Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training is crucial for individuals looking to excel in emergency medical services. EMT students can learn valuable techniques from the military, renowned for its rigorous and effective training methods. In this blog post, we will explore the top military-grade tips for learning and memorizing that can be applied to your EMT training, ensuring you excel in your career as a lifesaver.
Spaced repetition is a learning technique used by the military to help trainees retain large amounts of information. This method involves reviewing material at increasing intervals over time, which helps consolidate the information in your long-term memory (1).
To incorporate spaced repetition into your EMT training, create a study schedule allowing you to review material regularly. For instance, you can review new information after one day, then after three days, then a week, and so on. This method will help you retain essential medical knowledge and procedures more effectively.
The SQ3R Method:
The SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review) method is another military-tested technique that can enhance your EMT training (2). This method involves the following steps:
- Survey: Skim through the material to get a general overview.
- Question: Develop questions based on the material to pique your interest and set learning objectives.
- Read: Read the material thoroughly, looking for answers to your questions.
- Recite: Summarize what you’ve learned in your own words, either aloud or in writing.
- Review: Review the material again, answering your questions and reinforcing your understanding.
The Feynman Technique:
Named after physicist Richard Feynman, this technique is used by the military to simplify complex concepts and promote better understanding (3). To use the Feynman Technique in your EMT training, follow these steps:
- Choose a topic you want to learn.
- Teach the subject to someone else (or imagine teaching it), using simple language and avoiding jargon.
- Identify areas where your explanation falls short, and go back to your source material to improve your understanding.
- Repeat the process until you can explain the concept in the simplest terms.
Mind maps are graphical representations of information that can help you visually organize and retain complex material. The military uses mind maps to help trainees understand and remember essential concepts and processes (4). To create a mind map for your EMT training, follow these steps:
- Start with a central idea or topic in the middle of the page.
- Add branches to the main idea, each representing a subtopic or related concept.
- Add more branches to each subtopic, including specific details, facts, or examples.
- Use colors, symbols, and images to make the mind map more engaging and memorable.
Incorporating these military-proven techniques into your EMT training can significantly improve your learning and memorization skills. Spaced repetition, the SQ3R method, the Feynman Technique, and mind maps are all powerful tools that can help you excel in your emergency medical career. Try these strategies and experience the difference they can make in your training and performance.
- Cepeda, N. J., Pashler, H., Vul, E., Wixted, J. T., & Rohrer, D. (2006). Distributed practice in verbal recall tasks: A review and quantitative synthesis.