Specialty certifications are a major part of the healthcare industry. Just think about all the different areas of healthcare and you will understand the need for specialty services. And, EMS is no different when it comes to this need. As technology continues to advance, more EMS specialties emerge to handle new equipment, new treatments, and new diagnosis out in the field.

EMS Specialty Certifications

Specialty certifications give EMS healthcare professionals specialized knowledge, skills, and experience to deliver quality, optimal health outcomes to patients. Board certifications in EMS specialties acknowledge a higher level of expertise in that area for those who hold the certification. Although on-the-job training is a great way to gain the skills and knowledge needed to treat various medical issues you will face in the field, a minimum bar must be set to ensure the highest level of competence when granting a certification in an EMS specialty.

In EMS, there are dozens of certifications that are available to the industry. EMS certifications are broken down into two categories: assessment-based certifications and professional certifications. Assessment-based certifications are awarded after curriculum completion followed by a successful passing grade on a content assessment exam. A professional certification validates an individual’s competence and knowledge through the established affirmation system.

Throughout the healthcare field, there are many agencies whose sole purpose is to validate competency when it comes to professional certification. The agencies clearly define the eligibility criteria to obtain the certification. They also set clear definitions of recertification processes for continued competency.

There are currently two major certifying entities in the world of EMS. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians handles initial certification of EMS professionals. It is comprised of a board of EMS professionals from across the country. Each state defines the eligibility to take the examination. The examinations are developed by committees that include SMEs, state officials, and physicians who are involved in emergency medical services.

The second agency, the BCCTPC, began in 2000 and has a focus on the need for certified flight paramedics. The board is comprised of providers, physicians, and representatives from other agencies that share the same vision from across the country. They offer Certified Flight Paramedic exams, Certified Critical Care Paramedic exams, and Certified Tactical Paramedic exams. Both the NREMT and BCCTPC have set standards for recertification.

Different Types of Certifications in EMS

Specialty certifications for health care providers in EMS can include the following areas of expertise:
  • Community Para medicine
  • Critical Care Transportation
  • Occupational Health
  • Specialties in Pediatrics
  • Public Health
  • Specialty Care Transport
  • Tactical
  • Wilderness
  • Wildland Fire
Thanks to the advances in technology, emergency medical services can serve a variety of medical needs that weren’t possible years ago. Thank an EMS provider today for the life saving techniques they have dedicated their time to learning for the benefit of their community.