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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Mar;57(3):530-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.02108.x. Epub 2008 Dec 10.

Emergency medical service attitudes toward geriatric prehospital care and continuing medical education in geriatrics.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of Prehospital Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To understand the opinions of emergency medical service (EMS) providers regarding their ability to care for older adults, the domains of geriatric medicine in which they need more training, and the modality through which continuing education could be best delivered.

DESIGN:

Qualitative study using key informant interviews.

SETTING:

Prehospital EMS system in Rochester, New York.

PARTICIPANTS:

EMS providers, EMS instructors and administrators, emergency physicians, and geriatricians.

MEASUREMENTS:

Semistructured interviews were conducted using an interview guide that addressed knowledge and skill deficiencies, recommendations for improvement of geriatrics continuing education, and delivery methods of education.

RESULTS:

Participant responses were generally congruous despite the diverse backgrounds, and redundancy was achieved rapidly. All participants perceived a deficit in EMS education on the care of older adults, particularly related to communications with patients and skilled nursing facility staff. All desired more geriatric continuing education for EMS providers, especially in communications and psychosocial issues. Education was desired in various modalities.

CONCLUSION:

Further geriatric continuing education for EMS providers is needed. Some specific topics relate to medical issues, but a large proportion involve communications and psychosocial issues. Education should be delivered in a variety of modalities to meet the needs of the EMS community. Emerging on-line video technologies may bridge the gap between learners preferring classroom-based modailities and those preferring self-study modules.

PMID:
19170777
PMCID:
PMC2716724
DOI:
10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.02108.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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