(A310) Academic Training for Paramedics - A Unique University Based Model

Dagan Schwartz, L. Aronson, Bruria Adini, Lior Nesher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction The paramedic profession is relatively new, dating to the 1970's. In Israel, it was introduced in 1980 and paralleled the introduction of advanced life support units (ALS) to Israel's national emergency medical services (EMS), Magen David Adom (MDA).The curriculum and assigned roles were adopted with minor changes from Anglo-American systems. Initially, paramedics were assigned alongside physicians, but in recent years a growing percentage of units operate without an on-board physician. Despite the increasing complexity of required tasks and the move toward paramedic-led crews, paramedic training has changed little. Most are trained through a non-academic, certificate granting tracts. In 1998, a fully academic bachelor's degree program was launched at the Ben-Gurion University (BGU). Methods The programs aims, curriculum, and experience are described, based on past and current curriculum and on interviews with past and current staff and students. Results The BGU program is a three year program that grants its graduates both a University BA and professional paramedic certification. The program is housed as a university department within the Faculty of Health Sciences. First year courses center on basic sciences. The second year centers on classroom and simulation-based learning of the clinical topics. The third is devoted mostly to clinical clerkships, in hospital wards in the first semester and on MDA ALS units in the second. To date, the program boasts more than 300 graduates, many attaining higher academic degrees in healthcare sciences and many who work in Israel's national EMS. Discussion The BGU academic paramedic training program is the only such program in Israel and one of a few worldwide. Questions regarding the increasing responsibility and task complexity require a move from certificate training to University degree granting learning and the possible contribution of such
Original languageEnglish
JournalPrehospital and Disaster Medicine
StatePublished - 1 May 2011


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