While some students use summer as a time to relax and recharge, others get a job and do both. One Godwin student decided to better his education while also saving lives.
Over summer break, Godwin junior Nikhil Amin began his EMT-B course at Hermitage Ace Center.
An EMT-B is an emergency medical technician at the basic level. They respond to 911 calls and assist paramedics and other first responders.
In the field, EMTs assist paramedics with patient transports, which is when the patient needs to be taken to urgent care, a section of the hospital allocated to helping high-priority patients.
To become an EMT-B you must complete a challenging class. During the class, one must achieve a total cumulative grade of at least 80 percent. Students are tested on their knowledge of 46 chapters and additionally must pass a practical examination by a certified physician.
“During the examination, we were given a mock scenario of an emergency situation,” said Amin.
Although an introductory EMT class usually takes six months or 150 hours to complete, Amin’s instructor, Johanna Chandler, offers an accelerated version that allows students to finish the course over four weeks.
“For these four weeks, you will eat, sleep, and breathe EMT knowledge,” said Chandler on Amin’s first day of class to emphasize the intensive nature of the class.
Throughout July, the students were required to gain experience by shadowing real EMTs and transporting a number of patients. This component of the EMT class was to allow students to exercise their practical skills.
“I practiced operating the stretcher, pre-hospital care, and patient assessments,” said Amin.
While shadowing other EMT’s, one must assist in a certain number of patient transports.
“We need 10 patient transports to pass the class, but not each patient needs a transport,” said Amin.
Oftentimes when responding to a call, the patient may not require transport and just need care on the scene.
“We would transport the patients to the hospitals if they were in critical condition,” said Amin.
Therefore, it was necessary to take multiple shifts. Usually, over the weekend, Amin would commute to Southside Petersburgto complete a shift from eight in the morning to eight in the evening.
While riding with Petersburg rescue squad, Amin responded to an emergency call for an elderly woman who had suffered a myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack.
After arriving on scene, Amin and the other EMTs were assessing the patient when, “She suddenly went into cardiac arrest,” said Amin.
As Amin watched the first responders perform CPR on the woman, he became frightened. “I was nervous because I was afraid I was going to witness a death,” said Amin.
Fortunately, the EMTs were able to resuscitate the patient quickly after a few minutes and the patient was able to recover after being transported to the hospital.
“They were able to save the patient’s life, and the attempt was an eye-opening experience for me,” said Amin.
In addition to riding in the ambulance with the other paramedics, the EMTs would describe in detail the procedures that they do, so the EMT-B’s can learn.
“They would also let me take vitals on some patients [to practice],” said Amin.
Initially Amin had taken the EMT class in order to fill requirements for his Medical Center program. Students were given various options to choose in order to become exempt from choosing a research paper.
“I chose to do EMT-B training because I thought it would be fun and I could gain more experience [in the medical field],” said Amin.
Currently, Amin is eligible to take the national registry exam in order to become certified as an EMT-B. “I might take it in a couple months,” said Amin.
Participating in this EMT-B course over summer allowed Amin to become certified in basic life support and emergency care skills that may be useful later in his life. Amin believes that everyone should learn CPR in their life.
“It’s a good class to take and it helps the community. It also gives you important knowledge for life,” said Amin.