Emergency Medical Services Program Expanding Options for Students Training for Careers as Responders and Beyond
Article by: Melinda Eddleman
Emergency medical professionals are in demand, including those responders first on the scene when critical situations occur such as car crashes, fires and other emergency events requiring victim or patient care at the site or in an ambulance on the way to a hospital’s emergency room.
Over the past five years, the Del Mar College Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Program with the Public Safety Education Department has graduated 550 emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and 161 paramedics.
Del Mar College’s (DMC) Emergency Medical Services Program, which trains emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics, conducted required scenario training on Nov. 6 to give EMT-Basic students the opportunity to watch advanced students, including Corpus Christi Fire Department cadets who are paramedic interns, put their skills and knowledge to the test.
The exercises were a collaboration among the DMC Public Safety Education Department’s academies, including the Police Academy, Fire Science Academy and the EMS Program. Students worked two scenarios––a simulated vehicle crash caused by a drunk driver and a football player suffering from a heart attack––to demonstrate patient care using live victims or patients moulaged to replicate the injuries or conditions expected during each exercise.
The College’s EMS Program now has two new options for paramedic students, known as EMT-Ps, who complete their training and certifications, including the program’s Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree:
• an articulation agreement with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s School of Health Professions and its Department of Healthcare Management and Leadership for a seamless transition to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Management, and
• a collaboration with the DMC Nurse Education Department to provide the Paramedic-to-RN Bridge Program for students who want to become registered nurses. During a recent information session about the program, 30 paramedic students attended to learn more about becoming RNs. The program begins in fall 2020.
The EMS Program has expanded what we offer our paramedic students and gives them different paths they can pursue through our partnerships with Texas Tech and our very own Nurse Education Department. With the demand for both RNs and managers in the healthcare industry, these two options will help fill those workforce needs while giving our students the opportunity to further their education and expand their own career options.
As a distance education initiative between the College and Texas Tech, DMC paramedic students must first complete the AAS degree, maintain an overall grade point average of 2.5 and complete the 42-hour core curriculum as required by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board before acceptance into the University’s online degree program.
Stuive notes that EMT-Basic training and certification is the pathway and first step leading to other levels among emergency medical services professionals, including Advanced EMTs and paramedics. (Definitions and duties of the different levels of EMTs are provided below.)
Currently, 30 EMT and 42 paramedic students are preparing for the workforce.
Because the College’s Public Safety Education Department partners with the Corpus Christi Fire Department to train cadets through the DMC Fire Science Academy, those students also complete training through the EMS Program for EMT and paramedic certification.
Students who successfully complete levels of the EMS Program as required by the Texas Department of State Health Services take the certification exam administered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). During the most recent reporting quarters, 100 percent of the College’s EMT graduates passed the NREMT exam compared to 80 percent nationally, and DMC paramedic graduates also achieved a 100 percent pass rate compared to 85 percent nationally.
Stuive has bragging rights of her own beyond building a highly successful EMS Program.
In October, she received the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians’ 2019 Jones & Bartlett Learning EMS Educator of the Year Award as part of the association’s National EMS Awards of Excellence program. She received the award during the association’s EMS World Expo 2019 conference in New Orleans. Among her other credits, Stuive serves on the Education Committee of the Texas Governor's Emergency Trauma Advisory Council, chairs the Education Committee for the Coastal Bend Regional Advisory Council and has written questions for the NREMT exam. Read Stuive’s profile in the October 2019 issue of EMS World Magazine (page 22 in PDF file) as this year’s award recipient at cdn.coverstand.com/55723/618335/5f391419af04b0be14406c9d412245d240d558c3.pdf
The College’s EMS Program is nationally accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs upon recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions. For more information about the EMS Program, visit their DMC web pages at www.delmar.edu/degrees/emergency-medical-technician/index.html.
Individuals interested in the EMS Program can also call the Public Safety Education Department at 361-698-1724.
Emergency Medical Technician Levels and Duties:
Emergency Medical Responder (EMR): primary focus of the Emergency Medical Responder is to initiate immediate lifesaving care to critical patients who access the emergency medical system. This individual possesses the basic knowledge and skills necessary to provide lifesaving interventions while awaiting additional EMS response and to assist higher level personnel at the scene and during transport. EMRs function as part of a comprehensive EMS response under medical oversight. EMRs perform basic interventions with minimal equipment
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-Basic): primary focus of the Emergency Medical Technician is to provide basic emergency medical care and transportation for critical and emergent patients who access the emergency medical system. This individual possesses the basic knowledge and skills necessary to provide patient care and transportation. EMT-Basics function as part of a comprehensive EMS response under medical oversight. EMT-Basics perform interventions with the basic equipment typically found on an ambulance.
Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT): primary focus of the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician is to provide basic and limited advanced emergency medical care and transportation for critical and emergent patients who access the emergency medical system. This individual possesses the basic knowledge and skills necessary to provide patient care and transportation. AEMTs function as part of a comprehensive EMS response, under medical oversight and perform interventions with the basic and advanced equipment typically found on an ambulance.
Paramedic (EMT-P): an allied health professional whose primary focus is to provide advanced emergency medical care for critical and emergent patients who access the emergency medical system. This individual possesses the complex knowledge and skills necessary to provide patient care and transportation. Paramedics function as part of a comprehensive EMS response under medical oversight. Paramedics perform interventions with the basic and advanced equipment typically found on an ambulance. Because of the amount of complex decision making, one of the eligibility requirements for licensure requires successful completion of a nationally-accredited paramedic program at the certificate or associate’s degree level.
Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.