OhioHealth Paramedic School Celebrates 100th Class and Prepares for the Future
A little-known fact about OhioHealth is that the system houses the only hospital or health system-based EMS school in central Ohio at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center. This program remains committed to providing paramedics with a high-quality education, which in turn provides high-quality and lifesaving service to Ohio communities.
In September, the school reached a significant milestone as it welcomed the 100th paramedic class. The 14- month program includes more than 500 hours of classroom and patient simulation and over 500 hours of clinical experience as well. To be admitted to the program, students must have a current emergency medical technician (EMT) certification, a pre-test score of at least 75 percent and completion of human anatomy and physiology courses.
The school was founded in 1983 and has been entirely supported by Grant, and now OhioHealth, since its establishment. It is run by OhioHealth Emergency Medical Services and offers both EMT and paramedic classes. Since its founding, the school has graduated over 1580 paramedics and currently has a 100 percent pass rate for the exam, which is especially impressive considering the number of classes it holds each year.
OhioHealth’s paramedic program offers students many advantages that come with being in a real-life, hands-on hospital setting. Although a majority of the clinical experience is done through ride-alongs in ambulances and with current paramedics, students also spend a minimum of 56 hours in the emergency department at Grant, as well as OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital and OhioHealth Doctors Hospital performing tasks like patient assessments, drawing blood for lab work and starting IVs.
Students also have the opportunity to observe and care for trauma patients and work on skills like intubation in Grant’s operating rooms. In addition to the ED, students spend time in other departments like labor and delivery and the ICU, to get a sense of what patients experience after paramedics deliver them safely to the hospital.
“We provide many unique learning opportunities for our students,” said Holly Herron, DNP, RN, EMT-P, OhioHealth EMS program director. “We are able to provide a great variety of experiences, and that leads to a more rounded education for our students, making it easier for them to apply those skills and succeed.”
Both the number of classes the school teaches and the program’s geographical reach have recently expanded. The school runs multiple classes at once, staggering the schedules, meaning it may be teaching and coordinating up to four or five classes at once, all with different start and graduation dates. In October, the school also began hosting a paramedic class at Ohio University’s Lancaster campus and is now hosting a class at MedCare Ambulance.
Herron said this expansion is especially important to central Ohio rural communities because graduates of the OhioHealth paramedic school can bring high-quality, lifesaving care to their communities. OhioHealth is committed to making contributions to the education of emergency medical care providers who ensure safety in the communities we serve. The students are highly sought after upon graduation as employees because of the program’s excellent reputation. Area fire chiefs complement graduates of the program, saying that they are very well prepared, knowledgeable and ready to work.