College to offer paramedic program

Published 7:18 am Tuesday, December 23, 2008

As Southwest Georgia continues to experience the need for a variety of health care professionals, Bainbridge College (BC) now offers the Paramedic Technology Program, thanks in no small part to the generosity of area hospitals and Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

The new program starts Jan. 7 for Spring Semester 2009, said Barbara Stephens, interim chair of BC’s Technical Studies Division.

Students may begin taking the required prerequisite courses in English, computer fundamentals, mathematics, anatomy and physiology. These will take a full semester to complete.

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To continue in the program, the person must be a licensed emergency medical technician (EMT), said Randy Williams, coordinator of the Technical Studies Division’s new program and its existing EMT program.

New students should first visit the Admissions Office on the Bainbridge campus to complete an admissions application. Currently enrolled students may speak directly with Williams.

Williams noted that the first paramedic class will be limited to 15 students and only five spots were left.

BC is on the National Registry of EMTs, which gives its graduates an advantage of being able to be licensed in other states with which Georgia has a reciprocity agreement.

While EMTs train to give basic life support, paramedics can give advanced life support—performing such tasks as inserting tubes into the wind pipe, inserting a needle to assist with a collapsed lung or for a blocked airway.

Among the needed advanced equipment to train for the program are cardiac monitors, tubes to insert into the windpipe, adult and pediatric mannequins for practicing advanced cardiac life support, needle chest decompression for handling collapsed lungs and a mannequin for practicing needle cricothoratomy, which helps a person with a closed upper airway.

Donations for the equipment have come from Decatur, Early, Miller and Seminole EMS, and Memorial Hospital and Manor Hospital in Bainbridge, Early Memorial Hospital and Miller County Hospital.

Just as students in the EMT program have clinical experience at hospitals and with the area EMS personnel, the Paramedic Technology Program students will have clinical sites at hospitals, including training in the emergency rooms, critical care units, operating rooms, labor and delivery and the psychiatric area.