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Prehosp Emerg Care. 2008 Oct-Dec;12(4):498-502. doi: 10.1080/10903120802096753.

Is online pediatric continuing education effective in a rural state?

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Department of Emergency Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-0001, USA.



This prospective study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of online pediatric education for prehospital emergency medical technicians (EMTs).


Online emergency medical services (EMS) continuing education modules, on various pediatric emergency topics, were developed for dissemination statewide. Pre- and posttest scores were compared by EMT level of training, rural versus urban location, and individual module performance.


A total of 539 participants completed both the pre- and posttests. Of these, more than one-third (38.0%) reported Bernalillo County, the only urban county in the state, as the county in which they worked. Pretest scores ranged from 0 to 15 (mean = 8.5; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 8.2, 8.7), with a median of 8.0 and a mode of 8.0. Posttest scores were higher, ranging from 4 to 15 (mean = 11.6; 95% CI = 11.4, 11.7). For the posttest, the median score was 12.0 and the mode was 13.0. Urban and rural EMTs improved in posttests comparably. EMT-Basic participants' scores improved (mean change in score = 3.4, 95% CI = 3.1, 3.7) more than those of EMT-Intermediates (mean = 2.9, 95% CI = 2.5, 3.2) or EMT-Paramedics (mean = 2.7, 95% CI = 2.2, 3.3).


1) The New Mexico EMS for Children (EMSC) online pediatric continuing education program increased EMTs' cognitive knowledge; 2) rural EMTs accessed the training more than urban EMTs; and 3) although pre- and posttest results varied by EMT licensure level, improvements in scores also varied such that posttest scores were more similar than pretest scores.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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