15 Inspirational EMS Quotes

Sometimes, it can be downright impossible to find inspiration. We all have tough days, and that’s okay—in fact, overcoming those moments is a part of life. When you want to be uplifted, though, we hope you’ll read this list and feel both comforted and empowered. Here you’ll find encouraging words, true grit, and a sense of community.

While some of these quotes are not specifically intended for EMS work, we think they still apply and are greatly inspirational. Keep reading, and hopefully find yourself inspired!


1. “Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.” —Norman B. Rice

2. “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

3. “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.”—John Wayne

4. “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”—Albert Pike

5. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”—Thomas Edison

6. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest accomplishment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”—Leo Buscaglia

7. “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”—Christopher Reeve

8. “EMTs are privileged to play in life’s great game. Too many unlucky people watch the action thunder by, stuck at a desk, or watching it on television at home.”—Kelly Grayson

9. “There is no higher honor than to be given the responsibility to care for another human being.”—Richard K. Schachern

10. “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For passion will lead you right into your purpose.”—T.D. Jakes

11. “Police officers, firefighters, EMTs—they are all out there every single day—literally just a phone call away for anyone who needs them.”—Doreen Cronin

12. “Next to creating a life, the finest thing a man can do is save one.”—Abraham Lincoln

13. “For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson

14. “Death always wins, but there is power in our tiniest moments, humanity in shedding petty concerns to make room for compassion. We witness, take part, heal.”—Daniel José Older

15. “I didn’t become an EMT to get a front-row seat to other people’s tragedies. I did it because I knew the world was bleeding and so was I, and somewhere inside I knew the only way to stop my own bleeding was to learn how to stop someone else’s.”—Daniel José Older


Without a doubt, EMS workers provide an invaluable service. They literally carry lives in their hands, and they tirelessly work to alleviate the suffering of others. If you read this list and found yourself considering a career as an EMT, you might want to check out our EMT program at Unitek EMT. Not only does it feature an online component and a boot camp, but soon we will offer another version of the program: the Expanded Online Hybrid.

For more information about Unitek EMT, please contact us toll-free at 888-790-1458.

National EMT Recertification

Now that you have become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), you may be wondering how and when you’ll need to recertify. By that time, you’ll have several years of experience and a deeper understanding of EMS work. According to the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), the recertification process “encourages providers to remain current in EMS knowledge and maintain proficiency to renew their certification.” Recertification not only gives you credibility, but it increases confidence in both employers and the public.

Currently, EMTs have three recertification options: the NCCP model, the traditional model, or recertify by exam. It’s important that you check with your state EMS office to confirm which option(s) are permitted. However, the NREMT states that EMTs “due to recertify on or after March 2019 are required to utilize the NCCP.”

This is where things get a little tricky. If you’re recertifying prior to 2019, you can utilize 2016 NCCP Content, 2012 NCCP Content, or a traditional refresher education (please click here for more information about these options). Having said that, the NCCP renewal option is not available in every state. Before embarking on any recertification measures, it would be best to check with your state EMS office.

The NCCP Model

If you choose to recertify through the 2016 NCCP model, you will need to complete 40 hours of continuing education. This particular model contains three components: a national component (20 hours), a local or state component (10 hours), and an individual component (10 hours). The biggest chunk of time will be spent on the national component. It covers the following topics: airway/respiration/ventilation, cardiovascular, trauma, medical, and operations.

The Traditional Model

Another recertification option is the traditional model. It requires 72 hours of continuing education and includes a refresher course. According to the NREMT, all EMTs “recertifying with the traditional model are required to show proof of BLS-CPR (or healthcare provider level equivalent) certification current through the National Registry expiration date (March 31).” The refresher course can either be completed using the traditional refresher course or the continuing education topic hours. Some states will only accept the traditional refresher course, though, so you’ll want to refer to your state’s requirements.

The Recertify by Exam Option

Lastly, you may recertify by exam if your state permits it. This option will allow you to establish continued cognitive competency without having to document continuing education. If you’d like to pursue this option—and your state permits it—below are the steps you’ll need to take:

+ Once you have logged into your National Registry account, complete a recertification by examination application and pay the required fee.

