Loud sirens, flashing red lights and high speeds signify an ambulance rushing to a hospital. But what happens before the patient reaches the doctor? Baha’Adin Al-Jarani, third-year medicine student, found out during a 64-hour stint that showed him the true meaning of teamwork.
Al-Jarani observed the Cuyahoga Falls Fire Station and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to fulfill the interprofessional experience required by his Applications of Clinical Medicine class, which also includes online training and assignments.
“Doctors in residency come down here to observe the station,” said Al-Jarani. “Here I was, only in medical school, already observing. NEOMED is ahead of the ballgame helping us get experience outside of our roles.”
Before the EMS experience, Al-Jarani thought he would like to go into emergency medicine. Now, he knows.
“Having this experience has really helped confirm what field I want to go into and helped me to expand my knowledge,” said Al-Jarani. “It was eye-opening as a doctor and taught me to think on my feet.”
During runs with the ambulance, Al-Jarani would administer IV’s, do small procedures, or obtain patient information as the patient was being loaded into the ambulance. He was struck by the fact that EMS workers learn to make do with whatever information they can obtain.
The team he worked with was very friendly, like a family, said Al-Jarani. And it was different from working in teams at the hospital, because here there was no “boss” or head doctor over him. Al-Jarani liked participating as a peer, not just as a medical student.
“It was nice that we treated each other with mutual respect,” said Al-Jarani. “Sometimes they would ask me a medication question or I would ask then how best to do something. We shared knowledge.”
Al-Jarani has observed that doctors sometimes criticize EMS employees for not applying a certain treatment, but he has a newfound respect for the work they do.
“As a doctor, I don’t think about how the patient gets to the hospital and what the EMS have to deal with,” said Al- Jarani. “The transition into the ER is an important point of care for the doctor, and it was a great experience being on the other end.”