Emergency Care
  • The Human Body
  • Lifting and Moving Patients

Essentially it is the introductory module, introducing you to the EMT profession and giving you and overview of what you will be doing, as well as by easing into an explanation of how the human body works. The theory work for this module will require 1 and ½ hours to 3 hours of training. On average you will be expected to only expend about 1 hour of your time on this theory module before moving on to the next section of the coursework.  Later in your training you will be required to put what you have learned in the first module into practice in a genuine emergency care situation. This is one of the shorter modules that you are required to do during your EMT Basic training but it is still an important aspect of the curriculum.

Module 2

The second module focuses on the following topic:

  • The airway of the patient and how to keep it clear

The EMT Basic curriculum will only include an introductory and very cursory coverage of this topic. If you plan to advance through the emergency medical services and improve your qualification you will later on be required to do additional training in relation to the airway. However, as an EMT Basic all you will need to know is how to care for the airway in emergency situations. The airway is needed for breathing, and breathing is one of the functions that you will need to stabilize in an emergency medical situation. As an EMT Basic your only duty is to stabilize patients and to do everything in your power to ensure that they survive. Improving their ability to breathe is an important aspect of this. In general this section takes 7 hours to complete.

Module 3

Module three involves interactions with patients. As an EMT you will need to interact with patients on a regular basis. The way in which you interact with and speak to those around you will reflect on your professionalism and your ability to complete your tasks adequately. This section will usually involve practical exposure in a real life situation, such as in an emergency room of a hospital. In addition this section of your training usually takes something like 20 ½ hours to complete. Skills that you will need in this regard include communication skills (as you will need to be able to communicate your understanding of the patient’s condition quickly and clearly in order to ensure that proper care is given) as well as interpersonal skills (the ability to relate to others easily and in a way that is appropriate to the situation art hand).

Module 4

Module 4 focuses on actual medical emergency situations that you may encounter in your job as an EMT. The EMT Basic curriculum will usually include topics such as the following (among others):

  • Respiratory Emergencies
  • Poisoning and Overdose
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

For example you may be required to attend a scene where a pregnant mother is about to give birth and does not have time to go to a hospital. In this case you may even be required to go so far as to deliver the baby yourself. Consequently you will need to know about obstetrics and gynecology. This is the largest and most important module. Consequently it involves a large degree of practical training. In addition it will take you around 42 hours to complete this section of your EMT Basic curriculum. In a goof EMT Basic program all of the most likely medical emergencies will be covered.

Module 5

This is the module that deals with how to handle actual physical trauma in patients and how to provide basic care and treatments. You will receive:

  • Lessons on soft tissue injuries
  • Lessons on bleeding
  • Lessons on shock
  • Lessons on injuries to the head and spine

This is also one of the longer modules. In total you will take about 18 hours to complete this module. The 18 hours is divided up in the following way:

  • The theoretical classroom knowledge that you need should take about 2 to 8 hours to complete depending on the nature of the program that you attend.
  • In addition to this there is a practical hands-on training session included in this program. This section could take anything from 7 to 14 hours to complete and the more practical exposure you get the better prepared you will be for your role as an EMT.

Modules 6 And 7

The last two modules involve very specific areas of the EMT profession:

  • Module 6 is related to dealing with children and infants. Clearly at this age your patients will require different treatment, both medically and emotionally, than adult patients and consequently it is necessary that you are trained in the specific skills needed for treating young patient. This module is usually expected to take about 7 hours at the most and includes a theoretical aspect as well as a clinical and practical aspect before you can move on to the seventh and final module of your EMT Basic curriculum.
  • Module 7 is an overview of EMT and ambulance operations and requires around 5 hours of work to be completed. Although not as interesting as the other modules, not as practical, it is a very important aspect of your EMT Basic curriculum if you are to truly be prepared in all ways for the field.


Your EMT Basic training will allow you to be certified by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). This is the largest accreditation board in for EMTs in the country. Certification involves writing an exam that the registry provides. However, passing this exam and receiving certification does not automatically mean that you will be able to practice as an EMT. You will in addition need to receive licensing from your state in order to work as an emergency medical technician. In addition not all states rely on the NREMT for certification. If you live in a state where this is the case there will be alternative certification and licensing requirements that you will ache to meet. You will therefore need to research the requirements for your own specific state carefully in order to become a fully certified as well as a fully licensed EMT with the right to practice there.

College Training

Community colleges and technical schools offer qualifications in emergency medical services and often have EMT Basic curriculums for prospective emergency medical technicians. There are a number of considerations to keep in mind:

  • These courses will usually result in a diploma.
  • Typically a diploma cannot be transferred to a degree and if you would like to earn a degree in medicine or in emergency response services you will need to begin a fresh program from scratch.

There are a number of schools that offer on-campus training for EMTs. These include:

  • Florida Career Institute
  • Medix School
  • EMS Training, Inc.

When choosing a school to attend you should examine the EMT Basic curriculum offered by that school very carefully before making a decision. Knowledge of the content of the EMT examination will be extremely useful in determining whether or not the course is a comprehensive one.

Online Training

In addition to on campus training there are also a number of online training options available. However, it is extremely important to note that this is a very hands-on qualification. Consequently only small portion of the qualification will be offered in an online format. The rest of the training will still need to be done in a field situation where genuine medical emergencies are encountered on a regular basis. The online program that you enroll in must be approved by the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NTHSA). In addition it is generally considered better to look for those programs that are affiliated with ambulance stations of hospitals as these will provide you with opportunities to receive the required hands-on training in order to complete your certification. offers coursework online and sets up local sites for the hands-on training portions of the class. There are also sites that specifically exist to help you with exam preparation.

Continuing Education

In addition to the EMT Basic curriculum EMTs at every level must apply for re-certification every two years by obtaining 24 hours of additional education. This is in order to ensure that the quality of the profession is kept at a very high level and that EMTs working with patients in critical conditions do, in fact, have the skills required to ensure that those patients are kept safe and to enhance their chances of survival. Courses are available online through sites such as EMS House, a division of Thomson Delmar Learning, and EMS CEU. In addition the NREMT will also provide continuing education opportunities. By looking at the continuing education credits as a means to improve you own skills and confidence in the field you will have a more positive outlook on re-certification and continuing education and you will not find it to be a burden at all.

Overview Of Accelerated EMT B Training

An EMT Basic curriculum consists of:

  • Basic life support skills
  • Patient assessment skills
  • Instruction on how to utilize and maintain EMT equipment

Generally speaking these courses will last for a period of 120 to 150 hours of coursework, which culminates in a written and practical exam. The coursework is usually both theoretical and practical.

An accelerated EMT Basic curriculum consists of the same coursework and the same number of hours. However the coursework may be distributed over a shorter period of time. The 120 hours in question could be stretched out over 6 months, 4 months, or even as little as 3 months. Students who have the time to devote such a high degree of concentration to a program and who want to start working as EMTs sooner rather than later can consider looking into accelerated programs over rather than more traditional training options.

There are a number of considerations to keep in mind when deciding whether or not EMT Basic training is for you, in many ways this is one of the best EMT courses to start off with as it does not take very long and you will be able to develop a feel for the work and come to an informed decision regarding whether or not this is the best line of work for you before committing to a longer training program to become a paramedic. The EMT Basic curriculum, as outlines above, is comprehensive and will prepare you adequately for the job.

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