NECC Dean is Leader in Paramedic Research
Scott Lancaster, Northern Essex Community College’s interim dean of health professions, took top honors at an international conference, hosted by the leading organization for emergency medical services research, on Nov. 20.
Lancaster was selected from hundreds of applicants to give two of the ten presentations at the 2020 International Scientific Symposium, which was delivered virtually by the Prehospital Care Research Forum at UCLA.
Lancaster won the Best Educational Research Award for the first presentation, which focused on the effect of a paramedic’s personality when administering medications to trauma patients. His research found that 8 percent of trauma patients received a pain medication, and that the personality of the paramedic did not impact whether—or how much— medication was administered. Selected as the winner after a blind review process by the forum’s board, he received a $500 check and funding to present his research at a conference outside the United States in 2021.
His second presentation examined the factors in a paramedic program that contribute to a higher passing rate on the paramedic licensure exam. He developed 29 different factors—such as classroom time, clinical time, and prerequisites—and sent a national survey to paramedic programs across the country. The survey had a 50% response rate, and, as a result, he was able to determine the factors that would be most likely to lead to success. His findings show that the use of flipped classrooms and increased clinical hours improve success on this licensure examination. This presentation was named Best Educational Oral Presentation, based on a vote of the 300-plus conference attendees.
The Prehospital Care Research Forum wants to encourage more research in the paramedic field. “The ultimate goal is to improve patient care,” said Lancaster. “A lot of the focus is on how we educate future paramedics.”
Currently most paramedic research is conducted by physicians, according to Lancaster, who believes it’s important to provide paramedics with master’s and doctorate degrees with the tools to do their own research.
A resident of Goffstown, NH, Lancaster joined Northern Essex in 2014 as department chair of the Paramedic Technology, EMS, and Health Care Management programs. He was promoted to assistant dean of health professions in 2019 and interim dean of health professions last June. He continues to work as a paramedic for the Amherst, NH Fire Department.
Lancaster has a bachelor’s and master’s in health care management and last year he was awarded a PhD from Simmons University.
Northern Essex Community College has campuses in both Haverhill and Lawrence. It offers approximately 60 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth. Each year, 6,000 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 2,000 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley. For more information, visit the website at www.necc.mass.edu or call 978-556-3700.