What is appendix G?
Appendix G was developed by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP). This Committee provides accreditation to EMT programs across the nation and therefore sets the educations standards and expectations for these programs.
Appendix G refers to the Student Patient Contact Matrix that designates the required number of patient contacts in the classroom, clinical, and field settings prior to successful completion of the program. Starting July 1st, 2019 the minimum recommendations for patient contacts is changing. These changes are based on research that has been conducted over the past few years and shown to be an effective number of encounters to prove minimum competency in each skill or patient assessment.
How will appendix G change?
Previously, appendix G had limited specifications on skills and assessments needed to obtain minimum competency (2). The current appendix can be viewed here. The recommended revisions for appendix G include breaking down the assessments into not the only type of call (trauma, respiratory, cardiac, medical), but also age brackets for each call (i.e. adult and pediatric trauma). It also includes an expanded subset of required medical assessments (i.e. toxicological event, hypoglycemia, sepsis, etc.).
Another important aspect of the revised appendix G is the specification on the “sequence of learning progression”. This change highlights the importance of learning and practicing skills in a controlled and intentional environment as well as in a more progressively stressful situation. Essentially this means skills are first practiced individually, they are evaluated in a scenario, then on a live patient (with evaluation), and lastly in the field internship. By allowing paramedic students to practice skills and assessments on live patients, they can be much better prepared for their field internships. If students are better prepared going into an internship, they will have more opportunities to develop and practice these skills in their internships. Having more developed skills going into internships means preceptors will likely trust students with patients earlier on, and provide more opportunities for learning and growing in the field, thus leading to more qualified medics prior to even obtaining licensure. You can find the updated appendix G here.