Another Glimpse at LCCC EMTs

24 Oct

By, Joseph Rhoades

Learning is one of the most important traits an EMT or any medical provider needs to carry and take with them throughout their entire career.  If this does not happen the important life saving information will not be retained and the individual will then not be able to perform the tasks they are needed to perform.  Learning how to study, understand, and retain the important information may be difficult at first but with practice, patience, and studying, an individual will learn this trait.  This semester’s EMT class is no exception.

Two weeks down, what is new?

The past two weeks have been a very informative and a new experience for the individuals participating in this years class; both because of the chapters being taught, and because the students are now participating in the real life hands on situations.  These ride-alongs can be performed in several different locations as long as it is approved by the instructor of the class, most students participate with AMR in Cheyenne, in the Emergency Room at Cheyenne Regional, previous students have also gone through CFR, or Laramie Fire Department.

Training Center LCCC, location of EMT class

Training Center LCCC, location of EMT class

During the past two weeks students have covered a broad range of classes, finishing their discussion about the many different respiratory disease, a large majority of their focus was on the medical emergencies aspect of emergency care.  Which can consists of diabetic emergencies, heart attacks, asthma attacks, allergic reactions or anaphylactic shock, respiratory distress, etc.  Students are taught how to recognize signs of these emergencies and then how to treat them.  Many people may not realize it but there are more medical emergencies than trauma or “blood and gore” situations, so students need to understand these situations and know how to handle them quickly to save a person’s life.

Every few weeks the instructor’s of the class put together lab days which students are then put to the test on whether or not the students are retaining the information.  I was able to get a hold of Emily Underwood who is currently an EMT with AMR, who is helping with portions of the class.  Underwood was one of the lab station instructors on October 21, 2014, and was kind enough to answer some of my questions.

You want me to do what?

Ride-along’s with the ambulance, help to open the students eyes about how it is to really be an EMT.  On my last ride along with AMR (Fall 2013), I was introduced to several situations that I will never forget.  One being, putting shorts onto a mostly unconscious adult, diabetic emergency male patient, and then putting him on to a cot, I never thought I would be putting another man’s pants on him.  Underwood commented “your very first ride along is the most intense and nerve racking, especially because you are doing all of the vital sign taking and getting the history of the patient.  At first it is nerve racking but after you get going it is a lot easier to get the information that you needed and to be more fluid on how you obtain it”.

“I have not been on a ride-along yet, however I feel that I will, because of my training, stay calm and act accordingly because of the training I have received, I feel that it will be an intense experience and will definitely get an adrenaline rush from it” commented Stephanie Lawson.  Once she has completed this class she plans to us her EMT certification to become a full time EMT.  From the beginning of the class all of these students are trained to handle stressful situations, many students gave me the same response “I plan to react and respond in a cool, calm, collective manner and complete my task at hand” this is a great mentality to have.  However once they are put into that situation it will be a real test to see if they are able to stand up to their own expectations.

AMR ambulance, potential ride along location

AMR ambulance, potential ride along location

“One thing that I really enjoyed about my ride-alongs, was that even though you were put into stressful situations, there was always someone there to have your back.  I had great care providers who helped me when I got stuck or when we needed to move faster during the situations.  They can step back and watch but as soon as their is an issue they are there to help or to answer questions.  And even now that I am a full time EMT I still feel the same way with my partner, we are always there for each other” said Underwood.

The end is almost here

There is less than two months left in this semester, and in two months there are several of the biggest tests that the EMT class will face, the state written Exam for EMT, and the five different stations known as the practicals.  The stations consist of:

  • a medical emergency,
  • an airway,
  • a trauma,
  • CPR/AED,
  • and a splinting, bleeding control, and treatment of shock station.

These stations cover everything that has been covered in the medical emergency portion along with new information to come with the trauma portion, that the class has begun but not completely finished.

“Trauma situations can be some of the most gruesome sights, because people can be missing limbs, can be bleeding a lot, have broken bones, and could easily have hidden injuries that are internal.  This makes for a scary situation especially if they start to drop off, because it can happen very quickly” said Charlaine Lundgren.  Lundgren is currently an EMT with AMR in Cheyenne, she completed the class in fall of 2013.

Once the class is completed the students learning is not finished. In order to be an incredibly important member of a care team continuing their education is a must.  In order to stay certified the students are required to complete continuing education classes, these are just classes that deal with everything an EMT goes through during the course.  These are used as a refreshment.  Also because practices keep changing, if they do not keep up with the current standards, or their education they will be behind the rest of the team and will not perform to their full potential.

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