In a presentation at EMS Today 2017, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) updated attendees on important National Certification initiatives. Jeremy Miller, the NREMT’s Chief Certification Officer, delivered a presentation covering the continued rollout of an updated recertification model and the implementation of a scenario-based psychomotor examination.
The National Continued Competency Program (NCCP), introduced in 2012, was designed to streamline the NREMT’s recertification process. Thirty-six states are now utilizing the NCCP model.
The NREMT has recently expanded its efforts to help providers learn how to recertify using the NCCP model, Miller said. A series of live and prerecorded webinars are available on the NREMT website to guide providers, training officers and medical directors through recertification. Videos exist for those using the traditional recertification model and for those recertifying by examination as well.
And to improve its initial certification process, the NREMT launched a new, scenario-based paramedic psychomotor examination on January 1. The updated examination features the addition of an integrated out-of-hospital scenario; the scenario requires candidates to manage a call, lead a team, and communicate effectively and professionally throughout a simulated patient encounter.
In partnership with the National Association of EMS Educators, the NREMT coordinated more than 20 workshops in 2016 to explain the scenario-based examination and the paramedic portfolio. NAEMSE and the NREMT have planned 11 more workshops for 2017.
“With big changes, clear communication is a big priority,” Miller said.
And the NREMT recently made several major improvements to its website and contact center to facilitate clear communication.
To minimize the inconvenience of longer-than-average hold times during busy recertification cycles, the NREMT added a call-back feature to its phone queue. The new feature affords callers the option for a call-back after holding for a few minutes and enables more organized, efficient handling of calls, Miller said. Callers using the service do not lose their place in line for help, he said.
The NREMT phone queue also added extra functionality in the form of an automated ID and password retrieval tool. Callers can now recover their user ID, get password hints and even reset their password without the requirement of speaking to an NREMT representative.
These ID and password retrieval tools are mirrored on the new, mobile-friendly NREMT.org as well.
In the remainder of his presentation, Miller also discussed the implementation of the new Psychomotor Authorization to Test (PATT) Letter and offered a progress report on the NREMT’s current recertification cycle.
Implemented in direct response to concerns about the security of candidate information, PATT Letters eliminate the use of Social Security Numbers and reduce internal errors.
By the end of the current recertification cycle on April 1, the NREMT expects more than 100,000 EMS providers to successfully complete recertification.
“It’s only February, and 2017 is already shaping up to be a banner year for the NREMT,” Miller said. “And we aren’t resting on our laurels. We’re continually striving to improve and better support and serve the entire nation of EMS providers.”