The Benefits of Continuing Your EMT Education Online
One of the noticeable changes coming out of the global COVID-19 pandemic has been an increased opportunity for employees to work from home, and more virtual resources available for a wide range of industries. While first responders cannot work remotely, they can take advantage of online learning technologies to improve their practices, advance their careers, and increase overall job satisfaction.
Benefits of Continuing Education
While the number of continuing education (CE) hours vary by state and by your level of EMT certification, continuing education is not only required but is actually beneficial to your career and job satisfaction. Staying up-to-date on trends and technologies can help you deliver better care to your patients for better outcomes, while also ensuring that you are poised for whatever next step you choose in your career path. Other benefits include:
- Keep Your Skills in Top Shape: CE hours help ensure your practical skills don’t get rusty, especially when it comes to conditions you don’t encounter frequently. You’ll also benefit from updates on protocols and new research that might affect your treatment decisions in the real world (for example, evolving research on stroke assessment).
- Battle Burnout: Recent studies show that EMTs often experience substantial occupation-related stress, and much of that is connected to burnout, or a lack of motivation or engagement in one’s job. Burnout can present as a wide range of mental and physical symptoms, and have serious side-effects. However, finding CE opportunities that spark your interest or help you set new goals can reinvigorate your career and help you feel more ownership and control of your future.
- Expand Your Network: Another element in helping ensure your career as a medical professional remains enjoyable and rewarding is creating and maintaining a healthy professional network of peers. CE opportunities put you in contact with your professional peers – whether they are other attendees or the instructors – and help you expand your network.
Online EMS Continuing Education
First responders face unique challenges in completing their CE hours. Besides shift work and long hours, it’s not uncommon for a CE class to be interrupted by ringing tones, calling away a large portion of the class. These conditions make the idea of online continuing education for EMS professionals a great fit.
Go at Your Own Pace
Many CE courses available online can be viewed and completed anywhere, anytime, as long as you have the right connectivity. Using a personal computer, computer at the station, a tablet, or even a smartphone, EMS professionals can use their unexpected downtime to make progress on their CE hours.
Pause, Rewind, or Watch Later
Online technology typically offers options that make viewing more flexible. If you are called out, need to review some of the previous material, or simply need to take a break, you can typically go back to the class at a later time and pick up right where you left off.
Get the Same Training, Every Time
A challenge for CE classes is ensuring that presenters are consistent and use the same content for each class. Topics in prehospital care can be especially dependent on complete, accurate information delivered uniformly to all students. Additionally, EMS agencies might be limited on the number of available instructors, or time for classes. By using recorded CE sessions, every student who watches the course will be receiving the same content, delivered in the same way.
Customize to Your Needs and Your Community
While some standards are applicable to every EMT or paramedic across the nation, you can also benefit from training specific to your local protocols, scope of practice, and community trends. Online training allows training officers to offer specialized content for their teams, ensuring that the topics are practical and helpful in real-world response situations.
Track and Report More Easily and Accurately
Whether being tracked by a training officer or on your own, keeping track of your CE requirements, what you have completed, and what you have left can be a real headache. Digital training academies and software often offer tools that automatically track CE hours, alert you of upcoming expirations and recertifications, and easily communicate to all leadership that needs to be updated.
Online Training Academy
ESO recently partnered with FireRescue1 and EMS1 to create the ESO, EMS1 and FireRescue1 Academy, offering more than 350 hours of fire and EMS courses. The Academy includes online learning content, more than 900 full-length training classes, online record keeping, customized setup, and certification management. With topics that range from airway management to human resources to capnography, these courses are CAPCE accredited and developed by a staff of subject matter experts. The resources also include a built-in dashboard with assignment tracking, course completion notices, and credential management access.
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