EMS World

OCT 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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EMSWORLD.com | OCTOBER 2018 77 OCTOBER 29 - NOVEMBER 2, 2018 NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE Test Language Matters: Questioned Words by Saudi Arabian Paramedic Students Author: William Leggio, EdD, NRP Associate authors: L. Michael Bowen, BEH (Hons.), NRP, Dave I. Page, MS, NRP Introduction—Item-writing guidelines for multiple-choice assessments have raised concerns regarding the focus, gram- mar, and language. Guidelines include: items should be impor- tant to learned content and not trivial information; use of con- cise, simple vocabulary; homogenous content and structure; and avoiding trick items. Difficult vocabulary places some students at risk because it affects the reading demand. The use of simplified language is supported as an effective way to reduce the influ- ence of reading ability, a source of construct-irrelevant variance when the assessment is intended to measure something else. Methods—In May 2015 44 senior paramedic students in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, attempted Fisdap's 200-item Paramedic Readiness Exam 4 (PRE4), a valid and reliable cognitive multiple- choice assessment. The students' program was based on the standard U.S. curriculum and used U.S. textbooks. Participants wrote down words they did not know while taking PRE4. Results—A total of 127 words were reported. Tables report words (n=56) questioned by multiple participants, words ques- tioned by a single participant, the group's overall performance on PRE4, and the correlation between words questioned by multiple students (n=56) and PRE4 topic areas. Conclusion—This study reported a mixture of questioned nonmedical and medical words. Items phrased with construct- irrelevant words introduced an unfair disadvantage for those learning English or with different cultural backgrounds. The language used within an assessment should reflect standards, guidelines, and reference materials, and it should adhere to a universal design for maximum accessibility. Traditional vs. Accelerated EMT Courses: A Paradigm Shift Author: Daniel Armstrong Associate authors: Kevin Rummel, Stephen Whitlock Introduction—According to the National EMS Education Stan- dards, the length for an EMT course is estimated to be approxi- mately 150–190 hours. These courses traditionally span several months, but accelerated EMT courses are becoming more com- mon. Anecdotal evidence suggests many in the EMS commu- nity believe students are more successful in traditional-length courses. This project was designed to determine whether there is a difference in student success in traditional vs. accelerated formats. EMS program directors could benefit from this informa- tion to guide course scheduling, and students could benefit with help deciding which type of course they enroll in. Hypothesis—EMT students are more successful in traditional- length courses. Methods—A retrospective review of an EMT program that offered both traditional and accelerated courses was conducted. The program offered traditional courses spanning four months and accelerated courses spanning seven weeks. Both courses consisted of 200 hours of training. Five years of student data was examined retrospectively to determine student success. Indicators of student success used in this study were course completion and score on the written state certifying exam. Results—A total of 432 student records were examined. Of those, 312 students (72.2%) were in the traditional format, and 120 students (27.8%) were in the accelerated format. Of the 312 students enrolled in the traditional format, 131 (42%) did not complete the program. Of the 120 students enrolled in the accel- erated format, 35 (29.2%) did not complete it. When comparing completion rates of both groups statistically, the Z-score is 2.45 with a p-value of 0.014, making the result statistically significant (p<0.005). Student state certifying exam scores were compiled and compared with a t-test. Students enrolled in the traditional- format course had a mean score of 78.10 on the state certifying exam, while students enrolled in the accelerated format had a mean score of 79.54. The t-value was 1.38 and the p-value 0.17, making this result not statistically significant (p<.005). Conclusion—The hypothesis was disproved. Students enrolled in a traditional class were less likely to complete the course, and there was no statistical difference in scores on the state certifying exam. Evaluating Hybrid EMT Courses in South Carolina Author: Ryan Nix, BS, NRP, NCI Associate authors: Courtney Harrison, MS, Robert Wronski, MBA, NRP, Victor Grimes, MPH, Sean Kaye, BA, EMT-P, Jennifer K. Wilson, BA, EMT-B, Antonio R. Fernandez, PhD, NRP, FAHA Introduction—To keep up with constant changes in technol- ogy as well as the increased number of courses offered, EMT programs in South Carolina have begun using a hybrid delivery style to instruct initial EMT students. In the traditional format, students sit in a classroom with an instructor lecturing to the class. The hybrid format uses a combination of traditional class- room time and online lectures, with classroom time normally dedicated to practicing skills and taking exams. All EMT students must obtain their National Registry EMT (NREMT) certification before obtaining their South Carolina EMT certification. It is unknown if students who attend hybrid courses perform as well on the NREMT exam as those who attend traditional courses. Objective—To evaluate first-time successful pass rates of EMT students who received initial EMT training using a hybrid format versus the traditional format.

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