One taught the history of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich; another
demonstrated how to make homemade ice cream.
But the goal of all six students in Humboldt General Hospital’s EMS
Instructor course was to learn how to become a more effective and motivating teacher.
After all, said course instructor and HGH EMS Rescue Interim Education
Coordinator Johnathen Prichard, the materials his students will be teaching
in the coming years involve life and death issues.
“So it’s important for them to understand how to really get
someone’s attention—how to help them listen and grasp concepts
in a way that will help them save lives.”
Prichard’s six graduates include Taylor Aitken, Gus Duncan, Ursula
Monroe, Julianna Rodriguez, Tim Rowatt and Leah Stolworthy—all crew
members at HGH EMS Rescue.
As part of the two-week, 40-hour course, students learned about the roles
and responsibilities of teachers and students, including administrative,
legal and ethical issues, and learning environments and styles. They also
discussed how to establish goals and objectives, create lesson plans,
prepare quizzes, hone their presentation skills and facilitation techniques,
and encourage communication and feedback—all while teaching students
thinking and psychomotor skills.
Each student was required to present twice to classmates on topics of his
or her choice. Prichard said that was his favorite part, as students’
abilities and educational interests really began to jell.
“They did a great job,” he said. “I was very impressed
with their desires to learn the materials and to put them into practice
for their future teaching.”
Prichard said the EMS Instruction certification allows the new instructors
to teach to his or her certification level. For instance, a paramedic-level
instructor may teach everything from Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)
to Paramedic, while an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) may teach EMR and EMT.
The common thread for all the new instructors, regardless of their educational
level, is to ensure their future students successfully complete their
courses while strictly adhering to policy, guidelines and regulations.
“That’s an integral part of this process,” said Prichard.
“We must maintain the integrity of what we’re teaching—because
that’s what saves lives—while meeting the individual learning
approaches of each student.”
He continued, “This group understood that very well, that they have
a responsibility to make sure their graduates will be prepared for what
they’re going to find out there on a call.”