Twenty-nine paramedic students from the Oregon Tech-OHSU paramedic education program graduated on Saturday, September 10, ready to employ their skills in the field.
Wilsonville, OR – Twenty-nine highly trained paramedic students graduated from the Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) Emergency Medical Technology - Paramedic joint program with OHSU on Saturday, Sept. 10, prepared to improve the quality of patient care within Oregon, the United States and the world.
After more than two years of intense classroom work, including five months of clinical hospital rotations and three months of field externship rotations on a 911 ambulance, the Oregon Tech-OHSU Class of 2016 received their diplomas before family and guests at the OHSU Auditorium.
The Oregon Tech-OHSU paramedic education program, located on Oregon Tech’s Wilsonville campus, graduates the highest level of pre-hospital medical providers from the only program in the state affiliated with a nationally ranked medical school. These graduates serve two critical needs identified in the state: increasing health care providers at all levels, especially in rural areas; and career-focused emergency care training programs. Oregon Tech-OHSU paramedic education focuses on managing in-field emergencies, critical thinking, clinical assessment, procedural expertise, and crew resource management skills while working as part of an interdisciplinary patient care team.
Of the paramedic students who earned a coveted spot in the selective program and successfully graduated, many have plans to practice in their rural and urban communities, while others have chosen to continue with advanced training in the Oregon Tech-OHSU Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Services Management program.
Esmail Raslan, one of the graduates, came from Egypt to Oregon when he was 19 and enrolled in the program when he was 25.
“Oregon Tech’s paramedic program was very rigorous and at first it was a bit daunting. But doing something you love means you can do very well at it. The program made me a better person and a better medic, and I felt very proud, and relieved, to graduate,” said Raslan.
Raslan twice returned to Egypt between 2013 and 2015 to volunteer during and after the country’s political uprising to help treat trauma cases and train other medical staff on emergency treatment and procedures. This week, Raslan is excited to start Oregon Tech’s bachelor’s degree program in Emergency Medical Services Management, Critical Care track. After he graduates, Esmail has plans to start an entrepreneurial effort, delivering emergency training to developing countries and areas where trauma treatment is sub-standard.
Oregon Tech’s-OHSU’s program different from others in the state
Not only does the Oregon Tech-OHSU paramedic education program have the backing of a four-year university through Oregon Tech, but the partnership with OHSU provides resources from a nationally prominent medical school. The Paramedic Education Program is the only university-level paramedic program in the state of Oregon, which helps to attract high-caliber faculty and some of the best-prepared students in the region, making for an enriching, full education experience. The program includes active involvement in lecture, simulation training and lab skills development from more than 20 medical providers, including Todd Ellingson, M.D., medical director of the Oregon Tech-OHSU paramedic education program, and emergency medicine physician at OHSU and Doernbecher Children’s hospitals, and Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria.
The program’s full-time EMS faculty share a wide diversity of expertise, including running 911 calls, critical care paramedicine, community paramedicine, neuroscience, social disparities of health, and crew resource management that helps students not only become excellent individual medical providers but also develop an understanding of how their practice fits into a larger system of care.
Students within the program also gain hands-on experience working with some of the program’s nearly 40 industry partners, such as Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVFR), one of the most progressive EMS agencies in the country.
“TVFR has benefited greatly from our relationship with Oregon Tech-OHSU’s EMS department,” said Brent VanKeulen, Division Chief for TVFR. “As a premier college within our service area, we have partnered during simulations, served as an externship site and benefited from their bachelor’s in EMS administration capstone projects. This partnership helps us provide a higher level of service to our tax payers. Lastly, we hire many of the graduated students and find them to be of the highest skill level of any entry-level employee in the industry.”
Smaller EMS organizations supporting many parts of rural Oregon like Forest Grove Fire and Rescue (FGFR) also are pleased with the program’s graduates.
“Oregon Tech-OHSU students come with more practical knowledge of systems of care,” said Will Murphy, EMS Officer at FGFR. “What I mean by this is they seem to understand they are one piece in the health care system and integration with the hospital, nursing homes, and care providers is essential to the best treatment of care for our patients. This program is where I would go if I had to go to medic school again.”
Upon completing the degree program, graduates earn eligibility for both state and national licensing exams, and find employment with leading agencies across the nation.
About Oregon Tech
Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is the premier public polytechnic university the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering, technology health technologies, management, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through hands-on, applied learning. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls and an urban, industry-focused campus in Wilsonville. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.
Oregon Health & Science University is the state's only academic health center. As one of Oregon's largest employers with more than 15,000 employees, OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support not found anywhere else in the state. OHSU serves patients from every corner of Oregon and is a conduit for learning for more than 4,200 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to each county in the state.