Meridian Star

March 2, 2013

Field training

By Brian Livingston /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Even as Allison Shendel, Adam Derrick and Neal Nelson approach a simulated vehicle fire Tuesday morning, Chris Lafferty is calling out the patients vital signs and conditions.

    Working in the cold, blustery wind, Shendel and Derrick settle in beside the male mannequin that is lying on the ground, while Nelson checks on the female mannequin still sitting inside the vehicle. Lafferty calls out pulse rates, breathing difficulties, allergies, and other vital information as the three students with the Meridian Community College Paramedic Program provide treatment.

    The role playing or field training exercise is an important part of the curriculum for the students. The RN students in the Associate Degree Nursing Program were also involved as they were waiting back at the classroom "ER" preparing to receive the patients once they were transported in the MCC ambulance.

    According to Kay Thomas with MCC, this is the first year of the Paramedic Program.

    "We had a couple of students (one male and one female) involved in an auto fire," Thomas said explaining the training scenario. "The male will be on the ground outside the car with the hood up. He sustained inhalation and upper body burns. He will need to be tubed on site. The female will need to be removed from the car. She will have burns to the legs."

    As the trio of paramedic students work on the victims, half a dozen nurses from the RN program watch knowing they will be asked to continue medical treatments once the victims arrive back on campus.

    Lafferty, who is the program director for the Paramedic Program, keeps the students abreast of the conditions of the victims.

    "We have eight students in this program," said Lafferty as he watched the attention the students were giving the patients. "We believe this program will only grow from here."

    MCC is approved by Mississippi State Board of Health through the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services to administer both EMT and paramedic education programs. The curriculum used by MCC exceeds the National EMS Educational Standards developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. MCC offers both certificate and associate degree options for students enrolled in the paramedic program. MCC offers the paramedic program for students that already possess a valid Emergency Medical Technician state certification and have completed Human Anatomy and Physiology I.

    The Associate Degree Nursing Program provides students with educational opportunities for personal and intellectual development and for a career to help meet the health care needs of the community.

    MCC’s program prepares graduates for beginning staff level positions as registered nurses. A graduate receives an Associate of Applied Science Degree and is eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination for licensure as a registered nurse. This program is accredited by the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

    The scenario is repeated two more times so that all of the nursing and paramedic students have had an opportunity to test the skills they have learned.