If you picture desks, a whiteboard, and a teacher up at the front when you think of your EMS refresher classes, you’re behind the times—and it could be costing you.
Classroom delivery and static online courses are no longer your only option, and the new kid on the block is virtual instructor-led training (VILT). This new option combines the best of both worlds—classes taught live by experienced educators with the convenience and flexibility of an online classroom that lets EMS providers from all over the country participate.
A recent poll revealed that 45% of responders had never even heard of VILT, which is why we’ve put together 5 things you didn’t know about VILT to bring you up to speed.
- Spend less money (keep it in your pocket where it belongs). No travel expenses. No lost shifts. No extra costs. Because VILT is online, you can get your training anywhere you have internet access, saving you time and money. The training is typically divided into 2-hour classes, making it easy to fit your refresher training into your busy life.
- Get out of the classroom (no more desks). Virtual training is presented live in real time by an experienced instructor—no need for you to set foot in a classroom. And with technology at your fingertips, the sky’s the limit when it comes to your involvement. You can ask and answer questions, interact with your teacher and classmates, take surveys, and have access to course materials anywhere you have an internet connection.
- Don’t sweat the tracking (let the robots do it). Online training makes CEU-tracking and recording simple and hands-off, and with online education you to access your training records quickly and easily all in one place. Why spend time trying to keep track of it all when there’s a convenient online system to do it for you? Save yourself the time and effort!
- Connect with other providers (participation improves learning). When you take an active role in your training experience, you improve your understanding and better remember more new information. (This is why instructor-led training is a required part of your recertification experience in the first place.) VILT allows you to do that—just with the same convenience our digital age has already brought to many other areas of our lives. You can participate and connect from anywhere via your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
- Learn in your own style (what works for you?). Whether you’re a technology native who’s been using a smartphone since grade school or someone who hasn’t quite conquered the tech learning curve, you can join the VILT revolution. Those on the high tech end will appreciate the online capabilities and mobile access of a VILT program, while those who are not used to online training have access to their instructor to ask questions and interact just like you would in a traditional classroom.
Though definitely the newcomer as it’s not yet well-known or widely-used by EMS providers, VILT programs have been approved and even recommended by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) since 2011. Be sure to look for programs approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE), such as those available through Medic-CE and Code3 CME, to ensure that your program offers the F5 hours that meet the same requirements as the F1 and F2 courses when recertifying through NREMT.
If you’re interested in VILT training for an entire department, you can also learn more about virtual instructor-led training by downloading the white paper, A New Way to Approach EMS Education: Virtual, Instructor- Led Training (VILT).
Medic-CE, a Career Step company, provides accredited online continuing education for EMS and firefighting professionals. Founded in 2006, the company currently serves over 75,000 learners and 200 fire/EMS departments. More than 200 hours of continuing education are available through the company’s powerful learning management system. The company also offers the Code3 CME Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) Solution and the option for departments and agencies to add their own in-house continuing education and instructor-led courses to its sophisticated yet simple learning platform. More information is available at Medic-CE.com or 1-844-800-2304.