As we are just about to hit the half-way mark of our 1st year of the McMaster University PA program, we continue to have great learning experiences with different observerships. Check out Kim's experience with Hamilton EMS...
What LP did you do (i.e. family, peds, ER, EMS ride along, etc.)?
I did my LP with Hamilton EMS.
How did you go about contacting and arranging the LP?
I set up a meeting with Nancy Weller in the PA office and gave her three dates that I was available for the ride-out. She then contacted the Hamilton EMS and they chose a date that worked for them.
What were the two main things you learned from this LP?
First of all, I learned just how important our first responders are in terms of assessing the situation and then treating the patient(s) on-scene. Secondly, I learned just how hard it can be for first responders to obtain the information that many healthcare professionals in the hospital setting expect to receive when they arrive with the patient. Often times, the circumstances do not allow first responders to obtain adequate information about the patient’s state and therefore, other healthcare professionals need to be sensitive to this.
What did you wish you knew to help you in your LP? OR What did you wish could have been different?
Since first responders attend to such a large variety of situations you cannot expect to understand the various treatments and procedures that they conduct on patients. Therefore, you can either take this LP as an awesome learning opportunity, or you can wait a little longer to do the ride-out so that you have a bit more medical knowledge under your belt. But either way, you are really just an observer in this LP. Personally, I would not have changed anything about this LP because the experience alone was amazing.
How has this experience helped you clinically, in class and/or in career decision making?
This experience has helped me to understand exactly what first responders are faced with in their careers. This awareness I’m sure will serve its purpose in the future when I begin working alongside them in a healthcare setting. I also learned small tidbits of information that I have been able to apply to what we have been learning in tutorial, which has contributed to my understanding of certain topics.
Any other comments?
My EMS ride-out was a truly fun-packed, amazing experience that I think is important for all healthcare students to experience, even if only to gain a better understanding of what other healthcare professionals do to serve their patients.