International, Training

Austrian University Adds EMS Training to Bachelor of Nursing Degree

The Austrian University of Applied Sciences, St. Pölten offers a unique Bachelor of Nursing degree combined with integrated training for EMT-Ambulance and EMT-Intermediate certifications.

Students enrolled in the university’s nursing and EMT program receive classroom-based EMT training within the nursing curriculum. Field training and practical skill training are conducted through special EMT training days.

The first students of the pilot course recently finished their second semester, and most passed the EMT-A state exam successfully. The EMT-I training will follow in coming semesters. The students also take ACLS, PHTS and AMLS training before they can take the practical and theoretical state exam.

Christoph Redelsteiner, DrPhDr, MSW, MS, EMT-P, head of the university’s EMT program, hopes to see the program evolve to integrate paramedic-level training into a master’s curriculum. The university already has plans for a similar model with a master’s degree for ICU nurses and paramedics.

The pilot bachelor’s program aims to the increase the number of general practitioners and ALS medical doctors. As in the U.S., a rise in low-acuity calls to elderly patients has presented increasing challenges to Austrian EMS systems. “The average age of patients treated by EMS in two researched counties is 71, compared to an average population age of 41. Almost 80% of EMS calls are for people age 60+,” Redelsteiner said. “Most of these calls need a nurse, general practitioner, community paramedic or social worker.” The university’s nursing and EMT program aims to place qualified graduates into these career positions.

To learn more about this integrated training initiative, be sure to attend Redelsteiner’s session at EMS Today 2017 in Salt Lake City.