First Responder/EMR is a certification offered by National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). The first responders are responsible for carrying out pre-hospital care in medical emergencies. The job responsibilities of certified first responders are limited in comparison to emergency medical technicians and other emergency nursing professionals. They can perform only first aid at emergency sites. It is an entry level certification taken before EMT certifications.
The applicant must be holding a CPR certification. He/she must have completed an approved EMR/ First Responder training as per United States Department of Transportation First Responder National Standard curriculum in past two years. In case, the EMR training was accomplished before past two years, applicant must be holding a current state license and gone through a refresher training in past two years or re-do EMR/ First Responder training program.
EMR certification has two components- cognitive/theory exam and psychomotor/practical examination. The content of theory exam encompasses entire EMS care including cardiology, airway, oxygenation, ventilation, trauma, medical operations and EMS operations. In practical exam, candidate has to show emergency care skills, mostly the techniques applicable for performing first aid, before an instructor. The validity of passing theory component is one year and of practical examination is two years.
The theory exam is a computer adaptive exam. There can be 80 to 110 questions in this test. The first question is of average difficulty. The difficulty level of a next question is increased, if previous question is attempted correctly, and decreased if previous question is answered incorrect. This process keeps on going for every item in the test, until “Pass” or “Fail” in exam is determined. The examinee is evaluated against a fixed standard, instead of, performance of other examinees. The time given to complete this exam is 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Both the cognitive and psychomotor exams must be passed in order to achieve the certification. The “Pass” or “Fail” in practical exam is determined by candidate’s instructor of first responder training program. The result of cognitive exam is a “Pass”, if minimum 85 percent of national registry standards are met, otherwise result is a “Fail”.
For taking this exam, candidate has to create an account at NREMT website and fill an online registration form. This must be accompanied with payment of applicable fees. The candidates receive an Authorization-to-Test (ATT) letter on successful registration and verification of their eligibility. The ATT notification contains details of scheduling the exam with Pearson-Vue and other relevant information.
The fee for EMR/First Responder cognitive examination is $65.