Maine Paramedic Students Take their Skills to South America
Students from local community colleges have returned home from a visit to South America, but the trip was far from relaxing. Paramedic Program Director at EMCC, Dan Batsie, said “They got to see loads of stuff they would never see here. Poison snakes bites, Dengue Fever and things like that.”Five paramedic students From EMCC and Kennebec Valley Community College spent a week at the Georgetown Public Hospital in Guyana.Paramedic student Christy Pugsley said, “Their need is so great that they said if you can help, just help. Please help.”The Republic of Guyana has no 911 system or trained Emergency Medical Services personnel. Paramedic Student, Kelly Stewart, said “I think it gave us an appreciation of how lucky we are here to be able to have the access to great medical care and education.”In Maine, many of the students are trained to use medical equipment, but this particular trip involved more of a hands-on experience. “They do not have ventilators on the ER so this electrocuted patient I had to stand there for at least an hour if not more and ventilate him until someone took over for me,” said Steward.The trip is part of a serviced-based learning project. Batsie said “Besides just creating new paramedics, we try to create good citizens and to think about what they can do to help others after they become a paramedic.”Pugsley said the trip has given her a new perspective. “It’s inspiring and it makes you see everything in a completely different light.”The Program Director hopes to make the project an annua experience.