>> Defibrillating and pacing the manikin; and
>> 150-question test encompassing current
protocols and general paramedic-based
Not all of the changes were complex. Something as simple as changing the perceptions
of the “phase evaluation” days was an important factor in improving capstone results. For
example, changing the training location to the same
room as the capstone test
and using the same manikins
during testing and training
made new hires feel more
comfortable and confident.
The new training academy format resulted in
trainees being better prepared and preforming more
consistently as they headed
into capstone test. It also
drastically increased new
hire performance: Sunstar
Paramedics’ trainees went
from a first-time capstone test pass rate of
46% to 100% for 115 paramedics in 2016. So
far, in 2017, Sunstar Paramedics’ trainees are
averaging a first-time pass rate of 95%. (See
Table 1, p. 30.)
The thorough pre-hire evaluations and strong
capstone testing scores allowed Sunstar Paramedics to eliminate reteaching what new hires
had already learned in school and training,
such as the basics of paramedicine. However,
the biggest impact of the reinvented recruitment and new hire training process came
from strengthening the roles of field training
officers (F TOs).
Sunstar Paramedics reinvigorated its F TO
program by offering financial compensation,
clinical skill and professional development,
and educational benefits, including courses
to help them teach others and provide the
guidance and mentorship that’s essential to
a new employee’s success.
The clinical services department also distributed individual monthly report cards,
which provides each FTO with a snapshot
of their operation, safety and clinical measures.
This vital feedback enables FTOs to better
instruct new employees and subsequently provide better care to the community.
In addition to the monthly report cards,
F TOs also participate in quarterly meetings
separate from usual continuing medical edu-
cation courses. These F TO-only educational
opportunities cover a variety of topics, includ-
ing cardiology, ventilators and documentation,
and are taught by special guests.
FTOs are also now expected to have
monthly meetings to discuss their trainees’ performance. Because F TOs and their
trainees aren’t always scheduled or stationed
together, Sunstar Paramedics provides video
conference technology, removing a huge barrier to ensuring meetings are held regularly.
At the end of the year, F TOs are evaluated
on the number of employees they’ve cleared
and how well new employees are complying
with operations. The F TOs are also given per-
formance reviews on their compliance with
several clinical and operational areas, includ-
ing electronic patient care reporting signa-
ture compliance, documenting compliance
for their CME completion time and meet-
Restructuring the F TO program lowered
costs for Sunstar Paramedics by lowering
training and ride time. EMTs and paramedics are now cleared in half
the time; new paramedics
are now cleared in an average of 75 days, compared
to 150 days prior to making these changes.
The reinvented recruiting and training processes
aren’t just more efficient
and cost-effective, but new
employees are now better
trained and are able to more
quickly provide high-quality
As the number of new paramedics increased,
the clinical services department also saw an
improvement in quality assurance reviews
(QARs) for new paramedics and EMTs in
the field with less retraining.
The department now boasts 100% QA
chart review, which provides real-time feedback to the crews. Trends can be identified as
Educational opportunities that allow field training officers the opportunity to refine their clinical skills
help ensure they can provide the guidance and mentorship that’s essential to a new employee’s success.
The reinvented recruiting &
training processes aren’t just
more efficient & cost-effective,
new employees are now better
trained & able to more quickly
provide high-quality patient care.
— Continued on page 63