Trainers as "Little Napoleans"...your thoughts?

mycrofft

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The more I read this website the more I hear about EMT instructors who want to try to make it like some sort of sadistic little boot camp and wash out people by harassing them and riding their backs.
I ran into this in one USAF class I sat in on after I'd had I EMT for a coule years and I helped get the instructor removed. I ran into this sort of mentality in nursing college and found that the other instructors actually had little patience for these individuals.

If you are experienced, do you feel going through an "EMT BOOTCAMP" deal with washouts would have been helpful for your work? (True active combat guys, excused!;)).
 

wvditchdoc

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While I agree with a little Napoleon Syndrome for certain situations, it is not a widely accepted method of instruction.

That being said, I do feel we need more stringent criteria for graduating EMS Students (A or B). There should be no gray area in EMS. If that means "washing out" the misfits then so be it.
 

VentMedic

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1. The EMT student generally does not have education past high school to compare the training with.

2. Many students are 17 or 18 y/o with few life experiences to compare dealing with emergency situations or major illnesses.

3. EMS is notorious for having trainers and not educators.

4. A lot of people do get into EMS who don't belong in it or any health care profession.

5. Those that survive and/or did well in the class may have a very different opinion.

6. It is not uncommon to blame the teacher for the shortcomings of the student. In some cases this could be true but in others it may just be an excuse.

7. The minute reality sets in or the instructor tells the student what patient care is really about, the student may find it hard to believe it is not like all the cool TV shows and may rebel.

8. It is difficult to teach an EMT-B course for some of the reasons I mentiioned. Students do come in with unrealistics ideas about EMS and would rather spend time talking about "cool traumas" you have seen. For this reason, the instructor who spends the most time spinning tall tales of heroic acts is way more popular than someone who wants to educate the students to understand the training they are getting in the EMT-B.

9. If there were more prerequisites such as A&P (college level), you would see less griping about "how hard" the class is or how unfair the teacher is for making them know all thsse things correctly.

10. If EMS actually required educated instructors you might see a lot less complaining or at least less complaining from those who are interested in medicine.
 

MrBrown

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1. The EMT student generally does not have education past high school to compare the training with.

2. Many students are 17 or 18 y/o with few life experiences to compare dealing with emergency situations or major illnesses.

3. EMS is notorious for having trainers and not educators.

4. A lot of people do get into EMS who don't belong in it or any health care profession.

5. Those that survive and/or did well in the class may have a very different opinion.

6. It is not uncommon to blame the teacher for the shortcomings of the student. In some cases this could be true but in others it may just be an excuse.

7. The minute reality sets in or the instructor tells the student what patient care is really about, the student may find it hard to believe it is not like all the cool TV shows and may rebel.

8. It is difficult to teach an EMT-B course for some of the reasons I mentiioned. Students do come in with unrealistics ideas about EMS and would rather spend time talking about "cool traumas" you have seen. For this reason, the instructor who spends the most time spinning tall tales of heroic acts is way more popular than someone who wants to educate the students to understand the training they are getting in the EMT-B.

9. If there were more prerequisites such as A&P (college level), you would see less griping about "how hard" the class is or how unfair the teacher is for making them know all thsse things correctly.

10. If EMS actually required educated instructors you might see a lot less complaining or at least less complaining from those who are interested in medicine.

What he said.

1) EMS is the "forgotten" medical profession - if you can call it one; really I know that sounds bad but how many techs/paramedics to you know who read a medical journal or engange in research or go to medical conferences and things like that?

2) I barely consider our entry-to-practice National Diploma in Ambulance Practice adequate for allowing people dish out drugs and recommend non-transport to people; granted it's more comprehensive than the DOT EMT cirricula I still do not consider it adequate.

3) People complain about how "hard" EMS is and how "much" A&P they have to know; the what, ten pages, in my Mosby EMT-B book ain't hard; I have A&P books that rival my Paramedic book for length. It annoys me because it's so obviously a fundamental requirement
 
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VentMedic

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I've got one more thing to add:

FFs are generally required to have at least EMT-B. Many FFs feel it is a waste of their time and make that opinion well known in class. I do feel bad for the students in that class who are serious about EMS as a profession. The instructor will have a difficult time with the other attitudes in the class and learning may be attempted in a disruptive environment.
 
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mycrofft

mycrofft

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Thanks Vent, I cannot fault anything you said. And I expand, as usual.

To some trainees/students, anyone not conforming to their wishes and preconceptions are going to be seen as bad-guys.

My accent is on the "trainer" who actually is (hence my request for experienced, not new, EMS folks) bent upon forcing people out through harassment and forcing them to quit, versus their failing fair and uniform practicals and written tests.

I really do see many new folks drawn to LE and EMS as being there for immature and egoistic reasons (despite their calendar age). Mature, trained, educated and managed faculty are needed, plus longer practicums, to produce quality grads with less "reality shock"; no one should ever be forced to take and pass a course beyond basic responder.
Anyone else with time in service have opinions or experience? Been a "boot camp" style trainer?;)
 

Seaglass

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I'm new, but here's my take anyways. I often serve as a patient for classes and exams, and I think that more students should be failed. For instance, I recently had one guy two days before his EMT-B exam who thought that a patient presenting with burns around the nose and mouth and trouble breathing wasn't worth a Code 3 ride. Hopefully he failed the exam, but it scares me that he made it that far. I know the class covered burns pretty well.

