Uh oh, is it that time again? EMS Recert Time Cometh…

I’ll betcha that a lot of you reading this are in the same boat that I am… Here’s the reminder!

Yesterday I had the occasion to pull out all of my various certification cards and licenses, photocopy them, and turn them in to one of my departments for verification that I still had them. Much to my chagrin I noticed that it is indeed that time againÖ the time for me to start gathering up all of my hard-won continuing education hours and credits, compiling them into packets, and begin sending them off to the various places that I hold licensure through.

So letís seeÖ thatís Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and the National Registry of EMTs. Actually, the Illinois license is on a 4 year schedule, so this is an off period for them. Thank goodness for small favors. Unfortunately though, I also noticed that my ACLS card expires this month and I hadnít noticed it till now. Now I have to frantically find a class to sit through and get me some learniní at. Hereís hoping itís not like the last time I took the classÖ It was horrible. Since I had let my card expire by, ahem, a ďshort amount of timeĒ (3 months) I had to take the full class. Worse yet, the only class I could find happened to be when one of the big hospitals near me was pushing through a bunch of OB/Peds nurses through the class so that they could accept regular med/surg patients on their units. The nurses, suffice to say, were less than thrilled to be there and answered most of the questions with ďI donít know, what does the Doctor order me to do?Ē The instructor, who was also a nurse, actually accepted that answer for most of the questions. Really. I listened to them give waaay off the wall answers that were accepted as correct by the instructor.

I donít think any one of them has ever been in charge of a code resuscitationÖ at least not a successful one. But I digress.

The State of Wisconsin EMS bureau has been changing the rules for renewing your licensure quite a lot this year. Frankly, I donít quite understand what I have to do as of yet but Iím working on finding it out. As far as I know right now I have to take a ďrefresherĒ program. I *think* that by completing a National Registry refresher program I will be fine. Feel free, however, if youíre in the know for Wisconsin EMS renewals, to set me straight on this in the comments section. Itís kinda important for my livelihood.

My Iowa EMS license is much easier. All I do is send them in the exact photocopied packet I send in to the NREMT, fill out a short little form, and a few weeks later I get a shiny new license in the mail. Thank you State of Iowa EMS! Keep Being Awesome!

For the National Registry, Iíve heard faint rumblings about this whole ďComputer test basedĒ renewal program. It sounds cool, from what Iíve heardÖ but Iíd have to do the exact same CE for my Wisconsin and Iowa licenses and I wouldnít get the CE bump I need for the 4 year Illinois license. So much for that, then.

Lucky for me, thereís an awesome NREMT recert class they put on in Davenport, IA. Iím heading out that way to get me some high-quality learning and have me a little bit of fun as well. Thanks EICC and MEDIC EMS!

This post doesnít have much of a message to it other than for me to gripe about having to yet again put all of this stuff through. I am all for education, and I research EMS stuff nearly every day, but unfortunately I havenít thought of a way yet to translate stuff I learn from my colleagues on the EMS blogosphere and the other sites on the interwebz into hard Continuing Education credits. Maybe Iíll spearhead that issue too once I get time. MaybeÖ

  • http://www.firegeezer.com Mike "FossilMedic" Ward

    After retiring from the fire department I took a weekend ACLS refresher with a hodge-podge of physicians, dentists, and nurses.

    It was two years since retirement and probably five years since I worked a resuscitation in the field. You know, the office-puke or “paper paramedic” syndrome.

    I was a little anxious, spent eight to 12 hours cramming, remembering the intensity of the last couple of recerts.

    This was my 12th ACLS refresher. I was so worried that I would mess up, I just told them I was a per-diem ED tech at the university.

    I was disoriented by the relaxed atmosphere during the testing process.

    Mike

  • totwtytr

    I think that the testing thing is going to cost the NREMT some members in areas where testing it optional. I can't think of another profession where you have to retake your original certification/licensing exam every two years. In fact, it seems that the higher your level of training, the less you have to do to renew your license. Can you think of ANY profession that has to retake their exam to recertify or relicense?

    Maybe that's something else for EMS 2.0 to look at.

  • mack505

    A few years ago I came up short on ACLS and took a last minute refresher through Big City Trauma Center. In the mega-code, I had to explain to the instructor that as a paramedic I don't have a 'code team' to order around. I have to actually check for a pulse, do CPR, intubate, push meds, etc. I can't just tell other people to do it for me. He never did get it.

    The rest of my 'team' of RNs and Pshrinks was happy to let the paramedic do all the work.

  • http://notesfrommosquitohill.com mack505

    A few years ago I came up short on ACLS and took a last minute refresher through Big City Trauma Center. In the mega-code, I had to explain to the instructor that as a paramedic I don't have a 'code team' to order around. I have to actually check for a pulse, do CPR, intubate, push meds, etc. I can't just tell other people to do it for me. He never did get it.

    The rest of my 'team' of RNs and Pshrinks was happy to let the paramedic do all the work.

  • http://notesfrommosquitohill.com mack505

    A few years ago I came up short on ACLS and took a last minute refresher through Big City Trauma Center. In the mega-code, I had to explain to the instructor that as a paramedic I don't have a 'code team' to order around. I have to actually check for a pulse, do CPR, intubate, push meds, etc. I can't just tell other people to do it for me. He never did get it.

    The rest of my 'team' of RNs and Pshrinks was happy to let the paramedic do all the work.

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I am a paramedic trying to advance the idea that the Emergency Medical Services can be made into the profession that we all want it, need it, and know it deserves to be.
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