EMT License Requirements: How to Become an Emergency Medical Technician in Louisiana

Louisiana Emergency Medical Technicians are licensed by the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (BEMS). EMTs, like Emergency Medical Responders and paramedics, are classified EMS practitioners. They have more comprehensive training than EMRs but far less than that of paramedics. The Bureau of EMS has provided a matrix that summarizes the medical procedures that can be carried out by each type of practitioner (http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/1754/n/400).

The Louisiana Bureau recognizes EMTs and Advanced EMTs (AEMTs). Licensure is based primarily on national certification by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Candidates must also go through a background check process.

Out-of-state EMTs can be licensed in Louisiana on the basis of their national certification as long as there is nothing disqualifying in their history.

Select a Louisiana EMT Topic:

Educational Standards

Emergency Medical Technicians must complete state-approved training programs.

Louisiana programs are based on National EMS Standards. The Bureau has provided a link to the national standards document (http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/1858/n/399). Louisiana programs are required to prepare students for the National Registry practical and written examinations. The primary instructor must meet BEMS standards.

Training is competency-based. Programs are sponsored by various institutions, including colleges and medical centers. Some programs are open to high school juniors and seniors. The timeframe is variable. College students typically complete their programs in one semester. High school students may be enrolled in the course for an entire academic year. The Bureau has provided a search tool to locate approved programs (https://louisiana.emsbridge.com/licensure/lookup/training_courses/).

The Bureau has also begun publishing program performance reports. These show pass rates on the national certification examination (http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/2287).

Students must perform various medical and trauma-related procedures to progress through the program. Progression may also be delayed if the individual has unfavorable legal or disciplinary history. Candidates can expect background screening before clinical work or examination.

The Examination Process

Candidates pass two examinations: a psychomotor (or skills) test and a computerized cognitive test.

The cognitive examination covers the range of EMT-level emergency response knowledge, including pediatric emergency. It is computer adaptive. Question difficulty will reflect candidate performance. The candidate will see as many questions as is necessary to gauge proficiency. This may range from 70 to 120. Information can be found on the National Registry website (http://nremt.org/). Students can visit the website to set up their certification accounts.

The candidate will need to pay a $70 cognitive examination fee; this will increase to $80 in early 2017. Successful course completion must be verified. At this point, the candidate will be issued an ATT that authorizes self-scheduling. The ATT is valid for up to 90 days.

The psychomotor examination includes skill stations that candidates must pass. Skill sheets break down required steps. The Bureau of Emergency Medical Services uses skill sheets provided by the National Registry. Candidates are referred to the National Registry to see them (https://www.nremt.org/nremt/about/psychomotor_exam_emt.asp).

The Application Process

Prospective EMTs submit their initial state applications online. The Bureau has provided instructions for setting up an online account (http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/759/n/389).

In-state applicants pay $30 at the EMT level. Out-of-state applicants pay $60. Fees are waived for volunteer practitioners. Volunteers are directed to contact BEMS.

License status can be verified online.

License Maintenance

Louisiana EMTs must maintain national certification at all times.

State licenses are renewed every two years. The Bureau notes that expiration date does not necessarily coincide with National Registry expiration date.

Advanced EMT Standards

Some EMT go on to pursue Advanced EMT training. This designation is also based largely on National EMS Standards. The Bureau has provided a separate document of Louisiana standards (http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/1858/n/399). AEMT programs include, at minimum, 175 hours of additional training. Programs are again competency-based. Students will need to perform at least 25 IV starts successfully. They will need to perform at least 10 assessments each for pediatric, adult, and geriatric patients. Additionally, they will serve as team leaders on at least 10 patient transports.

Students must be licensed at the EMT level before they can begin the clinical portion of an AEMT program. They can expect to be evaluated on affective traits as well as skills; an example would be timeliness. Skills evaluations will use skill sheets developed by the National Registry.

Prospective AEMTs will again need to pass both portions of the National Registry examination process. AEMT candidates pay a $100 fee for the computer-based cognitive examination.

At the AEMT level, the ‘psychomotor’ examination is delivered in a standardized manner. However, it may be offered on-site at the training institution. Students who complete the psychomotor examination on-site at Louisiana schools can expect to pay $75. Skill sheets are available from the National Registry.

The license fee at the AEMT level is $40 for in-state candidates, $80 for out-of-state candidates. At the AEMT level, fees are waived for both volunteers and individuals who hold public service/ restricted licenses.

Additional Information

Licensing information is available from the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/subhome/28). The Bureau can be reached by telephone at 844-452-2367 between 8:30 and 3:30 on weekdays. Statutes and rules are available online (http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/1754/n/400).

Louisiana has its own professional association, the Louisiana Association of Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technicians (http://www.laemt.com).