NREMT Psychomotor Exam Changes: An Overview

The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) is the organization responsible for certifying most of the EMRs, EMTs, AEMTs, and paramedics in the United States. Their uniform examination process has tested the skills and knowledge of emergency medical service providers since 1970.

On January 1, 2017, the NREMT officially implemented their new psychomotor exams for paramedics.

The Journal of EMS (JEMS) hosted a webinar sponsored by iSimulate explaining changes and the reasoning behind them. To view a recording of the webinar, visit the webcast at JEMS.

Changes include (1) student portfolios, (2) scenario exams, and (3) student awareness.

Student Portfolios: In an effort to record skill formation, the National Registry is asking paramedic students to produce comprehensive portfolios on their classroom learning, as well as their experiences in clinical work and capstone field internships. Portfolios show instructors what their students are doing in a practical setting, allowing them to base curriculum on necessary skills they haven’t encountered.

Scenario Exams: New psychomotor exams have an increased emphasis on summative skills. Rather than asking a student to perform an isolated procedure and assessing their ability to do so, the new exams offer students a complex scenario for them to investigate and solve. Considering paramedics regularly work with minimal information, new testing procedures will further reduce the disparity of knowledge between professionals and students.

Leadership: Although students aren’t as experienced as their professional colleagues, they should leave their classes feeling confident enough to contribute in the field. Offering a second perspective on a call creates a system of checks-and-balances that improve patient outcomes. However, if students aren’t willing or knowledgeable enough to contribute, the potential for human error grows considerably.

Changes might seem demanding at first glance, but Pocket Nurse® has representatives ready to help you find all the tools necessary to improve your simulation lab. Browse products now at

Evan Steiger is Marketing Coordinator at Pocket Nurse.

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