HGH EMS Rescue Graduates Six New EMS Instructors

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.”