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Improving Pediatric Education for Emergency Medical Services Providers: A Qualitative Study

  • Seth A. Brown (a1), Theresa C. Hayden (a2), Kimberly A. Randell (a3), Lara Rappaport (a4), Michelle D. Stevenson (a5) and In K. Kim (a5)...



Previous studies have illustrated pediatric knowledge deficits among Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers. The purpose of this study was to identify perspectives of a diverse group of EMS providers regarding pediatric prehospital care educational deficits and proposed methods of training improvements.


Purposive sampling was used to recruit EMS providers in diverse settings for study participation. Two separate focus groups of EMS providers (administrative and non-administrative personnel) were held in three locations (urban, suburban, and rural). A professional moderator facilitated focus group discussion using a guide developed by the study team. A grounded theory approach was used to analyze data.


Forty-two participants provided data. Four major themes were identified: (1) suboptimal previous pediatric training and training gaps in continuing pediatric education; (2) opportunities for improved interactions with emergency department (ED) staff, including case-based feedback on patient care; (3) barriers to optimal pediatric prehospital care; and (4) proposed pediatric training improvements.


Focus groups identified four themes surrounding preparation of EMS personnel for providing care to pediatric patients. These themes can guide future educational interventions for EMS to improve pediatric prehospital care.

Brown SA , Hayden TC , Randell KA , Rappaport L , Stevenson MD , Kim IK . Improving Pediatric Education for Emergency Medical Services Providers: A Qualitative Study. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(1):2026.


Corresponding author

Correspondence: Seth A. Brown, MD East Tennessee State University Department of Pediatrics 400 N. State of Franklin Rd Johnson City, Tennessee 37604 USA E-mail:


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