Emergency medicine is a rapidly changing profession and EMS providers cannot rely solely on the training they received years ago. By updating providers with the latest knowledge and practices, the process of continuing medical education ensures that patients receive safe and competent care.
As of 2019, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) has fully transitioned to the National Continued Competency Program (NCCP) model for continuing education. The NCCP model was constructed using methodology similar to that of the American Board of Medical Specialties requirements and streamlines the recertification process into three National, Local, and Individual categories of continuing education.
The national component consists of half of the total hours required at each certification level and reflects national standards set by the NREMT. The local and individual components, each consisting of half of the remaining required hours, are standards set by states and agencies respectively. This division ensures the consistency of patient care across the country and empowers providers to train for and respond to the specific needs of their community.
An exciting addition to the NREMT’s approach to continuing education is the introduction of Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT), which combines the convenience of on-line education with the presence of an experienced educator in a virtual classroom setting. A provider may obtain a portion of their hours required for recertification by attending and participating in an online session utilizing a microphone and a computer, tablet, or smartphone to interact with the instructor and fellow students.
NCCP requirements are updated regularly to ensure that national standards always reflect evidence-based medicine and the current needs of the EMS profession.