Emergency Medical Services Core Competencie: A Scoping Review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


Introduction: the emergency medical services (EMS) are an important part of the health care system as they are the first point of contact for medical emergencies. Moreover, the EMS educational system has seen a rapid transition from a post-employment training model into a pre-employment educational model. Despite this, there is a lack of clarity on what core competencies EMS students are expected to hold.

Purpose: the objective of this scoping review was to identify the EMS student core competencies in the literature.

Method: the scoping review considered journal articles and grey literature (peer-reviewed and non-peer reviewed) and the following databases were utilized: CINAHL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus and ERIC. Grey literature was also searched using www.greylit.org, Google Scholar and Trove, and expert consultation and EMS professional associations were also considered.

Results: the search yielded 301 publications (CINAHL n=53; MEDLINE n=103; EMBASE n=84; Scopus n=6; ERIC n=42; miscellaneous grey literature n=13). After removal of duplicates, n=241 citations remained. Abstract and title screening produced n=35 publications, following which a full-text review was conducted. Consensus was reached on the inclusion of n=25 publications for review. In total, n=127 core competency statements were extracted which were then reviewed for clarity and removal of duplicates and clustered into a final list of n=33 core competencies.

Discussion: the publications were discussed in a thematic approach. The review will provide insight into the scope of knowledge, abilities, skills and education that can be important to the conduct of paramedic students. Moreover, the review would be part of a greater project to develop a set of core competencies specifically designed for Bachelor EMS degrees in Saudi Arabia. This is the first scoping review that has attempted to systematically identify potential core competencies for paramedic students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245–258
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Professions Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

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