Class helps emergency responders

Published 11:29 pm Saturday, January 17, 2009

Instructor Rick Patterson was hitting his class with question after question.

“How much comes in an ampule?

“How much Bicarb am I getting?

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“I just intubated this guy: tell me all the ways I can verify the tube?”

Of course, this is no ordinary class.

It is the Critical Care and Patient Transport Class taught by Critical Care Concepts, a nationally recognized educational firm that specializes in certification work for emergency medical technicians, certified flight registered nurses and certified transport registered nurses among others.

These people are the first responders to accident scenes and the ones in charge of transporting patients during that crucial time from the crash scene to the hospital emergency room.

In a meeting room in the Holiday Inn Express in town, Patterson was helping a class of 26 students as they work toward passing their necessary certification exams.

It’s a process Patterson is well aware of.

He failed his certification test despite having five years of experience in the medical airlift field.

“There was nothing to prep you back then,” Patterson said. “Years later, we started developing it and worked on it from there.”

What they developed was an in-depth review course and text to help those in the field trying to pass their CFRN, CEN or CTRN certification exam.

Critical Concepts in headquartered in Chesapeake, but the team of experts fly all over the country and globe bringing their review training to those who need it. At least twice a year, they aim to have one workshop right here in Suffolk since it is close to the headquarters.

At this weekend’s training, students flew in from around the country – including Florida and Maine – just to get the extra help.

It’s a full weekend, with workshops starting Friday and going through Sunday afternoon.

Having teachers who have already taken and passed the necessary tests teaching during the weekend treats students to special insight.

It was not uncommon to hear, “They won’t ask you this on the test, but you’re definitely going to see this subject,” or “This is different from how you learned it, but it will help you on the test.”

“We can’t teach you all these things in two days,” Patterson told the class as he broke into a session on respiratory alkalosis, “but we get you so you can click the answers, click the responses and pass the exam.”

The workshops are a mix of textbook review, powerpoint presentations and interactive question and answer time keeping students on their toes.

Following the completion of the workshop today, Patterson said he is packing up to head back out on the road again.

“I just think it’s fascinating we can get all these people from all over to little ole Suffolk,” he said.

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