The Texas Department of State Health Services, DSHS, is the agency legally charged in the State of Texas to issue certificates or licenses for EMS professionals.
The National Registry of EMTs is the agency designated by the DSHS as the provider of the computer adaptive testing and psychomotor skills exams. Successful completion of that examination is necessary to apply for certification or license as an EMS provider in the State of Texas.
EMS Job Qualifications and Competencies
- DSHS Qualifications
- Successfully complete a DSHS-approved course. This shall include verification of skills proficiency and achievement of a passing score on the written certification examination.
- Must be at least 18 years of age.
- DSHS certification requires a high school education or equivalent.
- Possess the ability to:
- communicate verbally in English, via telephone and radio equipment;
- lift, carry, and balance up to 125 pounds (250 with assistance);
- interpret written, oral and diagnostic instructions;
- use good judgment and remain calm in high-stress situations;
- be unaffected by loud noises and flashing lights;
- function efficiently throughout an entire work shift without interruption;
- calculate weight and volume ratios and read small print, both under life-threatening time constraints;
- read English language manuals and road maps;
- accurately discern street signs and address numbers;
- interview patient, family members and bystanders;
- document, in written English, all relevant information in the prescribed format;
- converse in English with coworkers and hospital staff as to status of patient;
- perform all tasks related to the highest quality patient care with good manual dexterity;
- bend, stoop and crawl on uneven terrain;
- withstand varied environmental conditions such as extreme heat, cold and moisture; and
- work in low light and confined spaces.
- Competency Areas
- The Emergency Medical Technician-Basic must demonstrate competency in handling emergencies in accordance with all behavioral objectives in the DOT/EMT Basic curriculum.
- EMT-B competency areas include: all basic life support equipment and skills, the knowledge contained in the FEMA document titled “Recognizing and Identifying Hazardous Materials.” The program includes curricula on aids to resuscitation, oxygen therapy, blood pressure by palpation and auscultation, oral suctioning, spinal immobilization, patient assessment, adult, child and infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the use of the pneumatic anti-shock garment, automated external defibrillators, epinephrine auto-injectors, and inhaler bronchodilator.
- The Paramedic, EMT-P, must demonstrate competency in handling emergencies in accordance with all behavioral objectives in the DOT/EMT Basic, EMT-I, and the EMT-P curriculums.
Additional paramedic competency areas include: advanced airway management, application of defibrillation, cardioversion, and external pacing, EKG diagnosis (both single and 12-Lead), intravenous and intraosseous catheter insertion, pharmacology to include oral and parenteral administration of emergency medications, and the management of emergency obstetrical, medical, trauma, psychological, endocrinological, neurological, pediatrics, and other situations.
EMS Certification Policy
- Skills Proficiency Verification
A candidate must demonstrate proficiency in all DSHS skills. Skills verifications are administered at the schools for DSHS and through the NREMT for paramedic.
- Written Examination
A candidate must achieve a passing grade on the DSHS designated written certification examination. The written examination is administered in a computer adaptive testing format through Pearson Vue Testing Centers for the NREMT.
National Registry Testing
- The Department of State Health Services requires candidates to successfully pass the National Registry of EMTs examination as condition of eligibility to apply for EMS certification or license.
- The psychomotor skills exam portion is administered by BHC and other schools for the Paramedic level and DSHS for the EMT-B level. There is a “site usage” cost charged by all institutions who administer this test. This cost is not included in Brookhaven College tuition.
- In addition to the DSHS certification application and the site usage costs, there is an additional cost, payable to the NREMT for this test.
Reciprocity with Other States
- Requirements for EMS certification vary significantly from state to state. Students who anticipate practicing in another state should contact the agency responsible for credentialing EMS personnel in that state as soon as possible to obtain information regarding requirements for reciprocity.
- Meeting reciprocity requirements is the responsibility of the student.