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Health Science | Textbooks | NREMT

4 Best EMT Textbooks for CTE Health Science Programs

August 18th, 2022 | 9 min. read

Brad Hummel

Brad Hummel

Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through his own teaching background, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for AES, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students through listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.

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Imagine responding to a medical emergency without the skills and knowledge necessary to make life-saving decisions. These are the situations that your students face if they don’t receive the correct information to become certified as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).

EMTs are among the most valued first responders for their ability to provide vital care to patients facing acute emergencies. But to give your students what they need, you’ll want an EMT textbook that provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive information.

In this article, we’ll look at 4 of the most popular emergency medical technician (EMT) textbooks available:

  1. Prehospital Emergency Care
  2. Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured
  3. Emergency Care
  4. AMLS: Advanced Medical Life Support

By the end of the article, you’ll better understand what each EMT textbook covers so you can choose what’s suitable for your program.

1. Prehospital Emergency Care

Prehospital Emergency Care, 11th EditionPrehospital Emergency Care is a popular textbook for emergency medical services (EMS) workers. Authored by Joseph J. Mistovich and Keith J. Karren, the textbook is currently in its 11th edition, which Pearson published in 2018.

As its title suggests, this textbook focuses on ensuring EMS operations are equipped to provide first-rate emergency care to patients before arriving at a hospital or medical facility. It’s based on the National EMS Standards, guidelines managed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This detailed text includes 46 chapters and three appendices, divided into these 12 parts:

  1. Preparatory and Public Health
  2. Anatomy, Physiology, and Medical Terminology
  3. Pathophysiology
  4. Span Development
  5. Airway Management, Artificial Ventilation, and Oxygenation
  6. Assessment
  7. General Pharmacology and Medication Administration
  8. Shock and Resuscitation
  9. Medicine
  10. Trauma
  11. Special Patient Populations
  12. EMS Operations

Using these overarching sections, students gain a thorough knowledge of the major concepts and skills involved in working as an EMT.

How Much Does This Resource Cost and Who Is It For?

Prehospital Emergency Care is priced moderately for a textbook, at least if you choose an eBook version over a paperback copy. You’ll pay $40 per eBook and $147 per paperback version.

If you want to provide your students with access to Pearson’s MyLab platform, you can do so starting at $100 per student.

The competitive price and the amount of content available in this textbook make it a fine choice for EMT instructors. However, since it was last updated in 2018, it’s not as current as other options on our list.

2. Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured

Product TitleEmergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured is an extensive EMT textbook from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). This textbook has been a mainstay in EMT curriculum since its introduction in 1971. It’s currently in its 12th edition, which the Public Safety Group published in 2021.

As one might expect from a reputable organization like AAOS, Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured is an extremely thorough resource that teachers and students have relied on for decades.

This text includes 41 content chapters divided into nine overarching sections:

  1. Preparatory
  2. Patient Assessment
  3. Airway Management
  4. Pharmacology
  5. Shock and Resuscitation
  6. Medical
  7. Trauma
  8. Special Patient Operations
  9. EMS Operations

Learners who’ve studied the entire text will be well-versed in the knowledge and skills necessary to be a successful EMT.

How Much Does This Resource Cost and Who Is It For?

The price of this textbook and its related materials varies widely based on the level of access you and your students need. Public Safety Group offers three levels of digital access: Essentials, Advantage, and Premier.

While your students are likely to receive all the content they need at any level, educators may be inclined to purchase Advantage access, which includes resources to help students prepare for the National Registry Exam.

Beyond digital access, you have the additional option to buy a paperback or hardcover version of the physical textbook. A flipped classroom component is also available for teachers who want to use this learning method in their programs.

With these options in mind, here is a breakdown of the per-student costs associated with the AAOS textbook:


Digital Only

Digital + Paperback

Digital + Hardcover













Premier Flipped Classroom





Ultimately, the AAOS volume a good choice for the teacher who wants a textbook with a substantial digital access component. This is particularly true when preparing students for the National Registry Exam.

