Geriatric Education for Emergency Medical Services

NAEMT has partnered with Jones & Bartlett Learning (JBL) and the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) to develop the 2nd edition GEMS course. A team of experienced EMS educators and clinicians serving as members of NAEMT’s GEMS Committee has designed a course that prepares EMS practitioners to respond to the unique challenges and needs of an older patient. The course aims to empower practitioners with geriatric specific training to help them improve the medical outcomes and quality of life for these patients.

Significant changes in the 2nd edition course include:

    • The introduction of a one-day, 8-hour “core” provider course. Recognizing the critical importance of Geriatric EMS education to quality patient care, the committee wanted to offer a course framework with flexibility to meet the needs of all EMS practitioners. The 8-hour GEMS Core Course is designed for a combined BLS/ALS classroom for all EMS students and can be offered on its own, or in conjunction with a second one-day “advanced” scenario-based course (in development).

    • More geriatric specific information included in the lectures. While still maintaining a scenario-based approach with emphasis on the GEMS diamond, the PowerPoint lectures include slides that highlight geriatric specific content such as fall prevention, epidemiology, polypharmacy, and more. The lectures provide core knowledge to ensure a foundation of understanding for the scenarios, and ultimately for assessing and treating patients.

    • All lectures provide one or two case scenarios that enhance participant involvement and discussion.

    • New lecture on Disasters and the associated needs of older patients. This lecture discusses the unique challenges that are specific to the geriatric population in disasters and EMS logistics associated with them.

    • New lecture on Mobile Integrated Healthcare-CommunityParamedicine (MIH-CP) and the opportunity to make a difference with older patients. This lecture discusses the identification of patients who would benefit from MIH-CP and the EMS role in patient advocacy.

  • New videos covering Elder Abuse, MIH-CP and Trauma. These videos provide real world situations that providers could encounter and demonstrate proper communication, assessment and patient care.

Ultimately this course will enhance the competence, confidence and compassion of EMS practitioners in responding to geriatric patients.  Course sites will be able to offer the 8-hour Core Course alone, or in combination the Advanced Course (coming soon) for a 16-hour GEMS experience. GEMS also offers a solid supplement to initial EMT and paramedic curriculum, helping educators reinforce the affective domain while incorporating strong cognitive and psychomotor components.


For more information visit NAEMT Website