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AAES Blog

Stay up to date with the latest news in EMS education, Arizona-specific changes, and what’s going on at AAES. Each week we will tackle topics that are of interest to you and provide you with the knowledge you need to stay informed. Follow our blog at www.azemergency.com/blog

Andrew Johnston

Quality vs Quantity

Faster Is Not Always Better

The allure of accelerated programs is exciting.   Many students look to finish school as quickly as possible in order to start a new job or a new career.  You have bills to pay.  You don’t want to sit in another class for an entire semester.  You can’t stand your current job.  I get it.

But is it the right choice?

Just because you CAN attend an EMT class over 3 or 4 weeks, doesn’t necessarily mean that you SHOULD.  When the educational standards are increasing by the day, it is more important than ever to be a competent and safe healthcare provider.

Would you want a doctor to take care of you that finished medical school in 1 year?

Invest in yourself and your future by not rushing through school.  If you don’t have a strong background in medical terminology and anatomy & physiology, then you should really consider a longer program to give you the time you’ll need to succeed.

6 years ago we extended our EMT Program from 9 weeks to 12 weeks and saw a dramatic spike up in student retention, competency, and overall satisfaction.  If your accelerated class starts with 24 students and ends with 4, there’s a BIG problem.

Don’t sacrifice your long-term success for a short-term fix. 

Quality is key.

Andrew Johnston

EMS Education with High-Fidelity Simulation Compared to Real World Experience

Accreditation standards continue to push EMS programs to document increasing numbers of skills and patient encounters of certain age demographics and complaints.  With this direction, programs have two options to choose from:

Obtain valuable and diverse sites (Hospital, Fire Service, Ambulance Service) with excellent clinical preceptors that can provide students with the opportunity to achieve their requirements with direct, real-world, hands on patient care.

OR

Supplement the program with simulated patient encounters, high-fidelity manikins, and feedback-providing simulators.

Clinical rotations in hospital and in the field are competitive and there’s no guarantee of what patients will be present during shift.  Certainly, technology is improving and providing greater training equipment options that mimic actual patients.  All of this begs certain questions:

Can a student be adequately trained to perform invasive skills in a simulated environment, to the extent that the first time they perform the skill on an actual patient occurs when they are a certified provider?

And, if they CAN…SHOULD they?

Can a manikin that delivers a baby replace the experience of being present for, and assisting with, the delivery of a newborn?  Should a Paramedic’s first intubation be AS A PARAMEDIC, or as a student?

Research continues that is looking into all of this.  Overall, a healthy balance of simulated experiences in the classroom and lab combined with a broad real-world experience requirement is likely best and most practical.  For the high-stress, low-frequency procedures and patients, continued practice in a simulated environment may be the only option and can sharpen skills to be as ready as possible when the actual patient is in need.

Andrew Johnston

top posts

  • Quality vs Quantity

    Faster Is Not Always Better The allure of accelerated programs is exciting.   Many students look to finish school as..

    By Andrew Johnston,

  • AAES Blog

    Stay up to date with the latest news in EMS education, Arizona-specific changes, and what's going on at AAES. Each..

    By Andrew Johnston,

  • EMS Education with High-Fidelity Simulation Compared to Real World Experience

    Accreditation standards continue to push EMS programs to document increasing numbers of skills and patient encounters of certain age demographics..

    By Andrew Johnston,

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