EMT students gain hands-on training with St. Vincent Health care team

CMC EMT students practice a trauma training with St. Vincent Health staff in Leadville

CMC EMT students practice a trauma training with St. Vincent Health staff in Leadville

When it comes to medical training, hands-on experience and practice are invaluable. The Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program at Colorado Mountain College provides specific training for those interested in working in emergency medical services. This program covers the  training requirements and prepares students for the National Registry Exams and Colorado state certification.

Traditionally, EMT student training involves running practice scenarios start to finish, verbalizing transport and hand-off reports to a fictitious receiving ER. Thanks to partnerships with community partners at St. Vincent Health, Colorado Mountain College EMT students are able to gain additional hands-on experience practicing patient assessment, transporting in a real ambulance and transferring the patient to a practicing ER and professional care team.

“The students did not know they were doing this until the ‘patient’ was loaded in the ambulance and we were headed down the road,” says Jonathan Burk, EMS professor at Colorado Mountain College Leadville and Salida campuses, “The exercise raised the stakes in a safe environment. Ultimately, student feedback was very positive, and the culmination of the entire process cemented the skills and experience for the students as they conclude training.”

Practice scenarios began on campus, moved through the progressions of transporting, treating, and reassessing the patient in the ambulance, and concluded with transferring care to the ER team at St. Vincent Health in Leadville.

CMC EMT students training in an ambulanceEMT students performed their trauma assessments with specific NREMT skills interventions integrated into the scenario. This particular iteration demonstrated bleeding control skills and spinal immobilization techniques.

The hospital transfer training scenarios were overseen by St. Vincent Health medical staff, including physician assistant Steven Nikaido, patient care technician Terry Ortega, emergency medical technician Chris Wagers, paramedic Chris Yeager and registered nurse Nate Blanks. Terry Ortega and Chris Yeager are both Colorado Mountain College graduates.