+ Wait 24-48 hours before you log back into your account and print your Authorization to Test letter. To schedule your exam, you’ll need to carefully follow the directions in the letter.

+ According to the NREMT, you have one attempt to take and pass the exam from April 1st—one year before your current expiration date—to March 31st. If you successfully complete the exam, a cognitive competency by exam form will be made available on your account.

+ You will then need to complete and return the above form by March 31st with the necessary signatures and supporting documentation. It’s important that all other requirements have been met and verified as well, including a criminal conviction statement, verification of skills, etc.

It may seem daunting to gain recertification, but the process is fairly straightforward, and the NREMT provides applicants with an abundance of helpful information. If you’re interested in taking continuing education courses, Unitek EMT offers Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and an EMT Refresher.

In the future, we may release more posts about NREMT recertification for EMS workers. Stay tuned!

The New Mobile App from the NREMT

If you’re new to emergency medical services, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) functions as the certifying organization for the nation’s emergency medical service needs. According to the NREMT website, the mission of the registry has “always been centered on protecting the public and advancing the EMS profession.” 1 More specifically, they maintain an effective, uniform process to evaluate the knowledge and skills necessary for competent practice by EMS workers.

Founded in 1970, the NREMT provides a truly invaluable service to the field of EMS. As the NREMT website states, they supply “psychometrically-valid proof of entry-level competence for nationally certified EMS personnel through rigorous cognitive and psychomotor examinations.” 2 Additionally, national EMS certification can be taken at various levels and must be sustained biennially by demonstrating continued competence.

About the NREMT App

In April of 2018, the National Registry announced their first mobile app for EMS professionals. Essentially, the app will make it easier to manage continuing education and recertification needs. Not only is the app compatible with iOS devices, but it will allow EMS workers—such as Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics, and more—to track their recertification timeline with a mobile device and a simple push of a button.

According to the NREMT,2 some of the app’s specific features include the following:

+ Manage the recertification cycle, track educational requirements, and submit recertification applications

+ Access transcripts, select courses, and add/upload attachments

+ Change or update account profiles with relative ease

+ Oversee, add, or remove agency affiliations as necessary

+ Make secure payments

The NREMT also states that training officers and medical directors will have the ability to review agency information and stay current with their providers. They will be able to do so by utilizing the following features: accessing agency rosters, managing agency education, approving providers’ EMS skills, and managing agency affiliation requests.

If any issues or questions arise, users can click the contact feature within the app to communicate directly with customer service representatives. The NREMT app can be freely downloaded from the Apple App Store, and users can securely log into their accounts through Touch ID or Face ID.

About Future Apps and EMS Careers

While the app is only available for iOS devices, the NREMT has relayed that an Android version of the app is currently in the works.2 For more information or assistance, the NREMT encourages interested EMS professionals to read more about the app here.

If this post has piqued your curiosity about EMS work, you may want to consider a career in emergency medical services. At Unitek EMT, we offer Emergency Medical Technician training as well as various continuing education courses. Among these continuing education courses are Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and an EMT Refresher course.

For more information about Unitek EMT, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 888-790-1458.




1 https://www.nremt.org/rwd/public/document/about

2 https://www.nremt.org/rwd/public/document/news-ios-mobile-app

9 Common Misconceptions About EMS Work

While there is an abundance of information at your disposal, there are also numerous misconceptions about the field of Emergency Medical Services (EMS). In an effort to clear up some of these misconceptions, we’ve compiled a list of the most common ones from professionals with firsthand experience.

Read on to dispel some popular myths with us!


1. CPR looks like what you see on TV or in the movies: According to a user called LucidResq on an EMTLIFE forum, many shows and movies depict “Baywatch-style CPR” that brings people back to life and “standing and talking in minutes.” Unfortunately, this isn’t how it usually works in the real world.

