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An Historical Examination of the Development of Emergency Medical Services Education in the US through Key Reports (1966-2014)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 December 2015

Ingrid A. Brooks*
Affiliation:
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
Michael R. Sayre
Affiliation:
Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington USA
Caroline Spencer
Affiliation:
Disaster Resilience Initiative, Monash Injury Research Institute, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
Frank L. Archer
Affiliation:
Disaster Resilience Initiative, Monash Injury Research Institute, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
*
Correspondence: Ingrid Brooks School of Nursing and Midwifery Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Monash University Building 10 Clayton Campus Wellington Road Clayton VIC 3800 Australia E-mail: ingrid.brooks@monash.edu

Abstract

Introduction

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) approach to emergency prehospital care in the United States (US) has global influence. As the 50-year anniversary of modern US EMS approaches, there is value in examining US EMS education development over this period. This report describes US EMS education milestones and identifies themes that provide context to readers outside the US.

Method

As US EMS education is described mainly in publications of federal US EMS agencies and associations, a Google search and hand searching of documents identified publications in the public domain. MEDLINE and CINAHL Plus were searched for peer reviewed publications. Documents were reviewed using both a chronological and thematic approach.

Results

Seventy-eight documents and 685 articles were screened, the full texts of 175 were reviewed, and 41 were selected for full review. Four historical periods in US EMS education became apparent: EMS education development (1966-1980); EMS education consolidation and review (1981-1989); EMS education reflection and change (1990-1999); and EMS education for the future (2000-2014). Four major themes emerged: legislative authority, physician direction, quality, and development of the profession.

Conclusion

Documents produced through broad interprofessional consultations, with support from federal and US EMS authorities, reflect the catalysts for US EMS education development. The current model of US EMS education provides a structure to enhance educational quality into the future. Implementation evaluation of this model would be a valuable addition to the US EMS literature. The themes emerging from this review assist the understanding of the characteristics of US EMS education.

Brooks IA , Sayre MR , Spencer C , Archer FL . An Historical Examination of the Development of Emergency Medical Services Education in the US through Key Reports (1966-2014). Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(1):9097.

Type
Special Reports
Copyright
© World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2015 

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Supplementary material: File

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