Advanced training for an EMT B


Forum Crew Member
Currently I am volunteering in a busy system as an EMT Basic. As background I have been in the ambulance corps for 8 years total and have been an EMT for 3 years.

I am at the point that I want to expand my knowledge, even if it doesn't mean an immediate change in my scope. I eventually want to go to paramedic school or higher, but right now can't because of my full time job and finances.

So far I have been doing self study on Coursera and watching FOAM videos, but I want to take the next step to actual classroom training and education.

I was looking at various classes like AMLS and PHTLS. Are those worthwhile?


Forum Asst. Chief
You can go bankrupt collecting useless merit badge courses if you want to. Pick whatever combination of letters out of the scrabble bag you want and go pay somebody a few hundred dollar for a card with your name on it. Even if you collect the whole set, you wont be in any better a place. Most of the course you're thinking of aren't basic education courses, they're expansion courses; expansion you're ill prepared to fully utilize since you're lacking the foundation. I'm not saying you wont get anything out of this type of course, you probably will. What I'm saying is to get full value for the cost of say AMLS, you need the basic education provided in medic school. Otherwise, theres going to be a lot of information you just gloss over because it doesn't apply to you as a basic.

A better plan is to save the money you would have spent on cards and patches until you have enough for medic school(or even AEMT school, if thats a thing where you live; although I recommend you just do medic school).

Also, you're a volley. Try not to fall into the trap of letting your hobby drag you under. Certifications cost money to get and money to maintain. You aren't getting paid. See how this can compound? I know a guy who for years has been collecting cards. Hell take any class he can find that results in a card, patch, pin, post nomial etc. The man must literally spend 2k/year simply maintaining cards.

Save your pennies, make the commitment, and actually advance your practice by obtaining a higher level of certification. Until then, most of the material you want to learn about is covered by YouTube videos at least as well as you'll get with the death by PowerPoint model of modern EMS education and you dont even need pants on to watch you tube.


EMS Educator
100% agree. My partner at work is a B, wants to take the advanced class and then go to paramedic school in a year or two. I told him to save his money and skip the middleman. Go right to paramedic school. Don't waste your time with classes that, at the present time, are useless to you.

If you really want to take classes to improve your skills and knowledge, basic general education at a college level is a must. English comp, algebra, anatomy and physiology, chemistry… All of those will help immensely and put you at a greater advantage when you do go to paramedic school.

Carlos Danger

Forum Deputy Chief
Premium Member
Good for your for wanting to learn and advance.

I agree with Nomad and Hometown, though......the return on what you invest (both time and money) into these courses would be limited.

Keep doing the self-study that you are doing. Teach, if you have the opportunity. Take an anatomy and physiology course if you can, either formally or informally. A good A&P course is very high yield in terms of helping you understand the why behind what you do, and preparing you for further learning.


Forum Deputy Chief
I took PHTLS as an EMT for a job requirement.

I might as well have spent 2 days listening to someone read War and Peace in Chinese.

I didnt get the full value of the class till I had the ALS knowledge.

Ill have to agree with the above posters, save your money for medic class.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk


Forum Ride Along
I have to agree with everyone above, A+ for the learning drive you have! But just save your money and go to medic school. There isn't anything wrong with watching FOAMed videos and furthering knowledge per say on 12 leads. But to spend money on a class just for knowledge seems a little crazy since you cant even "use" the certification if you will. Most classes require the underlying base knowledge of medic school anyways.


Forum Lieutenant
One of the thing you can do that will help a bit, is to learn the basics of reading ecg (particularly lead II) to get the simpler side of the fundamentals of that out of the way (something you can do online for free, there's a plethera of sites for it), and start the process of learning your ACLS drug lists and classifications (even if you don't yet know the implications of them). Being familiar with the basic material will allow you to learn easier because you won't be taking in massive amounts of information ON TOP of taking in massive amounts of information, allowing you to sort of ease into the education a bit before you dive into the EMT-P classes. However, most of the stand alone courses available assume an EMT-P or RN and build on that as the basic foundation- hence what you really want to be doing is simply preparing yourself for EMT-P classes by familarizing yourself with as much of the material as you can find. Even if you don't understand something now- chances are it will CLICK later and can actually help pass the written tests.