You might have heard that we have packed up and moved the first 14 days of our traditional June, July and August “Intensive” 19-Day EMT-B training courses to an online and at-home format. The reason for this change, of course, is the continuing saga of the coronavirus.
What this modification essentially does is add a mandatory hybrid component to this 19-day training program, with 14 days online, followed by five days on campus for practical and hands-on skills training. Earlier this year, the North Carolina Office of EMS approved our adjusted schedule for five days of on-campus EMT training programs.
Meanwhile, all NCOAE medical training programs taking place outside North Carolina have been put on hold, and the summer sessions on campus in Wilmington, N.C., remain on schedule, but with the hybrid component playing a major part of that training.
Which raises several important questions, including:
- How do we successfully train future emergency medical technicians remotely in this emergency era of digital space?
- How does a potential NCOAE trainee become a great online learner?
Just like everything else connected to COVID-19, this is brand new territory for all of us, and trial-and-error has become the name of the game. That said, we here at NCOAE have come up with some rules and procedures for those in training that, to date, have proven successful. And we will briefly outline those procedures toward the end of this post.
But for now, we’d like to share what we’ve discovered in our effort to make the temporary transition to digital training effective, interesting, and productive. What advice can we offer to those students new to online learning who are participating in our Hybrid 19-Day ‘Intensive’ EMT (EMT-B) training program? Here’s what we learned:
Accept your online circumstances — If you’re disappointed that part of your training has to take place at home in front of a computer screen, don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. Most everyone else in your cohort is feeling the same way. Accept things as they are, not how you wish they were. Keep in the back of your mind that at least the final week will be on campus.
Procrastination is just a five-syllable word for sloth — Managing your time is easy when you have a deadline to meet or scheduled classes to attend. But when presented with lessons to be performed online — some without supervision — those not familiar with such a regimen can find themselves falling far behind the program. Fortunately for NCOAE students, our online classes are delivered live and on screen. No pause button, no coming back to it later. It’s just like being in the classroom. Except you don’t necessarily have to brush your teeth beforehand.
Listen to your online instructors — We’re all making adjustments during these trying times, and that includes your NCOAE instructors. These folks are among the best in the industry. We have paramedics, firefighters, military operations specialists, and experts in critical-care management. And none of them is going to let a little blip in operations prevent them from providing you with expert training — whether that be digitally or face-to-face.
Pay attention and take direction — Students should look to their instructors as their best source of quality control, despite the fact that all of us are jury-rigging these remote practices in uncharted waters. Direct questions and answers might need to be handled in email exchanges instead of face-to-face, which can complicate the smooth exchange of ideas and opinions. But remain patient. And pay close attention. In computer talk, we refer to discovering inroads to a task’s completion as a “workaround.” Learn to master the “workaround.”
The classroom after the classroom — The free exchange of ideas between student and instructor is among the biggest learning opportunities in a classroom setting. Barring that traditional post-classroom discussion atmosphere, we must find other ways to engage with fellow students and instructors. Therefore, it becomes important to find the time and the means to engage with instructors to field questions or unravel problems. Through discussion forums or video conferencing, you can offset the impact of isolation and social distancing you may be experiencing at home. Reach out to your peers and instructors.
A final offering of simple, albeit important, online learning tips — Yes, you’re at home, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get plenty of sleep. Staying up all night with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare isn’t conducive to a productive day online the next morning. Ah, you say, but I can drink great quantities of caffeine! A better idea would be to use caffeine sparingly, which will actually augment your thinking process. And, of course, we completely want to dissuade you from using stay awake drugs. Finally, curb the online multitasking. Smartphones and tablets provide a distraction when you’re supposed to be listening to an online lecture or studying for a quiz. You can return to Words With Friends and Instagram after dinner.
As we promised at the beginning of this post, below we have listed some procedures for those participating in the online training portion of our ‘Intensive’ 19-Day EMT-B training:
- All lectures are offered in real-time. None of the lectures are pre-recorded.
- Students are required to participate in quizzes, tests, and pop-assignments in real-time.
- A variety of proven internet-based platforms, including Zoom, Moodle, and Google Classroom, are used to deliver real-time lectures and facilitate student participation.
Our summer EMT trainings are filling up fast, and we suggest anyone interested in enrolling give us a call at (910) 399-8090 for answers to questions and to register. Or use the convenient Chat Box at the bottom right side of this page.