EMS Education Agenda for the Future: A System’s Approach
Emergency medical services as a profession is barely a generation old. As is true of most new professions, there was no “master plan” to guide its evolution systematically, nor did it closely follow the models of other allied health professions. During the last 40 years, effective components of quality EMS education have emerged. Unfortunately, these individual parts have developed separately; currently there is no model for an EMS education system in which the components are clearly defined, their interrelationships described, and the decision-making process for modification and improvement established.
Although many outstanding EMS providers have been educated during the last 40 years, the absence of a structured system has resulted in considerable State-by-State variability in EMS education and licensure, and the lack of clear-cut future direction. The absence of a formal EMS education system has also led to inconsistencies among the various curricula, inadequate bridging from one provider level to another, and difficulty for an EMS professional to transfer from one State to another.
EMS and the world we live in today are very different from 40 years ago. Major technological and medical advances have resulted in drastic changes in emergency care. We live in a world that is increasingly more global and more mobile -- with the need to respond to different kinds of emergencies. The need for an organized system of EMS education and licensure seems clear. The EMS Education Agenda for the Future: A Systems Approach gives EMS the opportunity to honor the foresight of our predecessors and build upon the foundation they created by designing a structure for the EMS education system that extends their vision far into this millennium.
The Education Agenda includes five interdependent system components:
The EMS Education Agenda for the Future is a vision for the future, providing an organized, ongoing process for accommodating medical and technological advances that have an impact on the scope and content of EMS education. It will provide a model for the process of educating the emergency care providers of the future. To date, the National EMS Core Content and the Scope of Practice Model are complete and attention is now focused on completing the National EMS Education Standards. The process for the completion of all five of the agenda’s components is expected to take some time, and will continue to seek active participation and input from the EMS community as it moves forward. For more information, contact Dave Bryson.