Questions to Ask when Researching EMT Programs

If you are considering training to become an emergency medical technician, or EMT, you will naturally want to find the best program available. Talking to current or former students is one of the most effective ways to get a sense of each program’s quality. You might also contact an area emergency medical services agency to obtain answers to the following questions:

What percentage of students passed the certification exam?
Pass rates for training programs are the best objective indication of how effective the program is. Even though you should not expect very high pass rates, as the certification exam is difficult, a pass rate that is consistently low likely indicates that the program’s training and standards are not rigorous enough.

How does the program balance lectures and hands-on training?
Lectures provide important theory and basic knowledge, while hands-on training is crucial for building practical skills. A good, even combination of both components is essential for a balanced training experience.

What was the student-teacher ratio for hands-on training?
Too many students in hands-on training sessions decreases the amount of time each student has with the training equipment and reduces the chance of one-on-one interaction with the instructor. Look for programs that focus on bringing down the student-teacher ratio. For example, in many states, EMT courses stipulate a maximum of 10 students for every skilled instructor.

What was the state of the training equipment?
The care that a program takes with its training equipment is a useful sign of the care that it likely takes with its students. Even if a program’s training equipment is old, it should still be well maintained and not mistreated or neglected.


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