Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certificate Program

EMT student learning how to do an IV drip


The Department's EMT certificate program prepares students for careers in pre-hospital emergency medicine and enables graduates of the program to work as emergency medical technicians (EMT's) in a variety of settings, such as fire departments and public and private ambulance services. The program can be completed in one semester. Other information pertinent to this program is described below.

▼   Accreditation
The EMT and Advanced EMT certificate programs are accredited by the Alabama Department of Public Health, Office of EMS and Trauma. The Department's Paramedic program is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the EMS Professions (CoEMSP).

▼   Mandatory Advising
All students admitted into the Department's EMS Certificate Program must be advised by the EMS Coordinator prior to registration. You may contact the Department at the phone number listed below to set up an appointment for advising and to receive a New Student Packet.

▼   Admission
The criteria for general admission of EMT students to the University are the same as those for all students. Please consult with the University's Admission's office for more information about admission policies and procedures.

▼   Curriculum
The basis for the curriculum is the current Department of Transportation's (DOT) National Standard curriculum for EMT (2009).

▼   Pre-requisite
American Heart Association - Healthcare Provider CPR certification.

▼   EMT Certificate Program
Course Credits
EMS 112: EMT Emergency Care 6
EMS 113: EMT Skills Lab 1
EMS 115: EMT Clinicals 1
Total 8

▼   Progression and Completion Policies
To progress throughout the program, a minimum final grade of 80% must be achieved in each course. Students will be allowed to repeat a course only one time. Students unable to satisfactorily complete EMS 112, 113 and 115 will not receive a completion certificate by the department or the University.

The State of Alabama mandates the National Registry of EMT's examination at both the EMT, Advanced EMT and Paramedic levels of practice. Only those students who have met all academic requirements of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Registry examination. All other criteria for progression and completion will be listed in each course syllabus and will be mandatory.

▼   Attendance
Attendance is mandatory. Those students who have conflicts regarding attendance to classes or clinical internships will be asked to transfer to programs more suited to their schedules.

▼   Expenses
Students are responsible for payment of all tuition and fees. Tuition and fees are set by the University of South Alabama, upon approval of the Board of Trustees. For current information on tuition and fees, please refer to the University's Student Accounting Office.

Students are responsible for all personal healthcare expenses, including those resulting from injury or illness, while engaged in learning experiences required by the department. Students will be required to show proof of health insurance or a signed waiver while in the program. Students must show proof of all required immunizations.

Students are responsible for all travel expenses to and from clinical and field internship sites. Students are responsible for the purchase of uniforms and required clinical equipment and supplies for their internships. Students also must maintain current Healthcare Provider (CPR) certification throughout the program of study.

▼   Financial Aid
Students who take academic coursework at the University for the purpose of attaining paramedic certificate or Bachelor of Science degree in EMS may be eligible for financial assistance (i.e., Pell grant, student loans, etc.).  For more information on financial aid, please contact the University’s Financial Aid office.

▼   Contact Information
University of South Alabama
Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions
Department of Emergency Medical Services
600 Clinic Drive – Suite 400
Mobile, AL 36688-0002
(251) 461-1832

EMT Program Advisor
Kristin McKenna

▼   Description of the Profession
The Emergency Medical Technician's scope of practice includes basic skills focused on the acute management and transportation of critical and emergent patients. This may occur at an emergency scene until transportation resources arrive, from an emergency scene to a healthcare facility, between healthcare facilities, or in other healthcare settings.

In many communities Emergency Medical Technicians provide a large portion of the out-of-hospital care. In some jurisdictions, especially rural areas, Emergency Medical Technicians provide the highest level of out-of-hospital care. Emergency Medical Technicians work alongside other EMS and healthcare professionals as an integral part of the emergency care team.

Emergency Medical Technicians' scope of practice includes basic, non-invasive interventions to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with acute out-of-hospital medical and traumatic emergencies.

Emergency care is based on assessment findings.

Additionally, Emergency Medical Technicians provide care to minimize secondary injury and provide comfort to the patient and family while transporting the patient to an emergency care facility.

An Emergency Medical Technician's knowledge, skills, and abilities are acquired through formal education and clinical experiences. The Emergency Medical Technician has the knowledge of, and is expected to be competent in, all of the skills of the EMR. A major difference between the Emergency Medical Responder and the Emergency Medical Technician is the knowledge and skills necessary to provide medical transportation of emergency patients.

The Emergency Medical Technician level is the minimum licensure level for personnel transporting patients in ambulances. The scope of practice is limited to basic skills that are effective and can be performed safely in an out-of-hospital setting with medical oversight and limited education.

The Emergency Medical Technician transports all emergency patients to an appropriate medical facility. The Emergency Medical Technician is not prepared to make decisions independently regarding the appropriate disposition of patients. The Emergency Medical Technician serves as part of an EMS response system, assuring a progressive increase in the level of assessment and care. The Emergency Medical Technician may make destination decisions in collaboration with medical oversight. The principal disposition of the patient encounter will result in the direct delivery of the patient to an acute care facility.

In addition to emergency response, Emergency Medical Technicians often perform medical transport services of patients requiring care within their scope of practice.

▼   EMT Psychomotor Skills
The following are the minimum psychomotor skills of the EMT:
  • Airway and Breathing
    • Insertion of airway adjuncts intended to go into the oropharynx or nasopharynx  
    • Use of positive pressure ventilation devices such as manually triggered ventilators and automatic transport ventilators
  • Pharmacological Interventions
    • Assist patients in taking their own prescribed medications
    • Administration of the following over-the-counter medications with appropriate medical oversight:
      • Oral glucose for suspected hypoglycemia
      • Aspirin for chest pain of suspected ischemic origin
  • Trauma Care
    • Application and inflation of the pneumatic anti-shock garment (PASG) for fracture stabilization