Technology in Paramedic Education

For those of you that know me you’re well aware that in February of last year I started on the fast track to becoming an EMS educator. For those of you that don’t know me, well… now you know that, too. I’ve now been the Clinical Coordinator for a Paramedic Program for over a year now and what a journey it has been.

The latest leg of my journey in the world of education is my first grant application. A week ago today I submitted a grant for a project I’m pursuing in Innovative Instruction Technology. The purpose of the grant, itself, is to bring technology into classrooms across college campuses and the projects that receive funding will be those that are expandable and adaptable throughout the state. I plan on sharing my journey through this project through this blog, starting today with my introduction to my project and the process involved with applying. Hopefully this won’t be the last post about this project – but that depends on the outcome of the grant awards which won’t be announced until the end next month.

In this post I plan on giving a general overview of the project and my plan. Some details of the project may come as a surprise to those reading that know me personally, but will all be explained shortly.

The general idea for this project is fairly simple: bring more technology into Paramedic (and EMS) education and training. Most of the new tools in EMS are innovations in technology and medicine, in general, is constantly moving towards a much more technology reliant environment. Generally, EMS tends to be behind the curve when it comes to a lot of things; our protocols are slow to change to keep up with cutting edge medicine, provider and vehicle safety is finally improving but at a very slow pace, and creating technology that operates in the environment in which we practice (meaning and mobile and portable one) can be a long and drawn out process. So I thought to myself, “Self, what mobile technology already exists that we aren’t using? And how can we use it to enhance what we do?” And I think I found the answer.

So, to get right to it, my answer was iPads. Yes. I said iPads. This is where the people who know me need a minute to pick their jaw up off the floor. Take a second and compose yourselves…

May I continue, now? For those of you who don’t know me well (or at all) I am not personally a fan of Apple products. There are a lot of reasons for this which, as I said, are personal. You don’t need to agree, I’m not about to argue my reasons, but I don’t personally own any apple products. No iPhone, no Macs, nothing. I have an Android based phone and Windows 7 computer(s). So, why iPads, you ask? To be completely honest, iOS has been around longer than Android, is often more secure and stable than Android, and offers options that Android doesn’t have available. The whole point of this project wasn’t to reinvent the wheel – merely to put the wheel to use!

Now on to the important stuff. What are we going to do with these iPads? That answer is easy and difficult at the same time. Everything. I’ve seen iPads used in individual classes, for loan in libraries, but never for use across an entire academic program. So that’s the plan and the basis for the project. Paramedic school day 1: every student is assigned an iPad that is there’s to use for Lecture, Lab, and Clinical until they finish the program. That’s basically it.

Obviously there’s a lot more involved, but that’s the point of the project! Even though we still have yet to get the grant award I’ve already put in lot of work into this. The grant itself was a quite a process, especially since I’ve never had experience with a grant before! …but that’s a subject for another post.

I think that’s enough of a teaser for now (I need some way to try to keep people coming back and reading!). Stay tuned for more details, and hopefully at the end of next month a very exciting announcement!

Until next time, stay safe.

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