Emergency Medical Services

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Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is a challenging and rapidly emerging discipline at the intersection of traditional EMS, public health, public safety, and health care. The George Washington University offers several programs including a bachelor’s, master’s and dual degree in EMS, all of which are designed to prepare students for leadership positions in the field  that will improve the quality of out-of-hospital care domestically and internationally.

Why Study EMS at GW?

The challenges faced in the field of Emergency Medical Services, such as responding to more frequent high-consequence and high-threat events, are not unique to the United States. In fact, U.S. EHS agencies are undergoing rapid evolution—adopting novel programs and practices that have been developed and tested in large, sophisticated EHS organizations in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, among other countries. As the American health care system undergoes changes initiated by the Affordable Care Act, the experiences of the international community in EMS become particularly relevant.

At GW, students learn best practices from faculty who provide both domestic and international perspectives. Students also learn from guest lecturers from pre-hospital systems spanning the globe. Because of GW’s location near the seat of our nation’s health policy, we are able to access new developments as they occur, and can learn from those with first-hand knowledge and current involvement in today’s policy issues.

Available online, the EMS programs at GW allow working professionals to continue their jobs while improving their skills, enabling students to transition into senior positions including officers and supervisors, or become an educator and teach other EMS professionals.

What Will I Learn?

The GW EMS program is intended to develop leadership competencies necessary for a successful career in EMS. The combination of courses was selected to build expertise in leadership, creative problem-solving, team-building, clinical decision-making, and management. Through the EMS programs at GW, students will:

  • Develop interdisciplinary management and leadership skills necessary to manage administrative-level responsibilities within a local, regional, state, or federal EMS agency.
  • Acquire the necessary tools and skills to assume the roles and responsibilities within a multidisciplinary team.
  • Leverage regulatory guidelines, organizational strategies, and resources when providing emergency health services within a community or special population.
  • Analyze processes and evaluation practices to support an EMS culture of safety.
  • Build a broad foundation from which to assess and respond to trends in emergency health services and health sciences.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in written communication skills necessary to perform as a professional within the field of emergency health services and to progress to graduate-level work.

Where Do EMS Graduates End Up?

Our alumni have used their degrees in traditional EMS careers, as well as in a variety of other fields. Many graduates are:

  • practicing emergency medicine as paramedics;
  • serving as supervisors in public safety and private sector EMS systems;
  • working as managers and leaders in state and federal government EMS agencies;
  • administering air medical programs;
  • heading national and international departments and organizations
  • serving as consultants to government and EMS agencies; and
  • teaching in educational programs.

Our graduates have also moved on to advanced educational pursuits in the fields of medicine, law, management, and business, bringing  EMS backgrounds to these professions and giving graduates a unique opportunity to influence the future of emergency health care.

Online Learning

For more information about Online Education at GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, visit the Online Education page.