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Illuminations CDE Programs

EMD Illuminations

The EMD Illuminations Program provides at-your-desk continuing education for telecommunicators and other public safety communications professionals. The program is offered as an annual subscription-based service.

Each month, EMD Illuminations instructors present timely, relevant topics that can be accessed online, anytime during the month, from any computer with Internet access. Although topics offered are medical in nature, participants do not need to be certified as emergency medical dispatchers to enroll in EMD Illuminations. APCO also offers General Illuminations and CTO Illuminations, each of which features a different set of dispatch education topics.

Each month-long course allows participants to earn one CDE, for a total of 12 CDEs per subscription year. Participants must submit copies of Illuminations certificates to the Institute of completion to receive CDEs.

EMD Illuminations Topics for 2020

Topics are subject to change.

November 
High-Risk Abdominal Pains
Patients presenting with abdominal pains may be experiencing high-risk emergencies. This session will focus on various types of high-risk abdominal pains that may demonstrate as extreme pain in the belly that does not go away, such as with aortic aneurysms, strokes, and myocardial infarction, and the symptoms of these conditions that the EMD may hear during the call taking process.
December
Improving Patient Care
This session will explore the medical devices on the market that inform the user about conditions for which they may not yet be diagnosed. This session will explore PSTs being exposed to this type of data and terminology that PST's may not be familiar with, how some of these devices may impact EMD protocols, data storage, and the possible HIPAA implications.

EMD Illuminations Topics for 2021

January
Edema
Edema occurs when the small blood vessels leak fluid into nearby tissues. This course will cover the various types of situations in which a caller may need emergency services for severe edema, as well as various medical emergencies for which edema is indicative.
February 
Lions, Tigers and Snakes, Oh My!
This session will focus on injuries that occur from a variety of exotic animals. Injuries will be reviewed from minor lacerations to very dangerous venomous or life-threatening bites and amputations.
March 
Ear Pain
A very painful situation which many have experienced, ear pain is more than just a nuisance. This session will cover various types of ear pain, infections, and injuries, as well as conditions for which ear pain is a symptom. This session will also look at the risks of ear “candling,” including the risk of fire and risk to the ear itself.
April
Agonal Breathing
This session will define agonal breathing and the associated signs and symptoms. Discussions will include identifying triggers related to stroke, cardiac arrest, and the need for CPR.
May 
Infections
The difference between bacterial and viral infections will be discussed, including common signs and symptoms of each. This session will also examine how germs spread and ways to mitigate and control the spread of infectious disease.
June 
Breach of Duty
This session will focus on the moral and legal duty of the emergency medical dispatcher to provide help and various ways that duty may be breached. A review of various case studies will be included to demonstrate an intentional and unintentional breach of duty.
July 
TTY, TDD, RTT, Text-To-911
What is it all, and why is it important to the EMD? In the modern world of texting, many EMDs are uncertain why they must maintain TTY/TDDs. This session will also discuss RTT (real-time texting).
August
Why Won't They Follow My Directions?
Giving instructions to a caller is easy when reading from a script, but in certain situations it can be challenging to get the caller to comply. This session will look at ways to ensure the caller is following your instructions, including de-escalation with calming techniques, reducing hysteria, and inquiring about and obtaining scene/event status updates or changes.
September 
Hypertension
Also known as high blood pressure, hypertension is a condition in which the force of the blood against artery walls is too high, thereby increasing the risk for heart disease and stroke, both of which are leading causes of death. This session will take a more in-depth look into hypertension and its impact on the EMD's call processing.
October
Syncope
When receiving a call for a patient that has fainted, experienced syncope, passed out, or “fell out,” the cause can be a wide variety of medical situations. This session will investigate some of the more common syncope causes as: vasovagal syncope, blood pressure, blood sugar, and anemia.
November 
Lift Assists
Due to the growing aging community, social isolation, and increased healthcare costs, there is an increasing number of patients who should be in assisted-living facilities but instead are at home with caretakers who do not have the knowledge, equipment, or strength to care for them. If the caller states, “it's not an emergency,” it may be a caretaker who needs assistance with someone who has fallen but who has no injuries. This session will discuss some of these situations.
December
Dear Stress: Let's Break Up
With increasing call volume, continually evolving procedures and protocols, and new challenges to overcome, the EMD may feel overwhelmed, anxious, or emotionally exhausted. These emotions are all symptoms of compassion fatigue or long-term burnout. This session will include a deep dive into “breaking up” with stress and saying hello to long-term professional success.

Annual Subscription

$119 non-member
$109 APCO member
$99 per person (group of 26-50 registrants)
$89 per person (group of 51+ registrants)

Purchase Illuminations

  • Go to the EMD Illuminations registration page, where you will see a list of classes by date.
  • Select the month for the version of EMD Illuminations you want to take
  • Click Register next to that topic and month.
  • Follow the instructions to complete registration for this track.

You will be subscribed to EMD Illuminations for 12 months starting with the month and topic you selected.