Emergency medical technician students at McHenry County College found a man complaining of back pain on Saturday.

While they were checking his blood pressure, he said he started feeling dizzy and eventually went into cardiac arrest, or so it appeared. The patient was not actually having a heart attack, as he was acting as part of a simulation training for MCC students.

“Students learn a lot from a textbook, but they never truly get immersed into a scenario where they have to be leaders and make decisions on their own. So this gives them that opportunity without it being a real-life patient,” EMT instructor Scott Wessel said.

MCC’s nursing program and Emergency Medical Services program teamed up Saturday morning to hold interdisciplinary simulations at the college’s campus. The simulations were broken up into two sessions, with a total of eight MCC nursing students and more than 50 EMS students participating.

Students were tasked with three scenarios, including a heart attack, stroke and pediatric anaphylactic shock.

In the the heart-attack scenario, students assessed the situation, gave a mannequin CPR, put it in a stretcher and loaded it into a simulated ambulance, all while updating the nursing students on the situation.

“This is just a great hands-on training because it’s not all by the book,” EMT student Sam Duggan said.

“We need to know what goes on in the field or else we’ll have no idea what to do when we get there,” EMT student Tabitha Kelly said.

Meanwhile, nursing students were assigned with helping guide EMT students questions to improve communication skills.

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