Back in September, I inquired to a friend of mine who is a Lieutenant at the volunteer rescue squad about the next CPR class they we’re offering and she told me that I should think about taking the EMT basic class and volunteering at the squad. So, I went home told my husband that I was thinking about taking the EMT class and his response was, “That’s cool, go do it” and then he said “Will you get paid?” No! I said it just volunteering a few hours a month but I could do a few hours at a hospital for extra income if I wanted to.
The class was held on Tuesday evenings (6-10pm) & Saturdays (8am-5pm), completing 4-5 chapters a night. The first night, we introduced ourselves to the class and stated our WHY we we’re taking the class. There we’re high school seniors who had hopes of becoming a doctor and the other becoming a nurse, others who we’re just getting re- certified and others want to have some knowledge of how to care for their parents who we’re elderly and many who we’re like me, wanting to volunteer in this crazy, chaotic & divided country.
I was so overwhelmed with the vast amount of information and thinking to myself I have been out of college for a while and how was I going to retain all this information, study, work full-time, have family time and YES! I was thinking...
” OMG!!! What have I gotten myself into”, but I’m no quitter and I always finish what I’ve started.
In addition, to completing the EMT class. You also have to complete the EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operator Course), this course you have a practical and written exam. During, the practical you have a course set up that you must drive by yourself as the proctor grades your driving of the 6 obstacles that you must complete in between cones without hitting any of them. (Straight Line/Backup, Serpentine, Changing lines, Blindside Backing (J-Curve), Turn Around (backing up in bay area)
The road course was an all day event, when we arrived that morning our instructors told us to help with setting up the two courses, since we had at least 20 people testing. We first we’re paired up with a partner and we both drove the ambulance around through the course to get practice. We finally broke for lunch and once we came back it was testing time. LOL!! during testing I did well in all obstacles but the changing line & the serpentine I hit every dang cone….LOL!!!! I can hear you laughing, about changing lines that can’t be that hard. No, it wasn’t hard I just hadn’t told you that we also had to back the ambulance up and go back to your starting point for all 6 obstacles. But, I DID IT!!! When, we came back from lunch, it was testing time. We we’re now driving the bus by ourselves and I’m so proud of myself that I didn’t hit one cone.
I have learned so much from these past 12 weeks, from taking vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, respiration’s & quality of respiration’s), administering an Epipen, assessing a medical or trauma emergency and many others in between this is truly valuable knowledge that everyone should know for personal awareness, changing careers or just wanting to help others.
When testing out of the class you will need to complete 3 assessments, which include Medical assessment, Trauma assessment & a Random Skill
I have attached an example of the Medical Skills sheet, so you can get an idea of what you will be tested on during the assessments and what is an automatic fail. Medical-Assessment
A person that is experiencing chest pain will be an example of an Medical scenario and you will need to complete the assessments following the skills sheet, it’s almost like a script that you follow to find out information about the chief complaint of the patient, you will follow an mnemonic OPQRST & SAMPLE for example.
- Onset- When did the pain start?
- P-Does anything make it better or worst?
- Q- Can you describe the pain?
- R-Does the pain move? (Radiate)
- S- On a scale of 0-10, 10 being worst, can you rate it?
- T- How long ago did it start?
This is just an example of what you will learn in the EMT-B class, below are the different levels of certifications. Once, you have tested out of the class and you have been signed off by your instructor. You will then be able to test for the National Registry EMT & State Certification.
- EMT- Intermediate
I suggest to everyone to take this class, even if you don’t do anything else with it. It’s such great knowledge to know
I look forward to your comments below
Here are a few photos from the class & our mock casualty drill