December 1, 2020
Given the change of course that has happened in the world, we wanted to provide expert opinions on what aspiring graduates can do to start off their careers in an uncertain economic climate. We wanted to know what skills will be more important, where the economy is doing relatively well, and if there will be any lasting effects on the job market.
Companies are looking for candidates that can handle the new responsibilities of the job market. Recent graduates actually have an advantage because they are comfortable using newer technologies and have been communicating virtually their whole lives. They can take what they've learned and apply it immediately.
We spoke to professors and experts from several universities and companies to get their opinions on where the job market for recent graduates is heading, as well as how young graduates entering the industry can be adequately prepared. Here are their thoughts.
Austin Community College
Department of Emergency Med Svcs ProfessionsWebsite
Don Gwynn: In addition to the necessary skills (vascular access, airway management, medication administration, cardiovascular skills, assessment, to name a few), our students graduate with the essential prehospital scene leadership skills and the ability to run medical calls effectively. This requires effective communication, social interaction, and teamwork skills.
Don Gwynn: The EMS field is continually growing nationwide. Opportunities vary by location, with the larger cities experiencing the highest needs.
Don Gwynn: EMS is one of the fastest-growing aspects of the medical field, in terms of technology. ER physicians are expecting more each year from EMS, since the prehospital environment is often first-line in medical care, both emergent and nonemergent. This is likely to grow as a consequence of the pandemic. The ambulance is essentially a mobile emergency department.
National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians
Bill Seifarth: Since most states require National Certification for licensure, the National Registry plays a vital role in the pathway to employment for new EMS professionals. The National Registry's mission is to protect the public by establishing standards and measuring competency throughout an EMS professional's career. Holding a National Registry Certification, whether you are an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT), or Paramedic, demonstrates your commitment to the patients you care for and the community you serve.
The global pandemic showed us the urgent need for medical professionals, especially those like EMTs and Paramedics in the prehospital setting. Additionally, the role of EMTs and Paramedics is evolving. Today EMS professionals work in diverse settings beyond a traditional prehospital ambulance service. National Registry certifications are held by EMS professionals working in hospitals and emergency departments, private medical practices, and community paramedicine, just to name a few.
Bill Seifarth: For those working in a state that participates in the EMS Compact, the Compact EMS practitioners flexibility and protection to practice across state lines, especially in times of natural disaster relief, like tornadoes and wildfires, but also for large-scale planned events such as concerts and sporting events.
Bill Seifarth: The National Registry envisions technology impacting the field of EMS in many ways over the next several years. In fact, over the next five years, the National Registry will continue to explore the path of Technology Enhanced Items (TEIs) and other technology to enhance the authenticity of our examinations and to make them even more like situations practitioners will encounter in the field.
Additionally, the National Registry is examining different technologies to better develop and enhance the concept of continued competency throughout a practitioner's career. Some of those include virtual and augmented reality and enhanced apps to tailor the recertification process to each practitioner. The advancement of technology is exciting, and the National Registry will continue to explore ways to take advantage of it to better the EMRs, EMTs, Advanced EMTs, and Paramedics that protect the public.
April Heinze: If graduates are looking for a position within public safety communications, some skills and abilities they would need include, but are not limited to, the following:
-Verbal and written communication skills
-Ability to work as a team
April Heinze: There are job opportunities within the public safety communications field all across the United States. Prospective candidates simply need to go to the local, county, and/or state municipality websites and search for job vacancies.
April Heinze: There will be many advances in technology within 9-1-1 over the next five years. As communications devices advance, so must the ability to receive emergency communications from those devices. Throughout the United States, 9-1-1 is in the process of migrating from the legacy copper wire telephony systems, used today in most 9-1-1 centers, to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1), which is an IP based technology that will allow for pictures, video, and data-rich communications to be delivered to public safety communications professionals.
National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting
Ben Price: For surgical technologists and surgical first assistants, credentials are the first thing hiring managers will be looking for. For the surgical technologist, that would be the Certified Surgical Technologist credential, and for surgical first assistants, the Certified Surgical First Assistant credential. A majority of hospitals and a growing number of states in the U.S. require holding one of these credentials to work. Next, they will be looking for experience and any surgical specialization skills the individual may possess.
Ben Price: In both surgical technology and surgical assisting, there's just really no substitute for experience, and there's no way to get that experience outside the operating room.
Ben Price: Surgical technology is an exciting and rapidly growing area, and the operating room is changing fast. In the next five years, we will see the growth of hybrid imaging-operating rooms, increased use of robotic surgery, internet-connected devices, and smart lighting design.