EAU CLAIRE (WQOW)- Nurses from across Wisconsin are coming to Eau Claire for a new opportunity to work as EMTs by taking a crash course at Chippewa Valley Technical College.
Several registered nurses are part of a 16-hour class at CVTC that will enable them to work in community ambulance and EMS services upon completion.
State law does not require RNs to get an EMT license to work as one but typically requires a 60-hour training course. To ease the process, CVTC and Marshfield Clinic teamed up to offer a shorter course to help them better learn emergency skills.
"It gives me that 'aha' moment on why EMS may or may not have done something on a patient that they bring into the emergency department," said Emma Flury, a registered nurse at Marshfield Medical Center Eau Claire. "I know now going forward what more I could do to help the RNs in the emergency department as well as my EMS crew."
The nurses are learning skills like using ambulance equipment and extrication from a vehicle in an accident.
One course instructor said there is a staffing shortage of EMTs in our local communities, and the course will help nurses get into the field to relieve it.
"I know the shortage of people that we can come by," said Mark Schwartz, fire & EMS continuing education coordinator at CVTC. "They have the ability to do the stuff, they just need to get a few extra tools under their belt to operate safely in an EMS capacity."
Schwartz said he believes the course is unique to Wisconsin, and he hopes CVTC will offer the class at least once each year.