January 28, 2011 - The New EMT Program
in Progress

An Apology, An issue went out prior to it being ready for publication. There is more to be added to stay tuned.

In this issue

1. The New EMT Training Program, In Progress
2. Sample Test Question(s)

The New EMT Training Program
in Progress

Day 1
We started the new EMT course on January 24, 2011. The overall program is broken into three sections. One section (mine) meets on Monday and Wednesday evening. The second section meets Tuesday and Thursday morning and the final section meets Tuesday and Thursday nights. I only have data for the Monday and Wednesday evening sections but my comments could be applied to the other sections.

Now for some statistics, we had 84 students sign up for the Monday/Wednesday evening section. 82 students showed up. These students were broken down into 5 classrooms (or labs if you will). We should have 17 students per class. My class only had 15 students show up.

The class schedule for the evening was:

7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Administration - we needed to get the students to complete their registration process.

8:00 PM to 8:45 PM
Introduction to EMS - this is the standard lecture that all EMT books uses. This is usually chapter 1. In our book, the AAOS 10th edition, this is true.

8:45 PM to 9:00 PM
Break - we have to let the students get a respiratory therapy break (i.e., cigarettes)

9:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Continuation of the Introduction to ESM

9:30 PM to 10:30 PM
Breakdown into classes - we assigned the students to their new classrooms and they got to meet the instructors. In my class we have three instructors.

Roger - a dentist by profession
Don - the former coordinator of our program, now retired (sort of)
Jim - myself, a chemical engineer by day

What we did in this session was to give them the rules for our particular classroom such as keep it neat, use the equipment that you need, report problems, ask questions, etc.

We also paired up the students with each other. We then asked each student to interview each other. They were to find out where they were from, why they want to become EMT's, are they married, do they have children, what is their educational background, etc.

This turned out to be a good exercise. The students got to know each other a bit better and I got to find out where they students are from, both physically and mentally.

What I found out is that I have 15 students, about 50-50 male-female. Two students are under the age of 18 and still in high school. Five students are ether in college or are taking a break from college the remaining eight students are all college graduates.

We concluded the night with a warning to read the book.

A final note! I decided to do the workbook along with my students. It is a new book and I want to vet it out. I took the online pre-test for chapter 1 and I am embarrassed to say I got a 69%. Did I take it too fast or was over confident? Perhaps but this woke my butt up. I need to put the work in as well.

Day 2
Well it happens sometimes. Our course site is located in northern New Jersey, just outside New York City. We are having a snow storm and the superintendent of the school has closed the campus for the evening.

For those of you who are thinking of implementing this new program I will let you know how the rescheduling of the course works out for us.

Day 2 - After the snow
Well our course site was hit with about 19 inches of snow and the school got closed. The "New" policy is for all students from all sections to come to the next session.

That happened, all the students from my session, joined with the day students and the Tuesday/Thursday students for the snow day make up. There were about 160 students divided into 5 classrooms. 60 students did not show up and they will have to make up the material.

Here was the schedule for the night:
6:45 PM to 7:00 PM
Quiz from chapter 2 of the book. Normally we record the grades but because of the large number of students this did not happen.

7:00 PM to 8:45 PM
Lecture on Well Being for the EMT (Chapter 2 from the AAOS book). This was a very long lecture with a lot of people in the room. We had no spare space available, every desk and chair we had was in use. The room temperature reached near 90 degrees Fahrenheit and almost 100 percent humidity. Not a good way to learn. I hope they read the book.

8:45 to 9:00 PM
Break. The normal "Roach" coach did not show up and there were long lines at soda and chip machine. I think I could have sold stale bagels and cold coffee and they would have bought it.

9:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Scenarios on hand washing, glove removal, exposure control and general BSI/PPE practice.

My class had 36 students (we normally have 15). We had each student don gloves and show how to remove them with contaminating themselves.

We then had the students put new gloves back on and I walked around the room with liquid Ivory soap. I then walked around the room and squirted a small amount into each hand. This simulates some bodily fluid and it made it much harder to remove the gloves.

Next we had each student actually wash their hands in the classroom sink. The standard is to wash for 15 seconds (that should be only about 9 minutes for all students). Unfortunately this skill took nearly 20 minutes.

Finally we handed out scenarios to groups of 4. Each scenario concerned responding to a call and what (if any) BSI or PPE should be used. There were 8 scenarios in all. We had one group at a time demonstrate what they would do by actually using the PPE we had in the room. This actually worked quite well if not a bit chaotic. We only got 3 scenarios done in the time allotted.

This Saturday we have our first full 8 hour day (which is repeated on Sunday). This should be fun.

Sample Questions

In this section I will pose a question, usually in multiple choice format. As many of you have found out, I do distribute an online EMT test. I need to test new questions for the new product. Some of those questions will be displayed here. The next newsletter will have the answer I feel is correct. I welcome any feed back.

Here is last week's question.

You arrive to find a 48-year-old mail complaining that his chest feels heavy. The patient is awake and talking to you. During your assessment you note that his skin is pale, cool and clammy. Your first step is to

a) apply your AED
b) administer supplemental oxygen
c) obtain a past medical history
d) assist the patient in taking his neighbor's nitroglycerin

The answer is "b".

It is important to get oxygen to the patient to stop or prevent further cardiac muscle damage.

This weeks question:

The second component of the EMS Agenda for the Future is:
a) the patient receives assessment and stabilization in the hospital emergency department.
b) the patient receives the necessary definitive specialized care.
c) the patient recognizes an emergency and initiates the EMS system.
d) the patient is assessed, treated, packaged, and transported to the hospital.

Answers next week.

All the Best

Jim Berthold
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