Published 3/1/2016
Jennie McKee

"Orange Book" Unveils New Edition

Revamped text, digital components enhance the educational experience
When the AAOS first published Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured in 1971, the textbook—known as the "Orange Book" for its trademark orange cover—set the standard for emergency medical services (EMS) education in the United States. Last month marked the publication of the Eleventh Edition, an updated, reimagined version of the gold-standard EMS training text, accompanied by a suite of interactive digital resources and other study tools. AAOS Series Editor Andrew N. Pollak, MD, EMT-P, developed and revised the text and accompanying materials with other EMS experts, including Kim D. McKenna, MEd, RN, EMT-P; Dennis Edgerly, BS, EMT-P; and David A. Vitberg, MD, EMT-P.

Orange Book evolution
Much has changed since the Orange Book became the authoritative work on EMS education 45 years ago. The text—designed to train emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in rescue and emergency care delivery—has given rise to a series of products covering the entire spectrum of emergency medical response, from first responders to critical care transport paramedics.

Although the AAOS continues to oversee the editorial process with physicians and other leaders in EMS education, the Orange Book has been published by Jones & Bartlett Learning since 1997. The publisher markets and sells the textbook across the country as well as internationally, and has created a suite of products tied to the Orange Book, enabling the series to generate significant annual revenue for the Academy.

The Eleventh Edition offers students and EMS educators the following educational materials, in addition to the print text:

  • interactive eBook
  • audiobook
  • instructor resources
  • ride-along videos, animations, and hands-on simulations

The knowledge objectives in the Eleventh Edition align with the National EMS Education Standards and the 2015 Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiac Care.

Real-world scenarios, new content
The Orange Book and its accompanying resources are designed to better prepare students to sit for the National Registry Exam, with a focus on real-world scenarios that provide context for applying knowledge in the field. Skill drills, presented in a step-by-step manner, teach psychomotor skills and procedures, and are accompanied by visual summaries.

Dr. Pollak and a team of EMS editors and contributing authors added a significant amount of new content to the Eleventh Edition, including photographs and illustrations. Concepts are presented in fresh ways to help students grasp the material.

"The overarching changes to this edition include an emphasis on critical thinking and streamlined patient content," said Dr. Pollak. "For example, we covered anatomy and physiology very thoroughly in the human body chapter, and then in subsequent chapters, we revisit it in a more concise manner.

"Within the clinical chapters," he continued, "we pared down the patient assessment information to focus on assessment of the emergency being discussed in the chapter, while still touching on general patient assessment steps. We also made efforts in multiple areas to present EMT students with comprehensive content that is focused and concise.

"We didn't want students to read more than they needed to, and we wanted the points to be very clear," he added.

A bright future
As the Orange Book is the best-selling, most widely used EMS textbook series available, Dr. Pollak predicts that the text and accompanying educational resources will continue to lead the market in EMS education. The print book and the interactive online tools—including Navigate 2, the mobile-ready platform that houses all of the digital resources—work in sync to provide a compelling learning experience, as do the student workbook, interactive eBook, self-study modules, and simulated certification examinations that use scenario-based questions and detailed rationales.

Dr. Pollak says that "it is difficult to overstate the Orange Book's influence on EMS education," as, he notes, the AAOS "contributes to the education of more emergency medical care providers than any other organization in the world."

He added that "the Academy was the first to write a textbook for EMS education, and we are the best at it."

Jennie McKee is a senior science writer for AAOS Now. She can be reached at mckee@aaos.org

Learn more
For more information about Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured, Eleventh Edition, visit AAOS online at www.aaos.org/EMS and Jones & Bartlett Learning online at www.jblearning.com/ems