WHITE CITY, Ore. -- Today is the first day of school for students at Rogue Community College. Students in the EMS department start class today, too. These students will get to see the new EMS Learning Center at RCC's Table Rock campus.
The Morris Family Foundation and the RCC Foundation donated money to build the center. The center has two simulation rooms that help immerse paramedic students in different situations. The walls of the room are magnetic and can be changed into different scenes, like an alleyway or a home. EMS teachers said that these rooms will help prepare students for real life situations.
"They don't have to spend a good percentage of their energy focusing on imagination of what this could be when all they do is look around and truly feel they're in that environment," said EMS Clinical Coordinator Rusty Riis. "They're more likely to actually prepare or to feel as if they're in that environment and treat it as realistically as they possibly can."
Students will also be able to practice medical treatments on hyper-realistic mannequins. They are from Europe and RCC said they are one of the only colleges in the nation to have these mannequins.
The new learning center will help students be more successful as paramedics, said Riis. But RCC's EMS program is already helping students succeed. Overall, more than 90 percent of the department's students pass the national exam to become a paramedic. The national average is about 70 percent.
This is because the program prioritizes hands-on learning, according to Riis. Students do learn the basics of health and science in the classroom, but they also actively use real medical equipment and practice their skills on mannequins. They also finish a three to four month clinical internship before graduation.
The program can take two to three years to complete. Potential paramedics should care for others and be a team player, said Riis.
"It's a privilege to be in this field," said Riis. "We answer someone's call for help, potentially their last call for help, daily. And it's so important to find that quality person that can really bring those qualities and traits to public service."
The program even gets students comfortable with cardio monitors. They're actually iPads, but they're realistic. They help prepare students to use monitors in Jackson, Josephine and a number of other counties.
For more information about RCC's EMS Program click here.
RCC is hosting an open house so the public can see the new EMS Learning Center. It will be on Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. Any one is invited to come.
This is the address for RCC's Table Rock Campus: 7800 Pacific Ave, White City, OR 97503.