CAHEEP-CoAEMSP Session @ NAEMSE Symposium Reno, NV

This article was published in our October 2014 Special Edition Newsletter, by Tom Gottschalk, COO

On September 18th, 2014 I attended the CAHEEP/ CoAEMSP sessions at the NAEMSE Symposium in Reno, Nevada. I learned a lot and was happy to be there. Hope my interpretations serve you well.

The following is a combination of comments during the meeting, the presenter’s input and other sources from the CoAEMSP website.

Are you seeking accreditation or heading towards your renewal?
There are around 415 accredited EMS programs and about 262 in letter of review status. Therefore, you are not alone, so remember that!

CoAEMSP Standards vs. Guidelines
It was stressed that there is a difference between the standards and guidelines. Standards can be recognized as the text being in a regular font on the accreditation outline while the guidelines (positive recommendations) are in italics and are considered a good idea for a program to try and achieve. This is a big difference. Standards are a MUST do and the other is looked at as advice or a best practice schools should strive for. Make sure you also recognize the difference while making sure you separate rumors, impressions, or nice to haves before you submit your paperwork at your next advisory group meeting.

Did you know? There are five types of programs that are allowed to sponsor paramedic education as outlined in the standards.

  • Post-secondary institutes recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Foreign post-secondary academic institutes deemed acceptable by CAAHEP.
  • Hospitals and medical centers recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services associated with a post secondary institute or accredited GME program.
  • Government agencies including the U.S. Armed forces and educational/medical services affiliated with a post-secondary educational institute or have a college credit articulation agreement (are able to issue students college credits for training).
  • Those in a consortium relationship, which by contract brings at least two organizations together to deliver EMS education. NOTE: one of the members of the sponsorship must meet one of the requirements above.

Can my school take a less complicated path and be a “satellite location” of an approved sponsor to offer training once in awhile?
Nope, satellites are pretty much handled like stand alone schools when it comes to accreditation.

What are some common violations for programs seeking initial accreditation or reaccreditation?

  • Maintaining a passive medical director that is not actively engaged or recognized by students.
  • Lack of pediatric patient contact of specific age groups. Candidates must have at least 2 of each of the six classifications.
  • Poorly configured advisory group that has little to no impact on the program and meets infrequently.
  • Lack of proper evaluation of high stakes exams or a true summative test at the end of training.
  • Improper student sequencing for graduation and premature acquisition of team leads in the field.
  • Absence of records reflecting student counseling.
  • Less frequent of a problem lately seems to be schools with a program director that does not have at least a Bachelors degree.

CoAEMSP Minimums
Despite popular belief CoAEMSP does not set minimums hours, location types, or patient categories for graduation. Learning opportunities can occur in many settings. However, students must manage at least 50 airways, and the medical director should sign off on minimum competency and your advisory group should agree to minimum numbers to pass the program. KEY: You set the minimum graduation standards and the students achieve them or do not get released to take their credentialing test. Don’t forget that, it is very important.

Finally, if your student’s complete field and clinical experience outside your home state, you are expected to notify those state’s EMS offices of this situation and have a medical director on staff who has a license to practice in each of those states.

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