2. Helicopters are always necessary: Helicopters seem to be a staple of medical dramas. Another insight from LucidResq, his comments on EMTLIFE explain that helicopters are not useful for almost every call. They do, however, make frequent appearances on various shows.

3. Paramedics are “ambulance drivers”: In a Quora post about paramedic misconceptions, EMT-P Anderson Moorer explains that he has seen others commonly mistake paramedics for ambulance drivers. Paramedics receive rigorous, intensive training in various areas, and the training they receive for operating an ambulance is arguably low in comparison.

4. EMS workers can use sirens whenever they’d like: Anderson Moorer further explains in his Quora post that medics cannot turn on their lights or sirens whenever the whim strikes. Lights and sirens are typically ordered by the dispatch center as a way to prioritize emergency calls. For instance, if a patient has life-threatening injuries they would obviously be prioritized first.

5. All medics can treat injured pets: Anderson Moorer also discusses wounded animals in his Quora post. Unfortunately, it’s a misconception that most medics have the equipment, training, or necessary access—particularly to a vet hospital—to provide the necessary care for an injured pet.

6. Paramedics can fight fires or criminals: Another point in Anderson Moorer’s Quora post raises the issue of safety. According to Moorer, some people believe paramedics can fight a fire or even “shoot a bad guy.” In the post, he further explains that “people understandably get very upset when a paramedic arrives at a call where some other emergency service must act first.” For instance, paramedics can’t go into a house where someone has been shot before the police arrive.

7. If EMS workers arrive in under nine minutes, resuscitation is all but ensured: In this article from EMS1, Drew Johnson delves into EMS myths and examines Dr. Bryan Bledsoe’s work. Being an emergency physician and EMS author, Dr. Bryan Bledsoe has an extensive history in the medical field. Bledsoe has previously argued that reaching your patient in under nine minutes does not guarantee resuscitation. In fact, as Drew Johnson states in the article, Bledsoe “cited research showing that the duration most highly correlated with patient survival is four minutes.”

8. Having your own AED at home will save lives: For those who don’t know, an automated external defibrillator (AED) is a device that detects heart rhythms and is capable of sending an electric shock to a heart to try and restore a normal rhythm (AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest). Some champion the importance of home AEDs, as the period before help arrives is absolutely critical.

        In Drew Johnson’s article from EMS1, he explains that AEDs are certainly “associated with improved resuscitation rates.” However, the location of the home AED “accounts for patient survival” rather than its presence. While public AEDs are often successful, this success rate doesn’t translate to private areas.

        Johnson quotes Bledsoe, who believes a combination of factors are responsible, such as: some people may forget where they have stored the AED in their home—this is particularly stressful since time is of the essence during cardiac arrest—while others may have a deep emotional attachment to the person that needs to be saved. It can be extremely traumatic and difficult to use an AED on someone you know rather than a stranger in a public setting.

9. Paramedics are not healthcare professionals: In a VICE interview with paramedic Nate Boyce, Zach Sokol asks if there are any misconceptions about Boyce’s profession that he would like to address. Boyce had this to say: “People who are paramedics are true healthcare professionals and I think a lot of times that’s kind of lost. We provide surprisingly advanced care. Not only do we have the ability to treat really life-threatening illnesses, but we make people feel better.”


Without a doubt, EMS workers provide an invaluable service to the public. We thought Nate Boyce made an excellent point: EMS workers not only save lives, but they actively make others feel better and alleviate suffering. If you’re interested in the field of EMS, Unitek EMT offers Emergency Medical Technician training. Along with an intensive boot camp, online EMT training is also available from some locations.

For more information about Unitek EMT, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 888-790-1458.

National EMS Psychomotor Exam

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.

Exam Results

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!



1 https://www.nremt.org/rwd/public/document/psychomotor-exam 

EMT Continuing Education Courses

Unitek EMT: Nonviolent Intervention

Are you looking to enhance your career as an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professional? At Unitek EMT, we provide comprehensive EMS courses that will equip participants with cutting-edge techniques. Our courses will also provide participants with the knowledge they’ll need for certification exams. Taught by veteran EMS professionals, our active-learning classes will include expert lectures and hands-on training to enrich your current skillset.

