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.
Stale classroom delivery and inflexible 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 the VILT platform allows 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 not yet well-known by EMS providers, VILT programs have been approved 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) to ensure that your program offers the F5 hours that meet the same requirements as the F1 and F2 courses when recertifying through NREMT.