Bridaija Jones, 18, sees herself as an anesthesiologist one day. Saeed Amaya, 17, has a goal of becoming a cardiologist. Both might begin their medical careers in the back of an ambulance, and a unique high school course could result in them getting licensed as emergency medical technicians after graduation.
The seniors at A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet High School are among about a dozen in an EMT course being taught in conjunction with emergency medicine experts at Augusta University. Jeff Garver, the section chief for pre-hospital medicine in AU’s Department of Emergency Medicine, said he believes it is the only course of its kind in a high school in Georgia.
If successful, it could provide a model for others in the state to replicate, said Denise Kornegay, the executive director of the Georgia Statewide Area Health Education Centers Network. The students got training Thursday with simulators and simulated patients at the AU Interdisciplinary Simulation Center.
In the course of their training, they will learn basic airway management, bleeding control and basic trauma and some fundamental skills, such as how to secure a patient for transport, said Thomas Edwards, the EMS education coordinator for the emergency medicine department and lead instructor of the class.
“When they come out of this course, they will be fully certified EMTs, able to go get a job and able to perform at that basic EMT level,” he said.