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Development of new core competencies for Taiwanese Emergency Medical Technicians

Authors Chang YT, Tsai KC, Williams B

Received 6 October 2017

Accepted for publication 30 January 2018

Published 7 March 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 147—158


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Majumder

Yu-Tung Chang,1,2 Kuang-Chau Tsai,2 Brett Williams1,3

1Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Frankston, VIC, Australia; 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, New Taipei City, Taiwan; 3Division of Paramedicine, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, Australia

Objectives: Core competencies are considered the foundation for establishing Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and paramedic curricula, and for ensuring performance standards in the delivery of prehospital care. This study surveyed EMT instructors and medical directors to identify the most desirable core competencies for all levels of EMTs in Taiwan.
Methods: A principal components analysis with Varimax rotation was conducted. An online questionnaire was distributed to obtain perspectives of EMT instructors and medical directors on the most desirable core competencies for EMTs. The target population was EMT training-course instructors and medical directors of fire departments in Taiwan. The questionnaire comprised 61 competency items, and multiple-choice and open-ended questions were used to obtain respondents’ perspectives of the Taiwanese EMT training and education system.
Results: The results identified three factors at EMT-1 and EMT-2 levels and five factors at the EMT-Paramedic level. The factors for EMT-1 and EMT-2 were similar, and those for EMT-Paramedics identified further comprehensive competence perspectives. The key factors that appear to influence the development of the Taiwanese Emergency Medical Services (EMS) education system are the attitude of authorities, the licensure system, and legislation.
Conclusion: The findings present new core competencies for the Taiwanese EMT system and provide capacity to redesign curricula and reconsider roles for EMT-1 and EMT-2 technicians. At the EMT-Paramedic level, the findings demonstrate the importance of incorporating competency standards in the current skills-based curriculum. Moreover, the core-competencies gap that exists between Taiwanese EMT-1s, EMT-2s, and EMT-Paramedics and internationally recognized core competencies needs to be addressed. By identifying the key factors that potentially impact the development of the EMS education system, such as the attitude of authorities, the licensure system, and legislation, these findings will inform future curricula design in Taiwan.

Keywords: EMT, paramedics, core competencies, curriculum standards

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