Beyond the Books–Continuing EMS Information Resources

From EMS1:

Although the educational world is changing, printed textbooks remain a core feature of EMS education. There are four or five good EMT-level textbooks out there, and several paramedic textbooks. Writing and publishing a paramedic textbook, such as my books Paramedic Care: Principles an Practices and Essentials of Paramedic Care, are gargantuan tasks that involve my co-authors and a whole gaggle of editors, artists, and similar professionals. The time it takes to write a textbook as comprehensive as ours takes years — literally. A textbook revision in which the book is updated can take many months. It is not a fast process.

However, textbooks do have their limitations. There is no way that a textbook can keep you abreast of the changing science and practices in EMS. The best source for current EMS science is the scholarly journals. Scholarly journals are peer-reviewed publications. Articles submitted to these journals undergo a rigorous review process and must meet certain guidelines. The principal peer-review journal for EMS is Prehospital Emergency Care. It is coordinated through the National Association of EMS Physicians and is published quarterly. Other emergency medicine journals such as Annals of Emergency Medicine, Academic Emergency Medicine, and American Journal of Emergency Medicine are also good sources of EMS science and practices.

Many in EMS find it difficult to access the scientific literature. The best source is an Internet database called PubMed. This service is provided by the United States National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health and possesses over 18 million citations. The system is easily searchable using key words and Boolean logic. Generally, when you enter a keyword, you will get numerous “hits” of articles that match your keyword. You can look through these entries to find the articles that meet your needs. When you click on these articles, the citation and abstract is displayed. Some of the full text articles are accessible through PubMed (either as PDF files or HTML files), while others are not.

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