Last fall, I had the opportunity to sit down with Bob Waddell, chair of the National Association of EMTs' Emergency Pediatric Care (EPC) program (formerly the Pediatric Prehospital Care Course), which is a program dedicated to providing prehospital pediatric care education and training.
As you know, pediatric calls can be some of the most challenging for EMS providers. Like many of you, as a parent, I view these as the most important calls of your career. Who among us wouldn't give up their own life for that of their child? So for that reason alone, I hope that you investigate this program.
The EPC Provider course emphasizes a problem-focused, assessment-based approach. The curriculum is designed to allow for a minimal amount of lecture and an ample amount of actual hands-on practice using case-based scenarios.
The major goals of the EPC course are to:
Educate the provider on the unique aspects of pediatric anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology;
Allow the provider to integrate pathophysiology with the assessment findings in the pediatric patient;
Improve the provider's ability to conduct a competent assessment of the pediatric patient that utilizes understanding of developmental considerations, proper diagnostic skills, critical thinking and interventions;
Decide between those conditions that require emergent or urgent prehospital intervention and those that merely require transport to a hospital;
Enhance the provider's ability to utilize problem-solving strategies;
Improve the provider's comfort level in dealing with sick and injured children; and
Refine the provider's ability to identify and communicate the pertinent findings and interventions to the receiving facility.