Trends in EMS Continuing Education

EMS World (01/01/19) Smith, Susanna J.

The adoption of the National Continued Competency Program (NCCP) model of recertification has impacted the field of emergency medical services (EMS) continuing education and training in a number of ways. The transition was undertaken to shift the EMS profession toward lifelong learning as a part of the recertification process, and many EMS leaders welcomed the move. Mike Taigman with FirstWatch says the NCCP offers an opportunity for EMS leaders and educators to rethink the message of EMS education programs to communicate that initial certification as a baseline education and to reconfigure and reimagine continuing education holistically. "The next step is to move into more of an internship/apprenticeship system, to show not just that you've done the ride-along hours or whatever the requirements are but that you've really gained the base competencies," he suggests. Another benefit of the paradigm shift is an increase in offerings of blended classrooms and more flexibility for students through combinations of classroom learning, simulation labs, online classes, videos, and other modes of digital content. A third trend spurred by the NCCP is EMS agencies leveraging opportunities to develop more robust recertification tracking tools, circulate new training content widely and quickly, and deliver tracking of training in real time. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians also announced last year the development of web technology to streamline recertification tracking for EMS professionals.

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