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This week we learned that the Connecticut Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) is immediately terminating the endorsement pathway to obtain Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification as a state licensed healthcare professional.

Under the years old provision, Connecticut licensed physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses were able to obtain EMT certification by completing a state approved EMT recertification program and then complete the certification testing process (psychomotor and cognitive exams). Code One has offered a modified version of the EMT Recertification course that was tailored to transition a hospital-based healthcare professional to the scope of practice and pre-hospital setting of an EMT.

As Connecticut works towards full alignment of certification requirements with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), this state specific pathway has been permanently discontinued. The NREMT does not offer a pathway for healthcare professionals to transition into EMS roles.

What this means

Healthcare professionals will now need to complete a full EMT training program to qualify for testing, a process that can take up to three months to complete. This could have a negative impact on response personnel in communities that depend on volunteer EMS agencies.

Volunteer EMS, which has faced significant declines in their personnel rosters over the past decade, had been able to take advantage of this expedited pathway for certification. By recruiting healthcare providers who already possess the bulk of medical knowledge required to practice as an EMT, agencies were able to attract volunteers living in their communities who could complete training very quickly and join the ranks. On the contrary, recruiting a volunteer without a medical background who then needs to complete up to 3 months of training (or 5 weeks in an accelerated full-time course) to obtain EMT certification is cumbersome.

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