West Salem High School teacher Jennifer Stanislaw is literally training her students to save lives.
That's because Mrs. Stanislaw teaches Emergency Medical Technician classes to students in one of five Career and Technical Education programs at West Salem High School.
Years of Professional Experience in Emergency Medical Services
CTE teachers often come from industries and organizations outside of public education, and teach lessons based on years of professional experience working in the field. Mrs. Stanislaw is no exception.
Mrs. Stanislaw is a licensed paramedic with over 20 years of experience. That experience includes working as a firefighter and paramedic with West Valley Fire District In Willamina, Oregon, where she was promoted to lieutenant and was in charge of Emergency Medical Services training.
But after starting a family, Mrs. Stanislaw took time off to raise her children, before choosing to become a teacher.
Students Learn Skills and Academics
Students in her EMT course learn emergency medial procedures and practical job skills. Along with the EMT course, Mrs. Stanislaw also teaches Introduction to Emergency Services, and Fire Service Fundamentals. This school year she will teach around 120 students.
Along with hands-on training, traditional subjects like English, mathematics and science play a role in her courses.
"Students study anatomy and physiology of the human body, pathophysiology of disease processes, injury patterns and treatments, communication, teamwork and documentation of skills they perform. And traditional subjects (like English, mathematics and science) are an integral part of our class, since we must utilize the information in the course of the treatment of a patient," Mrs. Stanislaw said.
Students Learn About Careers
Students also learn job hunting skills. In her Introduction to Emergency Services class, there is a complete unit on 'Getting Hired' that emphasizes resume development and interview skills. The EMT course also prepares students for college and careers.
"In the EMT class, we emphasize the professional skills that employers are looking for, as well as the technical skills they must learn as an EMT," Mrs. Stanislaw said. "Students who successfully complete the EMT class are eligible to sit for state and national licensure as an EMT. When they pass their testing, they are eligible to work as an EMT. The courses also align well with Chemeketa Community College’s paramedic program prerequisites."
Students at other high schools who want to enroll in the EMT course at West Salem are welcome to apply, but must transfer to West Salem High School to qualify.
"The students who take this course just need to have a desire to help their community, be willing to work in a team-oriented environment, demonstrate leadership qualities, be willing to work hard, and most of all – have fun while learning," Mrs. Stanislaw said.