If you’re considering a career in Emergency Medical Services (EMS), you may be looking for more information about the national certification process. One important step in this process is the psychomotor exam. A cognitive exam is also required for certification—read our general information post to learn more, or check out our 15 tips for the cognitive exam—but today we’re going to focus on the psychomotor skills exam.
According to the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), psychomotor exams are standardized examinations administered in various locations throughout the United States.1 The NREMT further states that EMR and EMT psychomotor exams are “coordinated by either the state EMS office or by educational institutions under authority of the state.” However, all advanced-level exams must be sanctioned and observed by an official National Registry exam representative. It’s important to note that advanced-level exams include Advanced-EMT (AEMT), Paramedic, and I/99.
The best way to find an examination site is to contact your course instructor. While instructors should be able to assist candidates in locating the closest exam site, there is also a current listing of advanced level examination sites on the NREMT’s Find A Psychomotor Exam page. If examinations are listed in a state, you can also call the state EMS office and ask them when and where you can take the next psychomotor examination.
EMR Psychomotor Exam
Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) psychomotor exams are not overseen by the National Registry. According to the NREMT, all EMR psychomotor exams are regulated by the state EMS office or the candidate’s training institution. Before you complete your EMR program, course instructors should provide you with information regarding the exam.
See the NREMT website for various performance checklists and EMR exam coordinator resources.
EMT Psychomotor Exam
While enrolled in your Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program, you must demonstrate competence in a wide array of emergency-care skills. Additionally, your instructor must confirm that you have demonstrated competence in the following areas:
+ Patient assessment/management of a trauma patient
+ Patient assessment/management of a medical patient
+ Cardiac arrest management/AED
+ Bag-valve-mask ventilation of an apneic patient
+ Spinal immobilization
+ Long bone fracture immobilization
+ Joint dislocation immobilization
+ Traction splinting
+ Bleeding control/shock management
+ Upper airway adjuncts and suction
+ Mouth-to-mouth ventilation with supplemental oxygen
+ Supplemental oxygen administration to a breathing patient.1
Of course, you must complete a state-approved EMT psychomotor exam as well. It’s best to speak with your course instructor or a state EMS office about the logistics of successfully completing a psychomotor exam. As with the EMR exam, EMT psychomotor exams are not overseen by the NREMT but the state EMS office or your training program.
Again, please see the NREMT website for performance checklists and EMT exam coordinator resources.
Curious about the timetable for the exam’s results? The NREMT website states that unofficial results are typically given to the candidate on the day of the psychomotor exam. However, official results can be found on the National Registry’s website within four weeks (log into your account to see the results).
It’s important to remember that you can only qualify for national certification if you successfully complete the psychomotor exam AND the cognitive exam. If you have any questions, be sure to visit the NREMT website, speak with your course instructor, or contact your state EMS office.
For more information about Unitek EMT and our EMT program, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 888-790-1458!