There is no doubt that paramedics have to deal with some of the most stressful job situations out there.
Their positions require quick thinking and fast actions, often under a great deal of pressure—making it extremely important for students entering the field to have adequate training prior to getting a job. This is exactly what Moraine Park Technical College is trying to achieve with its new emergency medical services (EMS) lab at their Fond du Lac campus.
The process to create the lab began last summer when the college relocated the Building Trades Construction Worker and Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology (HVAC/R) programs from the Fond du Lac campus to the West Bend campus. The space created from the move was converted into a new paramedic lab. The lab is now in the final stage of completion and is open for student instruction.
One of the main features of the lab is a full-size ambulance box imbedded into the wall of one of the three EMS classrooms. Moraine Park was fortunate to receive the ambulance as a donation from the Fond du Lac Fire Department and the Red Cross to use for training.
“We are very grateful for this donation,” Jim Brace, associate dean of human services, said. “It will be a great tool to help students get acclimated to an ambulance and boost their confidence when they are placed in an actual situation in the field.”
Prior to this semester, EMS students shared lab space with other health care programs offered at Moraine Park’s Fond du Lac campus.
“This new lab space is a big deal for our EMS students,” John Gloede, EMS instructor, said. “With this lab we will be able to give our students more hands-on experience and, in turn, will make them more job-ready.”
The new space is equipped with simulation mannequins, which are called Medi-man. The Medi-man allows instructors to create real-life scenarios for students to practice their skills as if they were working with a real person. The lab also has video cameras strategically placed throughout the room to record students while they are running their scenarios. The students and instructor will then be able to review and critique the students’ performance.
Moraine Park offers three levels of EMS training—basic, advanced and paramedic—and all require varying levels of classroom hours and skills assessment. With the new lab, students in each level will be able to practice in the lab at any given time. Students from other health care programs also will be using the lab.
“By putting the students from all health care programs together, we give students the opportunity to learn how to communicate with each other as they would out in the field,” Gloede said. “With this setup, we achieve a whole new level of hands-on training, where students are teaching and learning from each other.”