EMS World

SEP 2018

EMS World Magazine is the most authoritative source in the world for clinical and educational material designed to improve the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care.

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36 SEPTEMBER 2018 | EMSWORLD.com I t can be said there are two kinds of stu- dents in a class: those who want to be there and those who have to be. It's not uncommon to find recertifying EMTs and paramedics in the "have to be" group. They're not really concerned with learning anything; they're just meeting their require- ment, checking a box. This is obviously not the best use of pro- viders' time. Further, it's not the best use of the instructor's time and talents, nor is it the most effective use of leave hours, stipends, or overtime pay. Continuing education generally refers to the process of periodically refreshing knowl- edge, skills, abilities, and current practices, and multiple fields require it. The CE process should be an opportunity to review seldom- used knowledge and skills and become updated on new information, techniques, and equipment. It should not just be a hoop to jump through. The NCCP Model Continuing education requirements are often described in numbers of hours, required subject matter, or measures such as CEUs (continuing education units). Where continuing education is mandated, there is generally some requirement that addresses the content and/or number of hours. The National Registr y of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) has begun using the National Continued Competency Program (NCCP) model. 1 This requires a set number of total hours (40 for EMTs, 60 for paramedics), which is then divided into three components: a national component, a local or state component, and an individual com- ponent. Topic areas under the national compo- nent are updated and published every four years. State and local components are either specified by a state EMS office or agency or developed by local EMS entities. If there are no state or local requirements, then these hours are considered flexible content, and any state-approved or Com- mission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE) course can be used. 2 Individual component hours are also considered flexible content. Using the NCCP model, we now have an outline, or road map for the direction we must travel. However, we must still choose specific topics, and since develop- ing or attending instruction is an investment in both time and money, we must ensure everyone is getting the most from this com - mitment. So how does one choose? How does a provider decide what type of course- work to attend, and how does an instructor or administrator decide what to offer? Based on what we've discussed thus far, the following model is offered as a guide for selecting the content for continuing educa- tion. This model is meant to serve as a sim- plified visual representation of the concept and structure of continuing education. Its objective is to aid in the decision-making process by providing focus and direction. It was conceived mainly from an EMS per- spective but could be applied to any field that requires continuing education. Sides of the Triangle The first side of the con-ed triangle (CET) is new material and addresses subject matter Do your students truly want to be in class, or do they just have to be? Try a "bottom-up" approach to education. Three-Sided Model for Continuing Education For best results, review the old, absorb the new, and focus on your specific needs By John Alexander, MS, NRP EDUCATION AND TRAINING

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