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Glossary of Terms in EMS Education

The purpose of this site is for the support of Pre-Hospital Emergency Medical Care Personnel or EMS Personnel who need continuing education hours (CEH) to update, renew, or maintain their certification and licensure.

Academic -- Based on formal education; scholarly; conventional.

Academic institution -- A body or establishment instituted for an educational purpose and providing college credit or awarding degrees.

Accreditation -- The granting of approval by an official review board after specific requirements have been met. The review board is non governmental and the review is collegial and based on self-assessment, peer assessment, and judgment. The purpose of accreditation is public accountability.

Certification -- The issuing of certificate by a private agency based upon standards adopted by that agency that are based upon competency.

Continuing education -- The continual process of life-long learning.

Core content -- The central elements of a professional field of study. The core content does not specify the course of study.

Credentialing agency -- An organization which certifies an institution's or individual's authority or claim of competence for a course of study or completion of objectives.

Curriculum -- A particular course of study, often in a special field. For EMS education it has
traditionally included detailed lesson plans.

Educational Affiliation -- An association with a learning institution (academic), the extent to which can vary greatly from recognition to integration.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) -- A member of the EMS team who provides out-of-hospital emergency care; includes certifications of EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, and EMT-Paramedic which identify progressively advancing levels of care.

EMS System -- Any specific arrangement of emergency medical personnel, equipment, and supplies designed to function in a coordinated fashion. May be local, regional, state, or national.

First Responder -- The initial level of care within an EMS system as defined by the EMS Education and Practice Blueprint.

HASP -- Health and Safety Plan

Licensure -- The act of granting an entity permission to do something that the entity could not legally do without such permission. Licensing is generally viewed by legislative bodies as a regulatory effort to protect the public from potential harm. In the health care delivery system, an individual who is licensed tends to enjoy a certain amount of autonomy in delivering health care services. Conversely, the licensed individual must satisfy ongoing requirements which ensure certain minimum levels of expertise. A license is generally considered a privilege and not a right.

National EMS Core Content -- The document which defines the domain of out-of-hospital care.

National EMS Education Program Accreditation -- The accreditation process for institutions that sponsor EMS educational programs.

National EMS Education Standards -- The document which defines the terminal objectives for each provider level.

National EMS Scope of Practice Model -- The document which defines scope of practice for the various levels of EMS provider.

Outcome -- The short-, intermediate-, or long-term consequence or visible result of treatment, particularly as it pertains to a patient's return to societal function.

Practice Analysis -- A study conducted to determine the frequency and criticality of the tasks performed in practice.

Registration -- A listing of individuals who have met the requirements of the registration service.

Registration agency -- Agency traditionally responsible for the delivery of a product used to evaluate a chosen area. States may voluntarily adopt this product as part of their licensing process. The registration agency is also responsible for gathering and housing data to support the validity and reliability of their product.

Regulation -- Either a rule or a statute which prescribes the management, governance, or operating parameters for a given group; tends to be a function of administrative agencies to which a legislative body has delegated authority to promulgate rules/regulations to "regulate a given industry or profession." Most regulations are intended to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.

Scope of practice -- Defined parameters of various duties or services which may be provided by an individual with specific credentials. Whether regulated by rule, statute, or court decision, it tends to represent the limits of services an individual may perform.

Testing agency -- Agency traditionally responsible for delivering a contracted examination. The responsibility of interpreting the results and defending the validity of those judgments is placed on the contractor.


EMS Education Agenda for the Future: A Systems Approach

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