However, the costs associated with Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured can be extremely high, with some options approaching and exceeding $500 per student. As such, this is not for programs operating on a budget.

3. Emergency Care

Pearson eText Emergency Care -- Instant Access

Emergency Care by Daniel J. Limmer, Michael F. O’Keefe, and Edward T. Dickinson is another time-honored EMT text that’s been around for over 35 years. Now in its 14th edition, the newest version of Emergency Care was published by Pearson in 2021.

Like most top-level EMT texts, it’s based on the National EMS Education standards and covers a broad spectrum of material.

Emergency Care includes 41 chapters of content between seven major sections:

  1. Foundations
  2. Airway Management, Respiration, and Artificial Ventilation
  3. Patient Assessment
  4. Medical Emergencies
  5. Trauma Emergencies
  6. Special Populations
  7. Operations

While it contains fewer sections, Emergency Care covers as many chapters and all the major topic areas as other EMT textbooks, making it a comparable text.

How Much Does This Resource Cost and Who Is It For?

Emergency Care is priced favorably compared with most EMT textbooks. You can expect to pay $40 for an eBook and $60 per paperback copy.

If you’d like access to Pearson’s MyLab, you’ll also have an added expense of $100-$120 per student.

Emergency Care is a solid choice for teachers searching for a reputable text covering a broad range of EMT topics. Its 2021 publication date makes it among the most up-to-date EMT textbooks. Emergency Care also covers many of the same topics as the similarly titled Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured, but at a much lower price.

4. AMLS: Advanced Medical Life Support

AMLS: Advanced Medical Life Support is a textbook from the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians published by the Public Safety Group.AMLS: Advanced Medical Life Support: Advanced Medical Life Support:  9781284196115: Medicine & Health Science Books @

Now in a third edition published in 2021, the book is designed to provide EMT students with the information they need to help patients in medical crises. The book centers its instruction on the AMLS Assessment Pathway, a systematic approach to prehospital diagnosis used by EMS practitioners.

This 500-page textbook divides into 12 chapters:

  1. Advanced Medical Life Support Assessment for the Medical Patient
  2. Respiratory Disorders
  3. Cardiovascular Disorders and Conditions Presenting as Chest Pain
  4. Shock
  5. Neurologic Disorders
  6. Abdominal Disorders
  7. Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders
  8. Infectious Diseases
  9. Environmental-Related Disorders
  10. Toxicology, Hazardous Materials, and Weapons of Mass Destruction
  11. Pharmacology
  12. Sepsis

While the AMLS textbook has fewer chapters than other EMS textbooks, they are longer and more comparable with sections or units from those textbooks.

How Much Does This Resource Cost and Who Is It For?

Like other resources on this list, you’ll pay a little less for an AMLS: Advanced Medical Life Support eBook than a paperback version.

The eBook will cost $51 per student, while the paperback edition runs $68 per student. Both are relatively inexpensive compared with other EMT books. You can also purchase instructor and student resources separately at an added cost.

The AMLS Pathway is a specific diagnosis and treatment strategy many Emergency Medical Services organizations use. As such, the AMLS textbook is a good fit for students who are likely to use the AMLS Pathway when working with local EMS operations. Its 2021 publication also means that it’s more current than other options.

Prepare Your Health Science Students for EMT Certification and More

Ultimately, any of these Emergency Medical Technician textbooks can give your students the information they need to succeed. What you choose may depend on the subjects you need to cover, any certifications for which you are preparing your students, and the price you can afford.

However, we’ve found that many health science teachers aren’t just looking for EMT textbooks, but instead a curriculum for classes throughout the health science pathway.

If you are looking for a comprehensive curriculum that will prepare your students for EMT certification and more, consider AES. AES content aligns with the National EMS Standards and helps prepare students for the NREMT certifications for both EMR and EMT.

To learn more, download your free certification guide. You’ll discover how you can easily use AES to get students ready for NREMT certification.

Download the NREMT EMR Exam Guide >