Today, we’d like to take a closer look at our Nonviolent Intervention Continuing Education (NICE) course.

Nonviolent Intervention Continuing Education

The NICE course places a strong emphasis on prevention. Considered a core training program, the NICE course will equip participants with strategies to defuse erratic, hostile, or violent behavior. It can be tough to think rationally during moments of chaos, but the NICE course will teach you how to respond appropriately in chaotic situations.

Upon completing this course, you will know how to…

+ Reduce the risk of injury to staff and patient.

+ Comply with legislative mandates.

+ Meet the standard for patient and caregiver safety.

+ Improve staff capability of responding to a crisis event.

+ Reduce exposure to liability.

+ Promote care, welfare, safety, and security.

The course lasts for about 8 hours, which is only 1-2 days! All of our NICE instructors are certified by the Crisis Prevention Institute. Those who successfully complete the course will receive 8 hours of Continuing Education as well as a CPI Blue Card™ in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training.

To give you a better idea of what you’ll learn, we have broken down the course into the following outline:

Lesson 1: Pre Assessment
Lesson 2: Foundations of Nonviolent Intervention
Lesson 3: Communication
Lesson 4: Precipitating Factors, Rational Detachment, Integrated Experience
Lesson 5: Fear & Anxiety
Lesson 6: Decision Making
Lesson 7: Physical Interventions
Lesson 8: Intervention Strategies
Lesson 9: Documentation and Debrief
Lesson 10: Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Programs
Lesson 11: Behavioral Emergencies
Lesson 12: De-Escalation Techniques
Lesson 13: Review of Local EMS Policies Regarding Use of Restraints
Lesson 14: Closing

At Unitek EMT, we maintain a roster of continuing education courses. Some cover the basics, while others are designed to meet more advanced needs. Let’s start with the former, our Basic Life Support (BLS) continuing education course!

Basic Life Support Continuing Education Course

The BLS course is intended for healthcare workers and other professionals who need to learn how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and other cardiovascular life-support skills.

This continuing education course educates participants, enabling them to immediately recognize various life-threatening emergencies. They will also learn how to perform effective chest compressions, deliver appropriate ventilations, and provide early use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Advanced Cardiac Life Support Continuing Education Course

The ACLS course is designed for healthcare workers who strive to increase chances of survivability in cases of cardiac arrest, acute coronary syndrome (ACS), and stroke events. With an emphasis on cutting-edge science, our ACLS course will give participants the skillset they’ll need when every second counts.

EMT Refresher Continuing Education Course

Are you an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in need of continuing education? This rigorous, 3-day course provides the required 24 hours of continuing education as well as the chance to complete the skills verification form for EMT state recertification.

For more information about Unitek EMT, please contact us at 888-790-1458!

Unitek EMT on the Best Advise

The Best Advice We’ve Heard About EMS

You might be training to become an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) worker. Alternatively, you might already be in the field, or perhaps you’ve only been contemplating a career in EMS. Regardless, it can be helpful to read tips from the driven, compassionate individuals in this business.

We’ve compiled a list of advice about EMS work, EMS workers, and those affected by EMS. Some of these tips are directly from seasoned veterans, while others are ones we’ve heard in passing.

We hope this list helps you!


1. Always remember your equipment: This tip is from Jody Marks’s article at EMS World, “Most Likely to Succeed: Advice for New EMTs & Paramedics.” An EMS veteran, Jody Marks has been a paramedic for 14 years. In the article, he explains that you should always bring your stocked EMS bag with you: “The most important equipment is packed in a bag for a reason. Take it. It is a giant pain in the butt until you actually need it.”

2. Write everything down and be consistent: Arthur Hsieh spoke about tips for documentation in his EMS 1 article, “6 top tips for EMS documentation.” The two that stuck with us the most may seem simple, but they are critical to the safety of both the patient and the provider. Because some may skip—or feel compelled—to rush through documentation, these two tips need to be reiterated as much as possible.

