The EMS World Expo is one of the largest conferences for Emergency Medical Services workers, bringing together thousands of paramedics, EMTs, and other public safety professionals from around the globe.
The way EMS is taught has changed drastically over the course of the last several years. Below are three themes in EMS education that we saw at the 2022 EMS World Expo.
Flexible Education Models
With budget impacts, staffing shortages, instructor churn, and health care system consolidation, EMS organizations need up-to-date, innovative, flexible models that allow them to adapt to organizational changes. A flexible educational model is one that evaluates new advances in both research and technology and uses that information as a foundation for continuous improvement, ensuring its systems and offerings provide state-of-the-art learning in an industry subject to change without notice.
In other words: it’s no longer just about textbooks.
Instructors need ways to offer their curriculums in a variety of formats. This can be through a flipped classroom approach, in which students observe pre-recorded lectures on their own time while in-class hours are spent on engagement, question-and-answer, and practice with real-world scenarios. Teaching can also include interactive videos, analyzing current case studies, as well as simulations that help students learn from their mistakes.
Public Safety Group offers high-quality education in a multitude of formats, accommodating not only a variety of learning styles but learners across multiple settings and schedules, including trusted materials like Nancy Caroline's Emergency Care Management in the Streets, Ninth Edition and Sanders' Paramedic Textbook. Both of these foundational learning materials come with “Navigate” access, which includes audio book, assessment center, and dashboard that reports actionable data. Instructors can also find innovative instructor guides, detailed case studies, ride-along videos, and popular simulations. Of course, the print products are available, too.
Mental Health Care for EMS Teams
EMTs and paramedics face a great deal of stress carrying out the responsibilities of their roles, leading to a disproportionate occurrence of burnout and mental health struggles among the highly skilled workers in this field. We expect to see a continuing trend in taking an educational and preventative approach to mental health support for EMS practitioners at this year’s conference.
By shifting focus from providing extensive technical education toward providing a mix of technical training and training on soft skills and well-being, employers can begin to establish a culture where mental health among EMS workers is a top priority.
Public Safety Group has been addressing mental health among EMS workers with positive outcomes. In addition to the soft skills discussed in the latest edition of Emergency Care in the Streets, we have two offerings that have been changing the mental health climate in organizations that leverage them:
- The Mental Health Resilience Officer Course, created by NAEMT and distributed by Public Safety Group, is designed to assist EMS agencies in building and supporting the mental health resilience of their personnel. After completing the 6-hour course, your MHRO will be prepared to coordinate the mental health resiliency efforts of the agency and provide advanced support and referral to peers and subordinates.
- Additionally, our First Responder Resiliency course is designed to help all EMS workers prioritize their own wellness, support the mental health of their peers, recognize the early signs of crisis, and take appropriate steps to intervene. When all EMS providers are adequately trained, the stigma around emotional well-being and self-care is slowly broken down, allowing for open, honest dialogue 'on the floor' and improved support from every direction.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
EMS practitioners care for diverse populations and must be able to recognize and overcome their own biases to provide compassionate, empathetic, and equitable care to all patients. The approach in the future will shift to focus on removing the shame associated with unconscious bias and equipping practitioners with the tools and resources they need to recognize and overcome the biases all people inherently hold. Agencies who do this first will see immediate returns in patient satisfaction and patient outcomes as equity improves.
Also important in the DEI theme is representation of all students in the curriculum. It’s essential for students to recognize themselves in their education, to not feel marginalized, to feel a strong sense of belonging in their chosen profession, to trust their teammates, and to be supported throughout their careers.
Public Safety Group is meeting the need when it comes to DEI by:
- Ensuring all students feel represented in our content by strengthening our materials to be more inclusive, enhancing our illustrations, and providing broader representation for practitioners and patients,
- Introducing both technical knowledge and emotional nuance into our products that help practitioners determine the best ways to provide care in difficult situations, and,
- Providing instructors with tools that improve their proficiency when it comes to discussing difficult topics with students - especially around diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging.
Browse all of Public Safety Group's Emergency Medical Services products and resources.