Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

March 2015

EMS Program at OSU-OKC Earns National Accreditation

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC) earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Profession (CoAEMSP) in January. Accreditation promotes best practice standards in higher education programs in order to maintain the quality of an institution so that potential students, current students and hiring professionals can be confident in the reliability of a program and its graduates.

The national EMS community recently determined all Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Paramedic programs must be certified by a national accrediting organization. “The goal is to set and maintain a common standard for EMS programs in order to move our profession from a technical career to a professional one,” said Stacy Morton, OSU-OKC EMS program director.

Programs seeking accreditation participate in a self-study, an on-site evaluation and committee review. Once a program proceeds through these steps, the committee then offers a recommendation to either award or not award accreditation to a program. This process typically takes over a year to complete. Once awarded, a program must not only maintain the standards, but also work to improve them each year. “Each time we’re up to be reviewed, we will have to demonstrate how we are progressing and moving forward,” Morton said.

OSU-OKC’s EMS program currently serves approximately 150 students who are either working toward their EMT or paramedic certification and licensure. Once students complete the required coursework, they can take the EMT certification exam.

Upon successful completion of EMT certification, students can begin taking paramedic courses.

In addition to being a part of an accredited program, students at OSU-OKC benefit from interdisciplinary training with other allied health departments on campus, partnerships with community organizations and even hands-on training with an ambulance simulator.

For more information on OSU-OKC’s EMS program, visit www.osuokc.edu/ems.

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