Emergency Medical Services Program Technical Standards

Hawkeye Community College serves a variety of individuals; therefore, the term “student” refers to any individual taking a course through Hawkeye Community College in some capacity. Students include those taking courses for credit as a degree or non-degree seeking student; those taking courses through Concurrent Enrollment (high school and college credit courses); and those taking courses through Business and Community Education or the Adult Learning Center.

Hawkeye complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, respective amendments and other applicable federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability.

Clear academic and technical standards assure that decisions concerning entrance for all students are based upon non-discriminatory criteria. Federal law requires the provision of reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities who possess “the academic and technical (non-academic) standards” for admission or participation in the EMS programs and courses.

Having technical standards available also assists potential applicants with or without disabilities to assess their ability to succeed in the program and the EMS profession. Technical standards for admission are all non-academic criteria that are essential to participate in the EMS program. These technical standards include personal and professional attributes, skills, knowledge, physical, medical, safety, and other requirements that an individual must meet in order to be eligible for admission to and retention in the EMS program.

Students admitted to the EMS program are expected to be able to complete curriculum requirements which include physical, cognitive, and affective core competencies that are essential to the functions of the entry level EMS provider.

These core competencies are considered the minimum and essential skills necessary to protect the public. These abilities are encountered in unique combinations in the provision of safe and effective EMS care. Progression in the program may be denied if a student is unable to demonstrate the technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations.

The Emergency Medical Services program is required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities, which may include academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or program modifications. Accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature of the academic program, could jeopardize the health and safety of others, or cause an undue burden to the program are not considered reasonable accommodations.

Technical Standard Definition of Standards Examples
Critical Thinking Sufficient cognitive skills and critical thinking abilities such that the student can formulate and implement reasonable decisions based on available information in the absence of other personnel and/or supervisors; make fast and appropriate decisions in rapidly-evolving situations, particularly pertaining to creating and implementing a patient care plan in accord with established protocols.
  • Assess scene safety in uncontrolled environments
  • Assess patient’s medical history and condition
  • Determine and prioritize the severity of the illness/injury
  • Determine correct treatment modalities, including exceptions to approved modalities
  • Determine limits of acceptable span of control in ordinary/extraordinary circumstances (ex: hazardous scene)
Problem Solving Skills Ability to calmly intervene in various stressful, emergency situations; make correct initial decisions and draw reasonable conclusions that allow selection and pursuit of acceptable outcome options; synthesize information gathered from consecutive assessments.
  • Formulate correct decisions
  • Integrate correct treatment protocol(s)
  • Devise an accepted plan to provide patient care in typical/atypical case
  • Utilize standard accepted equipment for safe patient care and movement
Interpersonal Skills Sufficient ability to interact with individuals, families, groups, public safety personnel and other medical professionals from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
  • Establish and maintain supportive relationships with patients, family members, bystanders, public safety, media, political officials, and other health care providers under stressful and non-stressful situations
Communication Skills Sufficient ability to interact effectively with others via the English language using non-verbal, verbal, and written forms of communication. Communication occurs via face-to-face interaction, telephone, two-way radio, and computer-based written reports.
  • Ask questions to quickly obtain information related to emergency situations
  • Receive and interpret information from patients, bystanders, other responders
  • Identify and communicate the need for additional resources
  • Request and clarify orders from supervisors
Coping Skills Ability to deal effectively with stress produced by work and interaction situations.
  • Appropriately handle emotional situations that affect citizens, victims, families, friends, coworkers, bystanders, and other public safety personnel
  • Recognize personal limitations and request assistance as appropriate
Mobility Sufficient physical abilities to drive and work in an ambulance; lift, and move immobile patients; engage in regular physical fitness training; prolonged standing, walking; jogging/running; jumping; climbing; crawling; pushing/pulling; negotiating stairs, hazardous and/or uneven terrain, all while carrying a patient in or on a carrying device.
  • Quickly enter/exit and drive an ambulance or other emergency vehicle without assistance
  • Perform physical EMS activities such as CPR, airway management, medication administration, lifting and moving patients in a variety of body positions and environmental conditions
  • Recognize and negotiate hazards in all environmental extremes including but not limited to light/dark, heat/cold, wet/dry/frozen scenes
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) without assistance (ex: gloves, masks, etc.)
  • Perform rescue duties
  • Operate emergency vehicle under extreme environmental conditions
Motor Skills Ability to perform gross and fine motor skills required in the performance EMS duties as indicated in the state and national standard curriculum.
  • Perform physical tasks requiring prolonged physical exertion (ex: walking for long periods of time while carrying equipment and/or patients, vehicle extrication, extrication of a victim from the confines of a structure)
  • Perform tasks requiring walking, crawling, stooping, bending, kneeling, or working prone or supine
Auditory Skills Sufficient auditory ability to quickly send and receive information, engage in urgent situations, discern personal danger at emergency scenes, hear requests for aid, hear verbal orders and instructions from other people in noisy environments; safely operate patrol vehicle under emergency conditions.
  • Effectively use sense of hearing to aid in assessing the scene and patients in duress
  • Recognize various signals from medical equipment or emergency alarms, dangers/warnings associated with hazardous scenes
  • Communicate via two-way radio and telephone links
  • Receive and respond to instructors, team leaders and others
Visual Skills Sufficient visual acuity (corrected or not) for safe performance of EMS duties under normal and emergency conditions; observation and implementation of appropriate care for patients; assessment and determination of scene hazards potentially effecting the safety of self and others.
  • Recognize signs during patient assessment
  • Recognize hazards, interpret indicators and measurements from medical monitoring and treatment equipment
  • Discern settings and parameters of settings of medical equipment such as cardiac monitor/defibrillator, ventilator, syringes, size identifiers, medical procedures such as starting an I.V., administering medication, reading an EKG
  • Prepare and submit written reports
Tactile Skills Sufficient sense of touch and tactile acuity necessary in the performance of EMS duties.
  • Palpate a pulse and detect changes or abnormalities of surface, texture, skin temperature, body segment contour, muscle tone and/or joint movement
Environmental Olfactory senses sufficient for maintaining environmental, personal, and coworker safety, and for detecting changes that may indicate a deterioration in the current environment or the presence of a hazardous situation.
  • Detect and identify smells, visible signs, audible signals related to EMS duties and contributory to self-preservation and safety of others, including but not limited to smoke, burning materials, gasoline and noxious fumes
Emotional/Behavioral Ability to demonstrate professional behaviors and a strong work ethic.
  • Demonstrate flexibility, honesty, empathy, patience and cooperative behaviors
  • Display high levels of personal responsibility, accountability and development
  • Demonstrate respect for citizens, patients, witnesses, suspects, and other public safety professionals
  • Maintain strict confidentiality of federally protected healthcare information, present a professional appearance and maintain personal hygiene

In the case of an otherwise qualified individual with a documented disability, appropriate and reasonable accommodations will be made unless to do so would fundamentally alter the essential training elements, cause undue hardship, or produce a direct threat to the safety of the patient or student. Hawkeye believes that disability is a naturally occurring aspect of humanity's diversity and is an integral part of society and Hawkeye Community College. Hawkeye believes in working collaboratively with students, faculty, and staff to provide accessible and equal opportunities for all students.

Contact Information

Program Director / Faculty Advisor

Johnathan Cockrell
Health Education and Services Center 223
Email Johnathan Cockrell

Administrative Assistant

Health Education and Services Center 222


Science and Health Sciences

Troy Moran, Ed. D
Tama Hall 110B
Email Troy Moran

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