+ Write everything down. It’s vital that you document the condition of the patient, the treatments provided, the patient’s response, etc. As Arthur Hsieh notes, “We also record for research purposes, quality improvement, and reimbursement.” Without a doubt, documentation is absolutely vital.

+ Be as consistent as possible. In his article, Arthur Hsieh explains that there isn’t one correct way to document. He argues that the best way is to be consistent with the techniques you do use. “Don’t change it just because you don’t transport a patient, or if it’s a BLS versus ALS patient,” Arthur states. “The more consistent you are, the less likely that you will forget to chart something.”

3. Treat every patient with respect and dignity: This is another tip from Jody Marks’s article at EMS World. While reading, Jody said something that really struck a chord with us. He states that, in his experience, most patients are not that sick. However, most patients are convinced they’re sick. When confronted with this, Jody explains, “It is not our job to convince them otherwise.” Above all else, you are the patient’s advocate. Treat them kindly, and treat them well. A gentle touch or a kind word can go a long way.

4. Take care of your body and learn how to properly lift: Because EMS workers spend so much time on the go, it’s important that they eat well and develop healthy habits. Additionally, they must learn how to lift correctly. It can be very taxing on the body to lift patients without proper training. Some also suggest working out on your days off, lifting weights, doing full-body exercises like squats, etc. Staying strong will only benefit you in the long run.

5. Cultivate a life outside of EMS work: Yet another great tip from Jody Marks, this one is vital to your happiness and future success. Jody encourages new EMTs and Paramedics to resist making EMS their entire identity. He explains that your self-worth should not be tied to what happens at work. While noble and often rewarding, EMS shouldn’t dominate your life. There still needs to be room for friendships, hobbies, and other interests.

6. Accept that you will make some mistakes: This one is easier said than done, but try not to beat yourself up over your mistakes. It is impossible to be perfect 100% of the time, and you will inevitably make mistakes. You should always learn from them, though, and do your absolute best next time. In fact, never stop learning—read books, analyze articles, sign up for classes, and speak with other healthcare providers. Experience and proper training may be the best teachers, but it’s always a good idea to learn more.


Sometimes EMS work is about saving lives, but it is always about caring for people in need. We hope you have found these tips helpful, and we wish you the best of luck in all your EMS endeavors!

EMT Reports Summertime Caution

Heat Emergencies and Summertime Caution

When you think of summer, you may picture yourself sunbathing at the beach, enjoying grilled burgers at a BBQ, or embarking on a gorgeous, satisfying hike. There are so many ways to enjoy the summer season, not to mention the breezy yet sunny weather. While it’s important to have fun, it’s also important to be aware of your surroundings and take the necessary precautions.

The following is a list of tips to help you stay safe during the summer season. Some of these situations can actually turn into emergencies, and they’re ones that EMS workers often encounter as the weather heats up.



1. Watch for heat emergencies: According to experts, heat emergencies have several stages: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. While all three are serious, heatstroke can be life threatening. Even when heatstroke cases are not fatal, the condition still has the potential to cause lifelong difficulties.

First and foremost, always call 911 if the heat emergency leads to vomiting, seizures, or unconsciousness. Additionally, do NOT try and give the person something to drink if they’re vomiting or unconscious. Below we’ve included a brief outline of the various stages in heat emergencies.

+ Heat cramps (symptoms can include muscle pain or tightness)—Get to a cooler area, stretch sore muscles, and drink water at regular intervals/about every 15 minutes.

+ Heat exhaustion (among others, symptoms can include dizziness, elevated heartrate, fainting, or confusion)—Get to a cooler area, make sure your clothing isn’t tight, apply wet towels or cloths to your body, ask someone else to fan your skin, and drink water at regular intervals/about every 15 minutes.

+ Heatstroke (among others, symptoms can include seizures, loss of consciousness, rapid pulse, or body temp exceeding 104 degrees Fahrenheit)—Call 911 immediately; while you wait, apply the same methods as you would for heat exhaustion, but ONLY offer cool water if the person is conscious.

