Rian Kabir '16 and Brooke Thompson '16
Randolph-Macon College offers an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course during spring and fall semesters. The intensive, three-hour elective-credit course is open to all R-MC students and is directed by Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Grant Azdell and adjunct professors who certify students for National EMT certification. Last semester, Charlotte Mattison (Nationally Registered Paramedic and Education Coordinator) and Azdell led 16 students—all of whom are following a pre-health program—through the rigorous course.
The CourseThe course has been offered at R-MC since 2011, when Azdell, a certified EMT who has served as a volunteer firefighter/paramedic since he was a teenager, suggested adding it to the curriculum.
“EMT is a pre-hospital medical certification recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia,” explains Azdell, who is passionate about giving back to the community. “Students who take the course must also complete 10 hours of field/hospital rotation and make academic progress by completing all coursework to the satisfaction of the EMT instructors.”
A two-part testing process takes place at the end of the course. A psychomotor skills practical test is given, and students who pass this test are invited to sit for the written portion of the National Registry EMT exam.
Putting Skills to UseEMTs are required to be affiliated with an agency in order to practice in Virginia, and according to Azdell, most R-MC students volunteer with Hanover/Ashland Volunteer Rescue Squad and many of them also serve as student volunteers with R-MC’s own Emergency Medical Services. This provides them with great practical experience. Rian Kabir ’16, Brooke Thompson ’16 and Philip Wyatt Jr. ’16, all Wornom Fellows, know this firsthand.
The Dr. Paul H. Wornom Pre-Medicine Endowment was established in 2011 with a $3 million gift from the estate of Dr. Paul Wornom ’37. The gift provides full tuition pre-med scholarships to R-MC science students who excel academically. There are currently seven Wornom Fellows.
Brooke Thompson ’16 is a biology and chemistry major and a psychology minor. Thompson was recently nominated for early acceptance to the VCU School of Medicine and plans on becoming a pediatric surgeon. As an EMT, she volunteers with R-MC’s Emergency Medical Services team and hopes to soon volunteer with the Ashland Rescue Squad.
“On campus, I was recently certified as an AIC (Attendant In Charge), meaning I take EMT calls,” says Thompson. “The EMT course was rigorous, but very exciting. As part of the course, we participated in real-life scenarios and were allowed to treat the ‘patients’ as if they were real. I plan to attend the current class to act as a patient and help teach future EMTs. I would recommend this class to all students interested in medicine—and to anyone interested in serving the community.”
Rian Kabir ’16, a biology major, volunteers as an AIC for Ashland Volunteer Rescue Squad and is a member of R-MC’s Emergency Medical Services team.
“As an AIC I am responsible for managing the scene, patient care, and documentation,” says Kabir, who plans on pursuing a career in medicine. “I am grateful to be a Wornom Fellow, and as such I push myself to do my best work.”
Philip Wyatt Jr. ’16 volunteers with the Hanover Fire/EMS staff. The biology and chemistry major and Spanish minor also volunteers at the CrossOver Health Care Ministry, Virginia’s largest free healthcare clinic, where he works alongside Dr. James R. Darden ’54.
“I am grateful to have been selected as one of the first Wornom Fellows,” he says. “We benefit from mentorship, hands-on training, and one-on-one interaction with medical personnel. These are experiences other colleges just don’t offer.”
The EMT course provides students with the opportunity to gain a credential that will give them an advantage in finding volunteer opportunities to gain medical experience, says Josh Quinn, the medical careers coordinator for The EDGE, R-MC’s four-year career program. “That experience will help to make them stronger medical school applicants, and most important, better future physicians,” he says.
Future OpportunitiesIn fall 2014, R-MC will again offer the EMT course, and it will also offer a shorter First Responder Course that gives faculty, staff and students the opportunity to learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation/Automated External Defibrillator (CPR/AED) skills and basic first-aid skills.
“Students can take the shorter course for PE credit,” says Azdell. “Although it will not be the sort of in-depth certification course that the EMT training offers, it will serve a purpose for those who want a basic understanding of bystander emergency situational response. It’s a tremendous opportunity to learn valuable life skills.”
R-MC’s Pre-med ProgramRandolph-Macon College offers a pre-profession program for students interested in pursuing an advanced degree in medicine, dentistry, nursing, and other health sciences.
Qualified students can take advantage of unique partnerships with leading schools for advanced studies in a range of health care fields: the BS/MD Joint Degree Agreement with Eastern Virginia Medical School; the Early Selection Partnership with George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences; the Preferred Applicant Track Agreement with Virginia Commonwealth University; the Guaranteed Admission Agreement with the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing’s Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing program; the Guaranteed Admission Agreement with the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at GWU; and the Early Assurance agreement with the Eastern Virginia Medical School Physician Assistant program.