EMS World

JAN 2019

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 | JANUARY 2019 41 E arlier this year the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT) announced the launch of a new web tool to streamline EMS professionals' recertification tracking. It was the latest of several tools the Registry has built since launching a new model for recertification, the National Continued Competency Pro- gram (NCCP), in 2012. The NCCP is a foundational part of the Registr y's efforts to sup- port the EMS profession's shift toward a model of lifelong profes- sional learning and evidence-based education. The model offers state and local agencies, along with medical directors, more say in specif ying training requirements for their EMS providers. A number of states have gone on to implement the NCCP, which sets parameters for the breakdown of training require- ments bet ween national, local, and individual requirements (50%, 25%, and 25% of recertification) and the percentage of each categor y that may be fulfilled with distributive education, as defined by the Commission on Accreditation for Prehospital Continuing Education (CAPCE). This article explores trends in EMS continuing education and training in light of the paradigm shift spurred by adoption of the NCCP through inter views with four EMS professionals: a medi- cal director; a longtime online EMS educator and practitioner; a quality improvement expert who is also an EMS educator and lifelong learner; and a training officer at Pro EMS, a Cambridge, Mass.-based ambulance ser vice that built its own learning man- agement system to help meet its training and education needs. Lifelong Learning One reason NREMT transitioned to the NCCP model of recerti- fication was to help the EMS profession move toward a focus on career-long learning as a part of the recertification process, much like other healthcare professions (e.g., doctors and nurses). For many EMS leaders on the front lines of education and quality care, it was a welcome change aimed at encouraging profes- sional grow th. "For a long time paramedics were tacitly given the message that they're complete when they graduate—they've learned what they need to know," says Mike Taigman, a quality improvement guide at FirstWatch, a leading data analy tics and quality improvement firm, and former general manager for AMR in California. "But when you graduate from medical school, the model is, that's when your education really starts, and it continues for a lifetime. Paramedics didn't have that mental mode built into the culture. Continuing education was almost never continuing; it was mostly regurgitation." Taigman sees the new approach ushered in by the NCCP as an oppor tunity for EMS leaders and educators to redesign the message of EMS education programs to convey that initial certi- fication is a baseline education and to reconfigure and reimagine CE as a whole. "The next step is to move into more of an internship/appren- ticeship 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," says Taigman. "I would include on that competency list the hunger for continuously learning and A number of states have implemented the NCCP, which sets parameters for breaking down national, local, and individual requirements. (Photo: Pro EMS)

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