How to Train the Best EMTs and CNAs
June 30, 2021
Community colleges and continuing education classes are the backbone of the medical field. Without well trained certified nurse assistants (CNAs), emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, and nurses - patient care would crumble no matter how many doctors and surgeons existed. These positions are the hands and feet of critical tasks with patient care. Community colleges, career and technical education centers, hospitals, and clinics need to invest in training resources for these positions. The health of society depends on this.
Mic Gunderson, the president of the Center for Systems Improvement – a consulting firm specializing in design and value improvement for high-risk time-sensitive care, wrote an article for EMS1 talking about how one size does not fit all for EMS education. Gunderson wrote, “Their (EMS professionals) knowledge and skills will vary considerably based on the types and frequencies of their clinical experiences and the roles they played on scene; as well as their efforts to study and practice throughout the year.”
A critical aspect to the certification process for all of these positions revolves around a certain amount of clinical hours where students gain real, hands-on experience. Clinical hours are important to prepare these students for real situations they will face in the medical field. These certifications take as little as 4-weeks to 2-years to obtain certification or licensing for. Exposure to real clinical situations is vital for these students’ success in the healthcare field.
Training EMTs, CNAs, Paramedics, and other CTE positions with real anatomy better prepares them for actual situations.
I advocate for this because I obtained my EMT national certification over a summer course. We spent the first 4 weeks of the course in 6-hour-long classes that met twice a week. After week 4, we began the anticipated clinical hours, where we needed to spend a minimum of 24 hours with a fire department riding in an ambulance and a minimum of 24 hours in an emergency room. We had to care for a certain number of patients to ensure we were getting actual hands-on experience. Leading up to your first clinical was incredibly nerve wracking with anticipation rising. We practiced CPR and intubation on dummies, but doing these procedures to a real person is completely different. My instructor would remind us after we practiced on a dummy, “Now imagine doing this to somebody’s mom in the back of an ambulance with blood everywhere, sirens going off, and driving 80 miles per hour down the interstate while attempting to suppress your fight or flight stress system,” as his attempt to “prepare” us for the actual thing. The majority of patients are not healthy, 21-year old modeled dummies, where you can see their ribs to know exactly where the EKG stickers go, and have 2% body fat to see the veins for an IV. The learning curve from using modeled anatomy to being thrown into the actual medical field was extremely steep to me.
The sooner instructors can expose students to real anatomy situations, the better prepared CNAs and EMTs their students will be. BodyViz offers real 3D anatomy visualizations based on actual MRI and CT scans from real diseased and injured patients. This allows students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are vital to have in the medical field early on in their courses.
Envision a course that uses cutting edge 3D technology with real patients, done through virtual dissection that allows students and professionals to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills based on actual patients loaded into the software. With Bodyviz - this vision can be real. BodyViz allows for realistic, flexible, efficient, and limitless anatomy content creation that ensures students are career ready. Structural distance relationships are brought to life in 3D from the real, normal/abnormal anatomy of the patient files so your students understand how organs and tissues actually relate to each other compared to static, flat model anatomy images. All of this is possible at the fingertips of instructors and students. Bodyviz can be used in the lab, during the lecture, and at home through our online portal that offers premade learning modules - perfect for review and studying for licensure exams.
Take your continued education courses to the next level with BodyViz and give your students an opportunity to work with real patient anatomy before their clinicals.
Center for Systems Improvement
EMS1 Article: Re-thinking the design of EMS continuing education programs