2. Drink lots of water: As a general rule, you always want to ingest plenty of water. In the summertime, it’s particularly important to stay hydrated. Why? When it’s hot, the combination of heat and sweat can quickly dehydrate your body. Some experts recommend drinking eight to nine glasses of water per day.

3. Frequently apply sunscreen: According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should use SPF 30 or higher when applying sunscreen. Reapply about every two hours when outdoors, or after you sweat or go swimming. Don’t forget your lips, either; skin cancer can also form on the lips. Protect them by applying lip balm that contains SPF 30 or higher.

4. Follow the rules for swimming and beach safety: You can find several tips about water safety on Rhode Island’s Department of Health website. Some of these tips include the following: never swim alone, avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, don’t jump into the shallow end of the pool, always keep a phone nearby, learn CPR, remember to dispose of your pet’s waste if you bring them to the beach, etc.

5. Take precautionary measures against ticks: Now that it’s summer, tick season is officially upon us. The CDC has numerous tips to help you avoid tick bites (they also have tips for what to do if you are bitten). Because ticks tend to live in grassy, bushy, or wooded areas, it’s best to avoid high grass and walk in the middle of trails.

Additionally, it’s helpful to wear light-colored pants—this makes it easier to spot any ticks—and you’ll want to tuck your pants into your socks and your shirt into your pants. Once you’re back indoors, check your clothing and your body for ticks. It’s also a good idea to shower within two hours of coming indoors. According to the CDC, this has been shown to reduce the risk of Lyme disease, and it may reduce the risk of other tick-borne diseases.


While all of the tips on this list are important, heat emergencies are particularly concerning in the summertime. If you’re wondering how to avoid a heat emergency, the best thing you can do is find a shady spot or stay in cool, air-conditioned areas when it’s hottest outside. However, if you do find yourself outside in the heat, try and do the following:

+ Take frequent breaks.

+ Wear loose, comfortable clothing.

+ Ingest plenty of water (avoid caffeine and alcohol, if possible).

Remember to call 911 if you believe someone if suffering from heatstroke. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and other EMS workers are trained to handle emergency situations like heatstroke.

Have fun in the sun, but stay safe this summer, too!

Unitek EMT: Advanced Cardiac Life Support

In the United States, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) guidelines were first established by the American Heart Association. Since the 1970s, they have been continuously updated to reflect current practices and techniques. ACLS generally refers to a number of clinical interventions for the immediate treatment of cardiac arrest, stroke, and other medical emergencies.

You may be asking yourself, what’s the difference between Basic Life Support (BLS) and ACLS? The answer lies in their very names—BLS covers the basic steps in stabilizing a patient. The ultimate goal of the responder is to stabilize the victim until they can be taken to a hospital. BLS primarily includes techniques like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and does not require drugs or invasive procedures.

ACLS, on the other hand, utilizes several advanced techniques, such as starting an IV, reading electrocardiograms, and administering life-saving drugs. While BLS is typically a pre-requisite for ACLS, most ACLS courses only take about 12 hours to complete. Comparatively, BLS training takes about 4 hours to complete. When choosing one of these valuable courses, it is important to consider your goals and your desired employment. For instance, ACLS training is vital for healthcare professionals that must respond to cardiovascular emergencies.

Advanced Cardiac Life Support

At Unitek EMT, we offer a myriad of continuing education courses. Advanced Cardiac Life Support is one of the continuing education courses in our roster. It is intended for healthcare personnel who must work as a team to increase survivability in cases of cardiac arrest, acute coronary syndrome (ACS), and stroke events. With an emphasis on innovative science and trailblazing research, our ACLS course will provide students with the skillset they’ll need to save lives. In those moments, every second counts—one moment can mean the difference between life and death.

Despite the comprehensive curriculum, this continuing education course only lasts for two days, or approximately 12 hours (the “update” course lasts for about 6 hours). Our instructors are currently ACLS American Heart Association instructors as well. Additionally, successful participants will receive certification through an ACLS course completion card. It’s important to remember that the card is only valid for two years.

