University tackles paramedic, EMT shortage with new program

ECPI University hopes to decrease the number of unfilled positions with hands-on training

By EMS1 Staff

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A Virginia university is addressing the growing paramedic and EMT shortage with a new program.

ABC 13 News  reported that the Paramedic EMT program at ECPI University gives students the hands-on training required for the Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Services in just 16 months.  In fact, existing EMTs can graduate in a year.

“Through the accelerated program we can create more graduates in a short period to fill the need,” ECPI EMS program director Nick Klimenko said.

The most recent report from Virginia’s Office of Emergency Medical Services revealed there are about 1,000 unfilled positions statewide. Existing programs are not producing enough qualified graduates.

Klimenko said the decline is because of increased education requirements and a decrease in accredited EMS education programs.

“The only thing simulated is the patient, and this prepares the students to be as prepared for the occupation as they can be,” Klimenko said. “The students are exposed to everything and they're prepared to step right in.”

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