EMS students

Western Wyoming Community College’s emergency medical services students beat the national testing average pass rate for first-time skills testing for the third-consecutive year. Students include Tommy Palm, left, Page Killian, seated, Austin Wilson, front, and Maygin Coffey-Pearson.

ROCK SPRINGS — For the third-straight year, Western Wyoming Community College’s emergency medical services (EMS) students beat the national testing average pass rate for first-time skills testing.

The 27 students achieved a 93% pass rate on their skills tests. The testing is rigorous and ensures that the individuals are prepared to handle a medical emergency. The Wyoming state average is 87%, and the national average for the first attempt is around 77%.

The skills testing is done each semester, and Western students have always scored well-above the national average. The WWCC first-time pass rate has been 100% in 2016-17, 86% in 2017-18, and 96.5% 2018-19.

“These students have to give up many hours of time on weekends and evenings to achieve competency in these skills. But it doesn’t stop there, they have to also spend countless hours studying and learning knowledge. We try to teach critical thinking because no patient ever is exactly like the textbook. These success rates show the dedication of the students and the instructors to ensure that we are training excellent prehospital providers,” said Andrew Appleby, instructor of paramedics and EMS at Western.

Western’s faculty have developed a learning environment fostering communication between students and faculty. The EMS practice, like all medical fields, is ever-changing. The faculty utilize active student learning to promote competence and students are given opportunities to practice skills in a variety of hands-on settings where people need care.

Western will begin offering an Associate of Science degree in paramedicine this August. The degree enables students to seek employment in pre-hospital emergency medicine as paid or volunteer providers in a variety of work environments including, EMS and fire departments, hospital emergency departments, some industrial sites, mines and production facilities. It can also provide a professional link to other allied health professions. Starting salaries vary depending on work environment, but generally, graduates can expect to earn between $18 and $23 per hour.

For more information about the EMS program or the AS degree in paramedicine, contact Appleby at aappleby@westernwyoming.edu.

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