Eleven Carson High School Career and Technical Educational students completed the Emergency Medical Technician National Skills Testing at CHS on May 22.
The National Skills Test was an accumulation of the Emergency Medical Technicians basic class, whereby each student had to perform seven specific skills; medical, trauma, bleeding control and shock management, CPR and AED, c-spine, oxygen and bag valve mask of an apneic patient. Students had to maintain a minimum average of 80 percent. Nine of eleven students passed all seven skills, and are eligible to sit for the written National Registry Emergency Medical Technicians exam.
“This is the largest pass rate of CHS CTE students to pass the test on their first try,” Frank Sakelarios, health sciences teacher and Health Occupations Student Association, or HOSA, advisor at CHS, said. “I am so proud of all eleven students in the class. They worked extremely hard and have always shown true professionalism and dedication to the class and the EMT profession.”
The EMT basic class is a 7.5 credit college class that is also taught at Western Nevada College, Truckee Meadows Community College, and REMSA. Students at CHS follow a strict program throughout the year to complete this class. Additionally, students have to complete an 8-hour shift in an emergency department, attend a ride-along with Carson Fire, and be present at numerous skill days that take place after school hours.
Sakelarios said Carson Fire is a big supporter of the class, by coming in to teach and share experiences with the students.
“The students and I are grateful to Carson Fire, Jeff Davies, Curtis Baker, and Stephanie Lockhart for their assistance with the class,” he said. “The students have worked very hard to make it to this point, and to have so many students pass the National Skills Test is a very proud moment for this program.”
Alexa Michel Ortega Cortes, who aspires to become a fire fighter/paramedic, said working with Carson Fire gave the class a head start.
“It was a great experience,” she said. “The paramedics that we met told us that when they were in high school they didn’t have the chance to take the class [EMT basic]. They had to wait until college. They always told us that we were a step ahead.”
Cortes said that she spent hours after class each day studying every skill to prepare for the NREMT skills test.
Casandra Maldonado, another of the nine students who passed the NREMT, had taken the EMR class in her junior year and the EMT basic class in her senior year to prepare herself for the NREMT skills test.
“When the day came to take the NREMT skills test we were all a bit nervous, [but] I walked into every room ready to take the test,” Maldonado said. “I would say my biggest challenge was to perform a trauma assessment. It was part of the NREMT skill test, but it was very difficult to remember all of the steps, it took a lot of practice to get the skill down.”
Maldonado said her experience with Carson Fire was different. In an 8-hour ride-along, she said, they only went on two calls, one of which, the patient showed obvious signs of death.
“It was a hard experience, it’s something that I wasn’t exposed to and for a while I was very unsure of wanting to pursue a career in the medical field,” Maldonado said. “I had a good support system, Frank and Jeff [Carson Fire] were very understanding and they helped me get through it.”
Maldonado said she plans to attend Truckee Meadows Community College in the fall, and hopes to transfer to The University of Nevada, Reno to attend the nursing program.
For more information about the health sciences program at CHS, contact Michele Lewis, director, Career and Technical Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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