More than one path exists to becoming an EMS Educator. One approach involves pursuing a degree in education that includes the study of educational theory and methodology. Another approach is experiential in focus and includes some training in teaching methodologies.
Those who take the experiential approach usually start as a CPR or First Aid instructor or begin with teaching components of a particular EMS subject in which they have a strong base of knowledge. As their presentation skills are honed and they become more proficient in their teaching abilities, they may progress to harder subjects, and teach higher training levels.
One of the best preparatory courses for EMS instructors is the instructor course offered by the National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE). This course is a 16-hour program of study that combines face-to-face with distributive learning to ensure that future educators have the skills to teach. Many states have their own training program and pathway to become an EMS Educator.
A typical path for EMS educators may begin as an assistant filling in for the primary instructor. With experience, they may serve as a secondary instructor teaching sections in which they have developed an interest and expertise. They might then be placed in a clinical preceptor position where they monitor students’ field activities. With more experience, they could move into the role of Clinical Coordinator, overseeing an entire class, assigning preceptors, and monitoring students’ progress. Many EMS education programs appoint a Lead Instructor to guide the students’ overall educational experience, ensuring that students are provided with the tools needed to achieve success in becoming a certified practitioner and on the job.
NAEMSE also offers a credentialing examination for seasoned veteran instructors called the National EMS Educator Certification (NEMSEC) exam. The exam is designed to assess the knowledge and skills associated with competent, relevant and structurally sound educational processes. Upon successful completion of the competency level exam, the educator is certified as a Nationally Certified EMS Educator (NCEE). There are currently almost 200 NCEEs nationwide. Several states now recognize this credential as an acceptable process equivalent to their approved state process.
For more information about becoming an EMS educator, click here.
Steps to becoming an EMS educator:
Whether you choose a formal or informal process, or a combination of the two, here are some helpful suggestions you may consider: