I'm new to EMTCity and so far I'm loving what I see. It's so nice to have a place for us to come and "hang out" with others that understand.
Let me first mention, that I was an EMT-B for several years and let my certification expire in 2006, thinking I wasn't going to miss what I do as much as I have. So I am retaking EMT-B again and the oldest student in the class! lol I'm enjoying it for the most part and the other part, I wanted to get your words of wisdom about. Or like the Friday night show on ABC, "What Would You Do?" I'm looking forward to getting to know y'all!
I had been rolling a couple of things around in my head since we did our Pre-Clinical Skills day on February 2nd, then after class Thursday night, I thought maybe if I just wrote everything down, maybe I'd feel better. Since the event that occurred Thursday night is really what pushed me to write this, I'll start there.
We were given a quiz to take over the heart valves and vital signs. Several times when our instructor left the classroom, there were a couple of people cheating and one of them even asked me for an answer to a question. I simply shrugged my shoulders as a reply to this person. The cheating also happened on Skills Saturday on the "I'm a drop of blood" quiz, with the same people. In my opinion, the person is taking the answers from another that seems to put an effort into their work. Is that person allowing the other to take the answers? It's a good possibility, since they were talking to one another, but "does it take two to tango"? Maybe it's because I'm the oldest in our class, maybe I'm old school, maybe I'm a snitch...But, I just don't understand how anyone can do this to themselves and their classmates. In my eyes, cheating is showing total disrespect to their classmates, the instructor and themselves and is a form of lying. If a person is going to lie or cheat on something like a quiz, what does that say about their moral character in the long run? Honestly, it angers and frustrates me to know that the grades were better for the dishonest, then for those who did what they were supposed to do.
Another thing I have that's eating at me, is over our skills testing. On my first testing on the one person CPR/AED, I was told I failed due to being off the chest too long to give my first breathes to the patient after my 30 compressions. I was having a problem with the plastic barrier film that we were given to use for the mouth to mask and getting the chest to rise. As I continued through my test and got to the point where I am to tell someone to continue compressions while I set up the AED, that person was "out in left field" and didn't jump in to assist. So instead of setting up the AED, I immediately went back to my chest compressions while I got my "bystander's" attention and asked them to continue chest compressions while I set up the AED, while setting up the AED, I was asked to stop because I had already failed due the 10 seconds off the chest and the plastic barrier device.
When it came to retesting, I was asked to be the "bystander" for another classmate that was needing to retest on the one person CPR/AED with a different instructor. While I was watching and waiting to assist with "bringing the AED and compressions", I saw things that I thought may have been a problem with passing that skill. Incomplete compressions (no clicking noise on the manekin) at least 3 times in each set of the 5 sets of 30 compressions in the one person CPR, "bystander" went through 2 sets of 30 compressions and had to grab the BVM, put the mask on it to give 2 breathes while the tester was setting up the AED, and after shock was administered, the tester did not advise to go right back to doing chest compressions, but instead waited on AED to analyze the patient, advising all to stand clear, at that point instructor states "no shock advised", then the tester stated "you do compressions". I was surpised when this person told me that they had passed this skill.
I have been thinking about these things over the past week and even asked another classmate about their opinion on the AED skills test issue, since I honestly didn't think the cheating was going to end up happening again. Their opinion was to just let it go and see what happens.
This past Thursday night I was truly angry over the cheating issue and I just kept thinking about everything that has happened. Wondering if my instructor or any of the other instructors running the program, that may read this would think I'm just a snitch, crybaby, poor sport, or worse, by being told that I can't continue through EMT-B and ask me not to come back for any further EMS courses because I rock the boat. I'm not writing this to get anyone in trouble, make waves or for personal gain. I am writing this for my classmates and others that may take these courses in the future.
Throughout my writing this, I am worried that if I turn this letter in, that the rules may change on skills testing. I loved that it was kept casual, stress free and I'm almost positive my classmates enjoyed it that way as well. It was a major change compared to what I remembered when I had tested in the past. I can still feel the stress of lining up in a hallway behind a closed door, studying each skill sheet, waiting for my turn to test. Then going into the room with one or two instructors to preform a particular skill, not knowing until a few hours later if I had passed each skill. I am also not writing this for the person for whom I was a bystander for, because I "feel" they did poor on that particular test. While the cheating in the class truly inferiates me, the skills issue is a minor concern more than anything else. The concern is the inconsistancy of the testing instructors. What may fail you with one instructor (ie plastic barrier film) on a particular skill, another instructor may believe that you know what you're doing and allow you to pass on skill.
Please don't think that I am writing this trying to be some sort of know it all or cause trouble, that's not what I'm about. I hope that you would take this as a concerned student that is a team player, willing to help anyone anytime she can, while trying to also be a sort of a role model with a positive attitude. While I may be a little too outspoken and probably should have just let all this roll off my back, sit down and shut up...something inside just tells me to say something, maybe it was just for me to say something by writing this down for myself and getting it off my chest.
I hope you understand & thanks for reading