But I've noticed that some of the instructors overreact, and spend more time ranting about how wrong a student is than actually teaching them what's right. I think it's very counterproductive.

My basic instructors were all wonderful, but my department has a trainer who is well-described as a little Napoleon. He belittles just about everyone, spends too much time talking about how his calls have been so much better than our calls, and generally makes life hell for anyone who volunteers to be a patient or the first person to run his scenarios. He has a hard time getting anyone to show up for his sessions. Wonder why...
 
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mycrofft

mycrofft

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IF you don't fail some folks, either you screen em well or ..

...you're not doing your job.
I suspect some programs are pressured to pass everyone, especially mandatory firefighter trainees.
I see that with nursing programs the local, nurse-strapped hospitals are supporting. Get some real winners.
 

bunkie

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Can't answer your direction question. But I can tell you I do have an instructor that is KILL, DIE, FIRED! If we could just remove that one person from the classroom and unify information from there between evaluators on skills days. I feel the class would run a lot more smoothly and we wouldn't have such a high fail rate.
 
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mycrofft

mycrofft

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Ask for your money back.

PS: thanks for everyone not bringing it up that I misspelled NAPOLEON!:blush:
 

rescue99

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Can't answer your direction question. But I can tell you I do have an instructor that is KILL, DIE, FIRED! If we could just remove that one person from the classroom and unify information from there between evaluators on skills days. I feel the class would run a lot more smoothly and we wouldn't have such a high fail rate.

It is the job of the instructor (of record) to make sure practical skills are delivered the way he/she wants them mentored in accordance with the appropriate learning objectives. Even when using content experts, the instructor of record should preview the intended lesson plan if he/she has never seen it before to ensure compliance with objectives.

Don't blame a rouge proctor in other words...the responsibility belongs to the person whose name is on record.
 

sojourner

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I agree

Mycrofft, I'm with you. Ventmedic, you must be one of the sadists. Vernt my man, I know you know what you are talking about, but my class wasn't filled with your statistically chosen student group. For whatever reason, I think the average IQ was in the top 5% nationally and a number were post grads. Of course they had no real clue of the real patient world and the embarrassment and shock meted out in class seems to have no real long lasting value outside of creating some funny stories at someone's expense.

I guess there's no reason beating this one to death. There are better ways to get it done. 'nuf said
 

MIkePrekopa

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My instructors are nice. Very personable and VERY easy to talk to. I haven't gotten a napoleon vibe from them. But my class is pretty relaxed. no so much in the structure but the attitude. Everyone gets along and jokes around and has fun.
 
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mycrofft

mycrofft

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Sojourner, I'm not opposed to Vent's comments, nor yours.

There is room for tough but fair, and laissez faire, as long as the material is taught AND LEARNED, testing and grading done on a consistent objective basis, and the grads can perform the required objectives in the real world after orientation and indoctrination.
Different classes require different approaches to some degree.
 

grich242

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A boot camp style class has some value if you need to function in a group setting ie military fireground large scale incident where command structure is important and while we use some in ems most times its just a small crew. I dont see a whole lot of value in an ems setting
 

gymini

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EMT training.

Hi everyone,
just my two cents... I currently help teach for an EMT program at a junior college. We do tend to use the "bootcamp" method to teach, and have found it effective. The students tend to be immature, lack self-discipline, and have no concept of what it is like to work in the field. We find that by requiring high standards, and placing some stress on the students, they are better equipped to deal with the demands of the job.
 

EMTinNEPA

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When I adjunct at EMT classes, I tend to spoonfeed them information, but I do so with a pinch of sugar and a bucket of dirt. Instructors have to ride students and give them a hard time, because nobody in the field is going to give them a break.
 

Summit

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Drill sarge for the sake of being a drill sarge is nothing but an ego trip.

However, in EMS, educators ought to have the ability to engage drill sarge mode to get a student back in line. If they won't go, get rid of them.

HELP those who want to learn. Help does not usually mean being a jerk for the sake of being "hard." Only sometimes...
 

bunkie

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Drill sarge for the sake of being a drill sarge is nothing but an ego trip.

However, in EMS, educators ought to have the ability to engage drill sarge mode to get a student back in line. If they won't go, get rid of them.

HELP those who want to learn. Help does not usually mean being a jerk for the sake of being "hard." Only sometimes...

I completely agree with this.
 

BossyCow

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Like all jobs, some adult edcuators have the aptitude and not the knowledge, others have the knowledge but not the aptitude. Its rare to find both. I've taken adult education classes from a wide variety of instructors. Some have a goal of leaving the classroom with all the students very impressed with how much the instructor knows that they do not. Others are more focused on actually imparting their knowledge or skills to their students.

There are bad instructors out there. There are those who pencil whip training figuring all EMTs will learn the 'real skills' in the field. There are those who feel class is their private forum for reliving their glory days and entertaining the newbies with war stories.

There are also wonderful instructors who are able to break down the skills into easily understandable parts. Working on practical skills, building muscle memory and critical thinking skills.

Bad EMTs will come out of both classrooms and so will good ones. Its pointless to say that crappy EMTs are the result of poor classes, instructors or educational standards. There are crappy employees in every single line of work. Some of them are employed as instructors. You just can't mandate a good work ethic or regulate away a drive to achieve mediocrity. There will always be systems desperate enough, cheap enough or in those high burn out locales that will assure employment for the crappy employee, regardless of profession.
 
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