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    12 New Graduates Complete EMT Course

    12 New Graduates Complete EMT Course

    Courtesy Photo | GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (May 27, 2024) - Firefighter Dermaine Dawkins and Hospital...... read more read more

    Emergency Medical Services Week, observed May 19-25, recognizes the service members and civilians who care for patients in U.S. Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay’s emergency department.

    Recently, eight Sailors from U.S. Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command, Guantanamo Bay, (USNMRTC) and four civilian firefighters from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Federal Fire Department, completed a six-week Emergency Medical Technician Course.

    “Over the last six weeks, these students completed rigorous National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician (NREMT) curriculum,” said EMT Course Coordinator Lt. Rob Johnson, a Grand Rapids, Michigan native who is a certified emergency nurse, certified critical care registered nurse and works in the Emergency Department at Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay. “The course consists of 41 chapters, six skills tests and nine different examinations. It is rigorous,” Johnson added.

    Every student passed the course and became eligible to take the Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician’s exam.

    “The EMT course gives the corpsmen an opportunity to earn a national certification they can use outside the Navy,” Johnson said. “It’s also essential for the operation of the base because the hospital is responsible for providing EMTs to respond to and transport base residents who experience medical emergencies.”

    EMTs are part of a larger emergency medical system made up of first responders, paramedics, firefighters, police officers and many other emergency response workers and medical providers. EMTs provide out-of-hospital emergency medical care and transportation for critical and emergent patients. They have the basic knowledge and skills necessary to stabilize and safely transport patients ranging from non-emergency and routine medical transports to life threatening emergencies and function as part of a comprehensive emergency medical system, under medical oversight, according to NREMT.

    Hospital Corpsmen serve as medical specialists within the military, providing both emergency and routine medical care to service members and their families. Corpsmen undergo extensive military training and can perform a wider range of medical duties. They may function as clinical or specialty technicians, medical administrative personnel and healthcare providers.

    Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Michael Borst, a native of Toledo, Ohio, and lead instructor for the EMT course, previously worked in the Emergency Department at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and volunteered as a civilian EMT in Stafford, Virginia.

    This course “was unique because we had eight corpsman and four firefighters,” said Borst. “The firefighters didn’t have prior medical experience, so it was probably a big undertaking coming into it.”

    Of the eight corpsmen, two have served USNMRTC Guantanamo Bay for about a year.

    “Everyone else just checked in within the last 90 days, so they’re all very fresh without a lot of medical experience,” said Borst. “The difference between an EMT scope of practice and a Corpsman scope of practice is different based on what we’re allowed to do. So this wasn’t really a refresher; it was a whole new ball game for the Corpsman just coming out of school.”

    During the course, Borst watched the Sailors and firefighters gain confidence as they grew in their knowledge and skills.

    “Confidence is the key. A lot of [the students] didn’t have hands-on patient care before they came here. Each week they treated each other as patients, giving three to four patient assessments. In the beginning, they were nervous and timid, but by the end, they were jumping in, getting their hands on a patient, doing the assessments, knowing what questions to ask and not as nervous about what’s going on. There was a big confidence change,” Borst said.

    Despite a decade of experience in the Navy, this was the first time Borst taught firefighters.

    Having firefighters learning alongside Sailors creates a more personal relationship which leads to a better understanding when working together as a team, on scene, Borst explained. “That relationship only helps the patient outcome,” he said.

    Earning top honors in the EMT course were Hospital Corpsman Lillian Pfeiffer, from Las Vegas, Nevada and Hospital Corpsman Anthony Ramirez, from Storm Lake, Iowa.

    “The people I was surrounded by made the largest impact on me throughout the course,” said Pfeiffer. “Studying and learning together showed us where our strengths and weaknesses were, I felt like I learned a lot.”

    Working as a team across departments was a new experience for the recent graduates.

    “As a corpsman, I’m used to doing things on my own,” said Ramirez. “But in the scope of practice as an EMT you have to work collectively as a team with different departments like the fire department. Seeing how many resources are used to respond to a single event was surprising.”

    U.S. Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay provides health care to the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay community that consists of approximately 5,000 military, federal employees, U.S. and foreign national contractors and their families. The USNH GB also operates the only overseas military home health care facility providing care to elderly Special Category Residents who sought asylum on the installation during the Cuban Revolution.


    Date Taken: 05.27.2024
    Date Posted: 05.31.2024 14:31
    Story ID: 472744
    Location: CU
    Hometown: LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, US
    Hometown: STORM LAKE, IOWA, US

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