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Field Training Officer: Tips and Techniques for FTOs, Preceptors, and Mentors



Field Training Officer provides comprehensive and concrete guidance on how to effectively perform the job of a field training officer (FTO). Extensively field-tested, the approach presented has been used by the authors since 1998 and has helped train EMTs and paramedics in college, hospital, fire department, and third service programs. The text contains a variety of tips and techniques that experienced FTOs can use to supplement teaching methods they are currently using. New FTOs can use these same tips and techniques to develop an effective approach to teaching and evaluating students. It will help them “hit the ground running” as they assume their new duties.

This text is a must-have for all FTOs, preceptors, coaches, mentors, instructors, and any EMS personnel who provide instruction and evaluation of patient care providers.

Field Training Officer Interactive is now available. For more information, visit this page.

  •  FTO Tip boxes that reinforce concepts presented in the text and expand on important ideas.
  •  Forms and documents can be a reasonable starting point in developing a field internship program.
  •  A sample Field Training Manual, which includes checklists, logs, and critique forms. The manual also describes the field internship process, including written performance standards for students and FTOs.

Table of Contents

Chapter_1 Building Blocks for the Field Training Officer: Laying the Groundwork
Chapter_2 Structure of the Field Internship
Chapter_3 Four Questions: A Self-Test for the Field Training Officer
Chapter_4 More Than One Way
Chapter_5 Prompting the Student
Chapter_6 Student Verbalization
Chapter_7 Briefings and Verbal Feedback
Chapter_8 Confirming Physical Examination Findings
Chapter_9 The Critique Form: A Tool for Documentation
Chapter_10 Scoring the Instruction Phase of the Field Internship
Chapter_11 Scoring the Evaluation Phase of the Field Internship
Chapter_12 A Day in the Life of an FTO


Appendix_A Sample Manual for Paramedic Students and Instructors
Appendix_B Instructor Checklist
Appendix_C Daily Log of Patient Contacts
Appendix_D FTO Quality Improvement

About the Author

Bruce Nepon, MA, Ed, NREMTP is a member of the faculty at the Paramedic Technology Program of Delaware Technical and Community College. He brings 35 years of EMS experience as a provider, EMS department manager, program coordinator, and educator, in both the public and private sectors, at the ALS and BLS levels. He has presented regionally and nationally on-field and clinical instruction and evaluation in EMS, and continues to teach and practice in the classroom, lab, clinical, and field settings.

Barry Eberly, NREMT-P, has more than 35 years of experience in Delaware EMS. His first teaching experience was as an instructor for structural and industrial fire fighting at the Delaware State Fire School. Later, his focus shifted to EMS, where he served as a paramedic, shift supervisor, and field training officer before retiring with more than 25 years of service. Since retiring from municipal service, he has served as an instructor for EMT students at Bayhealth Medical Center and for paramedic students at Delaware Technical and Community College.

Additional information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 8.48 × 0.4 × 10.9 in
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