Scenario-based education is a great learning tool for EMS people. I believe that scenarios are one of the best ways for EMTs and Paramedics to get their heads in the game and think deeply about potential problems they might face in the field before the tones go off and the pressure comes on. EMS scenarios allow the EMS person to look at potential problems, consider potential solutions, and test out the results of their actions in a safe environment. They can help identify areas where providers need to study up on additional information and can go a long way towards helping increase a provider’s comfort level when they’re faced with the real-life version of the scenario out on the street. Whether the scenarios are in a classroom or formal training setting, are shared between providers at the station, or are put up on Facebook or other social media setting, they’re valuable learning opportunities and can even be a lot of fun. I especially enjoy the recent collaborative scenarios that are put up in places like www.EMS12lead.com or on the smarter EMS-related Facebook pages because the collaboration and discussion of topics that follow the scenario in the comments section are always enlightening and entertaining.
Below are a few scenarios and case-studies that present the information in a way that makes you think about the topic in a more real-world setting.
The problem with the scenarios is that they always seem to cover calls where the patient we are given is suffering from an awesomely severe medical or traumatic incident. There is an emphasis placed strictly on managing patient care in most scenarios and there are many more, less-awesome challenges that an EMS professional will be tasked with that could also lend themselves well to this format.
These scenarios are just as appropriate for the newest EMT as they are for the most seasoned leader of any EMS agency. You might even want to forward this article up or down your organizational chain of command to see how those people might do with the cases provided.
Here we go:
Your ambulance is dispatched to a private residence in a quiet residential part of your coverage area. It is an area of town with smaller, yet well-kept homes where people tend to live in their houses for a long time. When you arrive at the single-story home you’ve been sent to you notice that the house is small and doesn’t seem to be kept up as nice as the other homes. The lawn has been mowed recently, but the bushes haven’t been trimmed, the sidewalk hasn’t been edged, and everything looks to be overgrown. The house seems to be suffering from deferred maintenance all around and everything is showing its weather-worn age. As you approach the house, you notice that the windows are all covered up with blankets on the inside which prevents your view from the outside area. You knock on the front door and a weak voice yells use the back door which you walk around the house and enter.
When you make it inside, you see why the patient didn’t€™t want you to open the front door. It is practically barricaded from the inside and cannot be opened. The interior of the house is in bad shape. It hasn’t€™t been cleaned in years, and while the house doesn’t quite appear like it could get a spot on the TV show