A Look Back at EMS Education in 2016

Limmer Creative has been posting our wishes for EMS education for a couple of years now. While 2016 was quite a year with intense politics and numerous celebrity deaths, let’s see how EMS fared this year by taking a look back at our 2016 list.

Embrace the 2015 AHA Guidelines – Success

We have (finally) embraced the 2010 guidelines with the reinforcement provided in the 2015 guidelines. The 2015 guidelines didn’t bring dramatic changes—and we think that gave us time to catch our breath and move forward…without oxygen via non-rebreather.

Bring Compassion and Peer Support into the Classroom – Not quite

We have increased our awareness of stress and suicide in mainstream EMS. This is very positive. We continue to applaud the Code Green Campaign for their efforts in this area and look forward to their continued efforts. Despite these changes, we have seen some generational differences where seasoned providers believe young providers are overly dramatic and aren’t as “tough” emotionally.  Social media has, sometimes viciously, exacerbated these differences.  There is more work to do on the compassion front. We’ll add this one to our 2017 list of wishes.

Embrace the Technology and Educational Methods Available to Us – Success

In our travels and discussions with educators we found that the “traditional” classroom of old is no more. Most educators report to us that they are using more active methods in place of lecture. The use of simulation in both high-and low-tech methods are increasing. We even introduced a new online test prep product, EMTreview.com. It was recognized by EMS World with a Top Innovator Award for breaking the mold of practice test after practice test and creating a more robust overall test prep experience with videos, interactive exams and study guides, as well as practice tests. The exhibit halls at NAEMSE Symposium and EMS World Expo had many new products and we look forward to more options for the modern classroom.

For God’s Sake Stop Using the Word “Basic.” – Not quite

Providers are EMTs, not EMT-Bs or EMT-Basics.  We don’t know why we keep using the terminology of a curriculum people didn’t like. Not only is “basic” bad psychology, but it is so far from the depth of knowledge required at the new EMT level. Basic is present in conversation, course flyers and Facebook posts. More work needs to be done to break these old habits. It holds us back educationally, too (see the next wish for more on this).

We Still Need More Pathophysiology – Not quite

As long as we see students not truly understanding shock, ventilation and respiration we have more work to do teaching pathophysiology. Most everyone acknowledges that pathophysiology is required in the new EMS Education Standards, yet it isn’t consistently taught with the depth and integration to truly make it successful and relevant. It is challenging to integrate this into an existing course—and not everyone can teach it the way it needs to be taught. Pathophysiology is a key to deeper understanding as well as greater success on the NREMT. This was a wish of ours for the past two years. It may just see another year in 2017.

We’ll post our wishes for 2017 soon. Do you have any suggestions for 2017 or reactions to this post? We’d love to hear them!