Col­lege brings para­medic pro­gram to Belleville

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - NEWS - BY LOY­AL­IST COL­LEGE

After 14 years on the job, Vanessa Brooker still gets ex­cited to turn on the lights and siren.

“When you’re in an am­bu­lance and you get the call, the lights and siren put you into ac­tion,” said Brooker.

As the place­ment co-or­di­na­tor of Loy­al­ist Col­lege’s in-class and al­ter­nate de­liv­ery Para­medic pro­grams, Brooker has a solid grasp on the ca­reer path­ways grad­u­ates can pur­sue.

“When we think about paramedics, we of­ten as­so­ciate their work with hos­pi­tals and am­bu­lances,” she said. “It’s much more than that.”

Grad­u­ates of the pro­gram are eligible to be pri­mary care paramedics in On­tario. With ad­di­tional study, they can be­come ad­vanced care paramedics and ex­pand their pro­fi­ciency into crit­i­cal care. At the pri­mary care level, grad­u­ates can work on he­li­copters, fixed-wing air­crafts, oil rigs, cruise ships, in paramedicine in north­ern com­mu­ni­ties and abroad.

“There are not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions pro­vid­ing rapid re­sponse aid in life-threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tions fol­low­ing a dis­as­ter or a cri­sis,” she said. “This line of work has a global im­pact. It can take you places and the work ex­pe­ri­ence is in­valu­able.”

Loy­al­ist of­fers the Para­medic pro­gram in two dif­fer­ent for­mats. In Bancroft, the pro­gram is five semesters in length and is geared to­ward ma­ture learn­ers who have var­i­ous com­mit­ments and are look­ing to at­tend class on the week­end and study at home.

In Belleville, the Para­medic pro­gram in-class of­fer­ing is new to the col­lege and takes two years (four semesters) to com­plete. It’s well suited for re­cent high school grad­u­ates and those who are in­ter­ested in study­ing on cam­pus.

“Bancroft’s for­mat is ideal for peo­ple with es­tab­lished ca­reers or those who are sin­gle par­ents,” said Brooker. “Be­ing a para­medic is some­thing they’ve al­ways wanted to do. The flex­i­bil­ity of this pro­gram gives them the struc­ture to learn while they work.”

Loy­al­ist’s hu­man pa­tient sim­u­la­tors (HPS) pro­vide stu­dents with hands-on learn­ing.

“It’s as real as you can get,” she said. “We have a birthing HPS and medium to high fidelity HPS which sim­u­late ad­vanced life sup­port. They have their own pulses, blood pres­sures, res­pi­ra­tions and ad­ven­ti­tious lung sounds. The vir­tual learn­ing mod­ules pro­vide re­al­world sce­nar­ios. The pro­gram also has its own am­bu­lance.”

Jeff Rob­bins is a grad­u­ate of Loy­al­ist’s Para­medic pro­gram and started teach­ing in the pro­gram in 2008. As an Ad­vanced Care Para­medic with Hast­ings-Quinte Para­medic Ser­vices and a vol­un­teer cap­tain for Belleville Fire, he is well versed in emer­gency ser­vices in the Quinte re­gion.

“What’s great about the pro­fes­sors in this pro­gram is that we’re still work­ing medics,” said Rob­bins. “The call we took on Tues­day is rel­e­vant to the ma­te­rial we’re teach­ing. We bring that real-world ex­pe­ri­ence into the class­room ev­ery day.”

To learn more about Loy­al­ist Col­lege’s Para­medic pro­grams, please visit loy­al­ist­col­lege.com.

LOY­AL­IST COL­LEGE PHOTO

Brooke Bradley, Loy­al­ist Col­lege Para­medic stu­dent, stands with one of the col­lege’s train­ing ve­hi­cles. The Para­medic pro­grams at Loy­al­ist en­able grad­u­ates to work in a va­ri­ety of set­tings.

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