Students preparing for a career as a paramedic within the Emergency Medical Services field must master a broad body of knowledge, be able to synthesize that knowledge with any presenting medical emergency, critically think to formulate a plan of action and care, and then be competent in the required skills to execute that plan sometimes in extraordinarily stressful and unpredictable scenes. One of my primary roles as an instructor is to provide detailed direction of how to perform the necessary skills and the opportunity to practice those skills in a controlled environment. Once the students are able to competently perform their skills, my next duty is to enable them to develop the ability to critically decide if and when to use those gained skills. I want my students to fully understand and appreciate that their ability to assess a patient, accurately determine the most critical components of the presenting emergency, decide upon a care plan, and execute that plan may be the last hope of survival for that patient.
Furthermore, I want my students to understand that their formal education and training within the EMS program to become a paramedic is only the foundation, not an endpoint to their development as a practitioner. I want to encourage my students to continue pushing their own knowledge limits and fine tuning their skills; to become enthusiastic directors of their own development.
Since paramedics must respond and manage countless types of medical emergencies in a variety of environments, I want to help my students begin to develop an arsenal of resources upon which they can seek realtime knowledge and assistance with any unfamiliar situation in which they may face.
I tend to run my class in an upbeat fashion and try to make it enjoyable for the students. I believe that EMS is special in that the people who enter this field usually arrive with abundant passion and excitement for the work. I am careful not to squash their enthusiasm. I want to encourage their passion and use it to my advantage to keep my students engaged and focused. I strive to keep my classroom balanced so that my students enjoy learning and respect the need for precision. The primary method I utilize in my class accomplishes those two goals is the use of medical emergency scenarios. I use a mix of real people and computerized medical mannequins as “patients” to have my students work through simulated medical emergencies. These scenarios present the students with a realistic medical emergency, allowing the students to practice their patient assessment and care skills.
In summary, I am committed to providing a class experience that is enjoyable and demanding. I hope to instill in my students, a high respect for the profession of which they are pursuing. I insist that students meet high standards with their medical knowledge, skill competencies, and scene management; while being careful not to crush their excitement and passion. I maintain my own passion for these students by reminding myself that they will be the ones to respond when my loved ones or I have a medical emergency.