If you enjoy driving and want to help people access healthcare services, becoming a non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) driver may be a fulfilling career path for you. NEMT drivers provide rides to non-ambulance medical appointments for people who do not have other transportation options. Here is a step-by-step guide to starting your career as an NEMT driver.
Get the Necessary Licenses and Certifications
Most NEMT companies require a valid state driver’s license, a clean driving record, and possibly a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Make sure you have the proper certifications before applying to NEMT jobs, including:
- A valid driver’s license that allows you to operate NEMT vehicles
- DOT medical examiner’s certificate
- Clean criminal and driving histories
- Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), if required
- CPR/first aid certification
- Disability awareness training certificate
- Proof of citizenship or legal ability to work in the United States
Every state has different license and training requirements to legally operate NEMT vehicles. Research the credentials needed in your state to be properly certified as an NEMT driver.
Undergo Extensive Background Checks
NEMT companies will conduct extensive background checks to ensure you do not have a criminal history and are licensed to work with patients. Be prepared to pay for and cooperate fully with these screening procedures, which typically include:
- Criminal background checks (federal, state, local)
- Drug/alcohol testing
- DMV driving record review
- Sex offender registry check
- Past employment verification
- Professional certification/license verification
Make sure you pass all background check requirements before applying to or accepting an NEMT job.
Obtain Proper Vehicle Insurance
You will need commercial auto insurance that meets state minimum liability coverage amounts to operate NEMT vehicles. Discuss insurance requirements with prospective employers. Common requirements include:
- $1 million per incident coverage
- Collision and comprehensive coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- Personal injury protection
Maintaining valid commercial insurance at all times is essential for legal and safe NEMT driving.
Follow Regulations and Get Required Training
NEMT regulations, training standards, and required certifications vary widely across states. Study your state’s policies so you meet all qualifications. Most companies and states mandate training in:
- Passenger assistance procedures
- Defensive and accessible driving
- Health/medical protocols
- HIPAA compliance
- Disability awareness
- Vehicle equipment operation
- Emergency/accident response
Be prepared to participate in ongoing education to remain up to date on all NEMT regulations.
Search for NEMT Job Openings
Once you meet all qualifications, start applying for NEMT driver positions. Local medical transportation brokers and medical facilities may have openings. Highlight your customer service skills, clean record, and any healthcare experience. With the proper licenses, insurance, training, and professional disposition, you can start driving patients conveniently and comfortably to medical appointments while earning a living.
Becoming an NEMT driver allows you to provide a valuable service to patients and the community. Make sure to meet state and company driver requirements, and you could begin this flexible, rewarding career.
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