- Program’s Action Plan to Determine Student Competency. The program’s action plan on how it will determine a student is entry-level competent even though the student had not achieved the program’s established minimum patient/skill requirements. The action plan may vary by individual student based on their program lab, clinical, and capstone field internship progress to date.
- Student’s Action Plan. When a student is deemed entry-level competent prior to achieving the program’s terminal competencies, there must be documentation of the student’s progression of learning and achievement, including any final evaluations.
In addition, programs should align with local, state, or federal directives during the public health emergency.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed delivery methods and learning opportunities for Paramedic educational programs. Schools are closed, and didactic instruction has moved to online delivery. Clinical and capstone field internship sites are limited due to shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), prohibiting entry of visitors to include students, and EMS agencies restricting third riders. These changes require even greater flexibility for educational programs to employ a wide variety of approaches, including simulation, in determining competency in didactic, laboratory, clinical, field experience, and capstone field internships, especially where live patient encounters cannot be accomplished.
Flexibility is supported by state EMS directors as expressed to CoAEMSP by the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO), other stakeholders including directors of accredited Paramedic educational programs, and aligns with emergency orders issued by state governors which allow greater flexibility in credentialing of emergency medical services professionals during the public health crisis.
This guidance also aligns with the mission of CoAEMSP to advance the quality of EMS education through accreditation. In carrying out its mission, CoAEMSP in collaboration with its sponsors and other national EMS stakeholders seeks to support high quality and safe patient care through its standards, core values of commitment, leadership, accountability, quality, and respect.
These are the times that define our profession, and all of us want you to know we remain committed here to you as you adjust to these extraordinary circumstances. It is an honor and distinct pleasure to be a member of the EMS community and to serve it. Please stay safe out there – we need you!
George W. Hatch, Jr., EdD, LP
Paul A. Berlin, MS, NRP
Chair, Board of Directors