Updates from Johnson County Community College: EMS program resumes face-to-face instruction

In accordance with the Return to Campus Plan, JCCC’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program recently resumed face-to-face instruction with strict safety guidelines in place.

Over the past several weeks, JCCC’s Return to Campus Taskforce has started the careful and deliberate process of reopening campus with the safety of our students, faculty and staff in mind.

Starting June 22, the College plans to enter Step 3 of the JCCC Return to Campus Plan, allowing students to complete any outstanding hands-on training or labs from spring semester on campus. This includes program areas such as nursing, welding and photography.

EMS Program Resumes on Campus

In accordance with the Return to Campus Plan, JCCC’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program recently resumed face-to-face instruction with strict safety guidelines in place.

The majority of course instruction takes place outside or in one of the campus parking garages on hotter days. Students may only enter campus buildings for exams or to use the restrooms.

Self-screening protocols are required before coming to campus, and students and staff must wear masks and maintain social distancing as much as possible. Health screenings take place every day through official questionnaires and contactless thermometers. Strict cleaning requirements for all equipment and patient simulators are also enforced.

The majority of course instruction takes place outside or in one of the campus parking garages on hotter days.

Adapting and Overcoming

Here’s what Scott Craig, JCCC Associate Professor of EMS, has to say about the unconventional teaching:

“Becoming a paramedic during normal times and circumstances is exceptionally challenging due to the nature of the job, and by extension, the training. Becoming one in an exclusively online environment is impossible. Students need to learn the cognitive classroom material inside and out and then be able to apply that in an integrated lab environment, all while learning the intangible aspects of empathy and compassion, leadership and integrity.

My colleagues and I are all paramedics and if the life of an EMS provider teaches us anything, it’s that circumstances will always change, and it is we who must adapt and overcome. In these uncertain times the only thing we can be sure of is uncertainty. We need our students to stay in the moment and focus on obtaining the knowledge and skills of a paramedic and not worry about what will happen in the future. It is a difficult task and a tall order but overcoming obstacles is what we do best.”

Paramedic student Celia Stout detailed the campus closure experience:

“Most of my concerns were with how we’d be able to continue class and practice our skills and stay on track with the program. The transition was extremely difficult, having to completely change how you learn while maintaining the motivation to study on your own was quite the challenge. The best part was the creative solutions to reviewing and lectures that our instructors came up with.

It’s been a bit toasty [outside] lately, but it’s nice to be able to work on my tan while working. Learning outside provides the real-life aspect of emergencies occurring in any place and working in less than ideal conditions, hitting home the idea that we have to be at our best in any given circumstance.”

Never Miss a Moment

Check out JCCC’s Exposure account to view additional photos and further insight into this story and more. Be sure to subscribe to receive notifications when future stories are posted!

Stay up to date on the JCCC’s Return to Campus Plan through our official JCCC and COVID-19 webpage.