The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program at Rappahannock Community College (RCC) reached several milestones this year. The college’s Paramedic program has been recognized with national accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) following recommendation by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAMPS).
In an interview with Ellen Vest, the EMS Program Head, we learn what this means to the faculty, college, and students.
“The accreditation reflects a national standard of excellence,” says Vest. “We had stiff criteria that had to be met, and accreditation site visitors reviewed the previous two years of paramedic students while evaluating the program.” While the program’s EMT, Advanced EMT and Intermediate levels were originally accredited by the Virginia office of EMS, the program is now accredited at a national level.
Another accomplishment the program boasts of this year is their 100% pass rate of students for the National Registry Paramedic Exam over the last year.
According to Dr. Charles Smith, Dean of Health Sciences at RCC, this achievement is testament to the careful and expert instruction by faculty, clear adherence to the accrediting guidelines, as well as outstanding knowledge and skills demonstrated by the graduates.
Vest, the EMS instructional staff and the RCC administrative team are proud of the students and believe that this success reflects upon their shared vision for excellence in EMS education. “Our program provides everything that a student needs to be successful. Critical thinking is a part of the education, beginning with our entry-level EMT classes,” says Vest.
“Our EMS graduates at all levels of service provision provide critical skills for the citizens of our service area,” says Smith.
Vest further states that the need for EMS providers continues to grow and RCC is responding to that challenge. Any prospective student or community member is welcome to come and visit to see what we offer. — Mary Ashley Cline