5 Ways Continuing Education Can Improve Your EMS Career
Medical best practices are evolving at an exponential rate. In the article “Challenges and opportunities facing medical education,” Peter Densen, MD, states: “it is estimated that the doubling time of medical knowledge in 1950 was 50 years; in 1980, 7 years; and in 2010, 3.5 years. In 2020 it is projected to be 0.2 years — just 73 days.”
With new knowledge and procedures constantly becoming available, continuing education is becoming more vital for EMS providers. While technology has facilitated the explosive expansion of medical knowledge, it also provides new, flexible ways to continue your education through online courses and virtual instructor-led classes and discussions in addition to traditional seminars, courses, and training.
Here are a few ways continuing education improves the lives of EMS providers, their patients, and their communities.
Ensures better patient care and improved patient outcomes.
Staying up to date on the latest treatments, procedures, and training can make a life-or-death difference. When your education is at its best, you can provide the best possible care and improve patient outcomes. According to the Alliance for Continuing Education in Health Professions, “substantial literature exists indicating that continuing education (CE) in the health professions is effective in improving healthcare, patient outcomes, and population health.”
Facilitates personal growth and improves job satisfaction.
Continuing education expands an EMS provider’s capabilities, resources, professional network, knowledge, and overall job satisfaction. When you feel competent and capable in your career, new opportunities naturally follow. The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation noted that continuing education engages learners in new growth, skills, and knowledge; integrates your understanding with your performance; generates professional satisfaction; validates a medical professional’s competence; and helps medical professionals avoid burnout.
Protects both patients and healthcare providers.
In order to make the best decisions in life-altering situations, EMS providers need to move forward with confidence and commitment. In the article “Continuing education for healthcare professionals,” Monica Fletcher notes “that education improves the confidence and competence of practitioners” and can result in meaningful practice changes. Continually refreshing your skills ensures those you care for experience the best outcomes and protects you against mistakes, regret, lawsuits, and litigation.
Keeps you certified, relevant, and up to date on best practices.
Healthcare is an ever-evolving field. As Arthur Hsieh notes in “The need for higher education in EMS is greater than ever,” “Research is driving the EMS evolution.” CE courses will help expose you to new technologies, platforms, and networks that can simplify your job, keep you certified, and improve your current approach. When you continue your education, you are staying current in your field and preparing to become a leader in future industry changes.
Advances your career and leads to new opportunities.
With exposure to new information comes unexpected opportunities. Continuing your education can facilitate your professional growth, introduce you to new concepts or careers, build your network, and help you be prepared to seize new opportunities when they arise.
No matter what your career goals may be, continuing your education as an EMS provider will lead to better outcomes for your patients as well as your career. Learn more about continuing education options here.
- Densen P. Challenges and opportunities facing medical education. Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc. 2011;122:48–58.
- Fletcher M. Continuing education for healthcare professionals: time to provide its worth. PrimaryCare Respiratory Journal. 2007; 16(3): 188-190.
- Hsieh A. The need for higher education in EMS is greater than ever. EMS Education. EMS1.com. Published October 17, 2016. Accessed November 11, 2019.