NORFOLK, Neb. – Area first responders were put through the paces at Northeast Community College recently. It wasn’t a real-world experience, but rather, a requirement as part of their recertification as paramedics.
Paramedic Refresher is a three-day course that fulfills a portion of the National Registry’s National Continued Competency continuing education program. It is required for recertification.
Carol Rodenborg, director of Northeast’s EMT/paramedic program, said participants in the course took part in an exercise that involved transporting patients in the College’s teaching ambulance from the scene of an incident to the Paramedic Lab.
“This particular scenario involved mock 911 calls from Northeast’s Law and Public Safety Lab on Benjamin Ave. and other locations on the Norfolk campus. The paramedics were dispatched from the Paramedic Lab and used one of our two fully stocked teaching ambulances to respond to the call,” Rodenborg said. “Once the patient was placed in the rescue squad and family members and/or bystanders were spoken to, the class participants returned to the lab, which was set up like a hospital emergency room.”
Once the first patient arrived at the lab, the ER and the rescue unit were restocked and another crew was dispatched elsewhere on campus to transport a different patient.
Some of the Paramedic Refresher students manned the rescue squad, some were patients and some performed as doctors and nurses in the emergency room. Students then rotated positions so they could experience each role. In addition, two Northeast theatre students played the part of family members.
Approximately 25 paramedics from across northeast Nebraska participated in the three-day course. It is held twice a year to accommodate the large number of paramedics who take part. Many of them are familiar with Northeast’s program. While they work as paid professionals in the field; several of them serve as instructors as they share their skills and expertise with students.
Rodenborg said the same experience in the refresher course will be provided to the College’s one-year diploma and two-year associate degree seeking paramedic students as well. She said while this was an educational experience for the class participants who are professionals, it was also an opportunity for them to view the call from a patient’s perspective and appreciate the challenges doctors and nurses experience when a patient is brought into an emergency room. Through it all, they experience a special comradery with one another.
“Victims in these situations could be distraught, anxious, emotional, demanding, who knows? It’s all in the life of a paramedic,” she said.
PHOTO CUTLINEParticipants in a Paramedic Refresher course at Northeast Community College gather around Dane Herley, a Norfolk Fire Division fire medic who is playing the role of a patient, in the College’s Paramedic Training Lab recently. Approximately 25 paramedics from across northeast Nebraska participated in the three-day course, which is a requirement for recertification.