What type of EMT Training is best for me? In-person traditional, hybrid or accelerated training?

January 19, 2021 By: Donna Weiss

What type of EMT training class is right for you?  Traditional in-person, hybrid, or accelerated training?  There are a lot of choices when trying to decide what type of EMT class will best suit you as a learner and your schedule.

With the onset of COVID, millions of learners have transitioned to an online environment and the EMS industry is no different.  But that does not mean on-line learning is the best option for EMT training.  In the state of Missouri, you are still required to attend a portion of your training in-person to qualify for course completion.  The challenge that online learning presents, especially for the EMT learner, is that many of the students entering this field learn by doing.  We understand most students learn best by simulating, practicing, and teaching others.  That is why the majority of our classes are offered in the traditional format in-person.

As we look at the different EMT course formats, keep this common college guideline in mind as you plan which class best fits your needs:

On average, a college student should dedicate two or three hours of study time outside the classroom for every credit hour.  The EMT course is 8 credit hours.

8 credit hours in class per week = 16 – 24 hours of study time per week.

1400 pages.  46 chapters.  This is what the average EMT textbook contains.  You must comprehend this information in a way that allows you to recall the information in an emergency and apply your knowledge to assist the patient.  This requires time to understand, digest and practice.

Traditional In-Person EMT Training

Our traditional in-person EMT training is offered in two formats.  We offer a one-day per week, 8-hour training program and a two-day per week, 4-hour training program.  Both courses will run approximately 16 weeks long and both provide the learner ample time to read and process the information.  Students may find that attending class one-day per week fits their schedule best.  Other students may not be able to dedicate one entire day to attending class and need to split up the in-class sessions in four-hour increments.  Throughout the year, Respond Right EMS Academy offers a day class and evening class option.  All in-person training classes provide the EMT student with excellent hands-on learning opportunities, group activities and in-person engagement.

The traditional in-person 16-week format provides ample time for the student to digest the information and read the textbook.  When the student is trying to understand and apply 46 chapters and approximately 1400 pages, you must allocate proper time and attention.  Students with difficulty reading or comprehending information are urged to attend the traditional in-person EMT training.

Hybrid EMT Training

The hybrid EMT training will be different from school to school, but the student will generally be responsible for reading, comprehending, and completing most of the didactic portion of the class on-line at home.  Students will attend the lab sessions in-person to practice the required skills and test out of the program.  This type of EMT training is geared toward the learner that is self-sufficient, an excellent reader, excellent at comprehending information and is a self-starter.  Students can generally work at their own pace and are required to be completed with the program at a certain point to complete the required lab sessions.  The hybrid EMT training is an excellent option for PA and OT students, or students in other health-related fields that are required to obtain patient care to progress in their field.

The hybrid EMT training at Respond Right EMS Academy is scheduled on a four-month time frame.  Students have three months to complete the didactic portion of the class and must have the this completed by a pre-stated deadline.  Upon reaching this deadline, the students will have required lab sessions to attend.  These lab sessions will allow the student to practice and become proficient in the required EMT skills.

This hybrid EMT training allows students the flexibility to study when it is convenient for them.  Students must understand they need to have a structured study schedule to accomplish the requirements in the time allotted.

Accelerated EMT Training

The accelerated EMT training is a fast-paced format designed for students that can dedicate three, four or five days per week to the training.  This is an intensive program that requires the learner to be excellent at reading, comprehending, organization, and adjusting their attention to the required task.  This training usually last 6, 8 or 10 weeks and requires the student to read multiple chapters a day, and be prepared to be tested on that material the next class day.

Very few students are able to achieve success in accelerated programs.  While some students may be able to navigate the challenges of the course itself, I have found that not all are able to pass the required state and national exams at the end of the course.  I have personally talked with students from accelerated programs who were able to pass the EMT training course, but unable to pass the required state and national exams.  Students have told me they are given information and study guides to pass the course, but they are not equipped with the knowledge to treat patients and answer questions outside the class they attended.  In my experience, accelerated EMT training is not for everyone and should be approached with caution.  Students should evaluate the type of learner they are and how they manage their personal schedules to determine if this type of training is right for them.  The amount of money that is invested in an accelerated program can be wasted if you are not able to pass the state and national exams.  Many students are forced to attend the entire class a second time to re-learn the information.

At Respond Right EMS Academy, we are always happy to talk with students to evaluate the type of learner they are and what format fits them best.  EMT training is a big investment and students should understand what they are registering for.


Toni Milan, BS, Paramedic-Program Director