The University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) and Kapiʻolani Community College are working together to help future paramedics gain confidence and skills in handling emergencies involving infants and children.

JABSOM and Kapiʻolani CC faculty have collaboratively developed and conducted the first Pre-Hospital Pediatric Paramedic Training Program to integrate with Kapiʻolani CC’s established Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Program. The course was made possible through a grant provided by the Hawaiʻi Pediatric Association Research and Education Foundation (HPAREF).

“Pediatric cases are such a small percentage of the cases they (paramedic students) are exposed to,” said Dale Oda, emergency medical services program director at Kapiʻolani CC. “This program gives them the opportunity to practice their skills in a controlled setting and get that kind of experience before they become certified paramedics.”

Gaining experience at SimTiki

As an EMT for the City and County of Honolulu, most of Cyrus Camp’s field experience has involved adults so, for him, learning with infant manikins in the UH medical school’s SimTiki Simulation Center has boosted his confidence. Camp also appreciates the program’s focus on communication between pre-hospital providers and emergency physicians.

“It’s useful for us (EMTs and paramedics) to get an idea of what the doctors are thinking so that we can adjust what we’re doing to help them with that continuum of patient care,” Camp said.

While working with the future paramedics, Jannet Lee-Jayaram, SimTiki associate director and JABSOM assistant professor, said she saw a spark in the students’ eyes as they realized, “Hey, what I do directly influences what the physicians and nurses are going to do, and what I do is vitally important, so I need to make sure I get all the information and that I can communicate the right information.”

—By Deborah Manog Dimaya

paramedic students in the lab
EMTs/paramedic students with Benjamin Berg in the JABSOM‘s SimTiki Simulation Center