Initial skills assessments will include the following:

• EKG rhythms and dysrhythmias
• Pharmacodynamics for common ACLS drugs
• Performance of quality CPR and BVM ventilations

Unitek EMT’s ACLS Course Outline

+ Lesson 1: Life Is Why
+ Lesson 2: Science of Resuscitation
+ Lesson 3: Systematic Approach
+ Lesson 4: High Quality BLS
+ Lesson 5: Airway Management
+ Lesson 6: Acute Coronary Syndrome
+ Lesson 7: Acute Ischemic Stroke
+ Lesson 8: Team Dynamics
+ Lesson 9: Megacode
+ Lesson 10: Post Cardiac Care
+ Lesson 11: Intraosseous Access

If you’re seeking Advanced Cardiac Life Support training, we hope you’ll consider our continuing education course at Unitek EMT. We also maintain several other continuing education courses, such as Basic Life Support and an EMT Refresher in California and Arizona.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 888-790-1458.

National EMS Cognitive Exam

In Emergency Medical Services, the national EMS cognitive exam is a critical milestone. Whether you’re pursuing a career as an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT), or a Paramedic, the cognitive exam is an important step you will need to take.

Luckily, you have plenty of information and helpful tips at your disposal! According to the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) website, the cognitive exam will cover the entire spectrum of EMS care. It will include topics like the following: Airway, Respiration & Ventilation; Cardiology & Resuscitation; Trauma; Medical; Obstetrics/Gynecology; and EMS Operations. According to the NREMT, “items related to patient care are focused on adult and geriatric patients (85%) and pediatric patients (15%).”1

Helpful Information for All Exam Candidates

In order to pass the exam, candidates must be capable of meeting a certain level of competency. The passing standard is determined by one’s ability to supply safe and effective emergency medical care. While the above topics apply to most variations of the cognitive exam, there are, of course, individual differences for each profession. Before we delve into the different types of exams, we’d like to include a few links taken straight from the NREMT site. They are recommended reading for all exam candidates:

+ Cognitive Exam Policies

+ Cognitive Exam Information

The EMR Cognitive Exam

As with most of the exams listed here, the national EMR cognitive exam is a computer adaptive test (CAT). When taking the designated EMR exam, you can expect to see 90 to 110 items. Included are roughly 30 pilot questions that will not affect the final score. The NREMT site describes “pilot questions” as ones that, while indistinguishable from other items, will not be factored into your overall performance. The maximum amount of time given to complete this exam is 1 hour and 45 minutes.

The EMT Cognitive Exam

The EMT cognitive exam utilizes a computer adaptive test as well. The advantage of a CAT is that it is tailored to reflect each candidate’s knowledge and skills. While taking the EMT cognitive exam, you can expect the number of items to range from 70 to 120. The exam will also have 10 pilot questions—again, these do not affect the final score—and you will be expected to complete the exam in 2 hours or less.

The AEMT Cognitive Exam

If you’re seeking AEMT certification, you will need to take the cognitive exam designated for Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians. The exam features a linear, computer-based test (CBT). Unlike a CAT, a CBT exam is a set length, and it’s viewed as the computer version of a paper test. You will answer about 135 items during the exam, with 35 of those items being pilot questions. The maximum time allotted for this particular exam is 2 hours and 15 minutes.

The Paramedic Cognitive Exam

Last but certainly not least is the National Registry Paramedic (NRP) cognitive exam. Also a computer adaptive test, you can expect to encounter anywhere from 80 to 150 items. As with the other cognitive exams, the Paramedic exam will also have a set number of pilot questions—for the Paramedic level, this number is 20. Each candidate will be given a maximum time of 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete the exam.

If you are interested in the EMT profession, you’ll need to complete an educational program before taking the national cognitive exam. Unitek EMT offers an EMT program that consists of an online component and a 14-Day Boot Camp. To prepare you for work in the field, we utilize a combination of conceptual learning, simulation training, and clinical rotations with real ambulatory services!

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 888-790-1458.


1 https://www.nremt.org/rwd/public/document/emt