I’m going to suggest something here that’s bound to make a few people upset with me. Upset like the way my wife gets upset when we’re having an argument and I make a really good point and she’s not quite sure what to say to rebut me. Like that frustrated, pouty, “I wish you hadn’t gone there” kind of upset. … So right here at the start, let me just say, I’m sorry.
I was listening to a recent episode of one of my favorite podcasts and a one of the dudes in the discussion, an EMS educator, made the point, “Why don’t we do EMT clinical rotations in nursing homes and detox centers?”
[Insert gasping sound from the crowd here ...]
To which I have to say, “Well, uh … good point.” Why don’t we? OK so before you click over to the next web site, never to return, let me state my case.
When I was an EMT student, I dutifully went and did my clinical time at the local ER. Two shifts and sixteen hours later (We had a very progressive program. Thank you very much.) I emerged ready to take on the EMS world.
When I started my first Job in EMS I found that I was spending far more time in nursing homes and psychiatric facilities and detox centers than I ever did in the ER. And when I did step foot in an ER the staff wasn’t often looking for me to take over the clinical care of the patient like in the other facilities.
Wouldn’t it have been far more helpful to know what a nursing home environment was like? Wouldn’t seeing and interacting with nursing care providers taught me more about what to expect for my job. How beneficial would it have been to spend several hours interacting with hospitalized psychiatric patients or drug addicts detoxing from various substances. It’s undeniable. That would have been an excellent learning experience.
I’m not saying that we should throw out the ER clinicals. There’s plenty of valuable things to learn in the ER. But I am saying that we should think about some alternative learning environments that may also prove equally valuable. Dare I say … more valuable?
My comments section is now working so – let the thrashing begin.