Dordt College News

Writing students have an impact on state EMT squads

August 12, 2009

Pre-med senior Theo Mobach took the opportunity to connect a writing course with  his involvement in the local EMT squad and with concrete preparation for his career.

An EMT Transition Guide written by three Dordt College writing students has been sent to EMT inspectors throughout the state as a model for local squads to imitate.

Theo Mobach, a senior biology, pre-med major from Edmonton, Alberta, has been on the local EMT squad for much of his college career. Last spring, he took Dr. Leah Zuidema’s Business and Technical Writing class to prepare himself for any writing he will have to do as a medical professional.

“Dordt has really enhanced my writing skills and this course in particular has given me the confidence that I can do the writing I’ll need to do,” he says. The response to the EMT Guide he helped prepare backs up his statement.

The guide was the result of a nearly semester-long assignment in which students had to produce a document—a handbook, a grant application, or something similar—that would benefit a local person or organization. Each member of the class had to find a client who needed their services and write a proposal outlining the client’s need.  And, since the final project had to be done collaboratively by a team, each student gave a powerpoint presentation to the class to persuade others to join their effort.

Mobach’s proposal drew two classmates, Heidi Bouma and Robin Seifert, to the project to produce the documentation and write a report on the process for Zuidema. The thirty-one page document takes new EMT trainees and those new to the squad through a seven-step introduction to EMT policies and protocols.

“It doesn’t help to have an EMT who knows how to do a specific procedure but doesn’t know how to find the equipment needed in the rig,” says Mobach, who felt the need for a good introduction to all aspects of the work when he began. “It’s important to know instantly where equipment and help is in an emergency.”

Bouma, Mobach, and Seifert took existing information, reorganized and added to it, and put it into a clear and appealing form. They also included a brief self-test at the end of each section so that EMTs can make sure they picked up what they need to know. They presented it to the Sioux Center squad, which adopted it with minor revisions. When the squad’s regular inspection occurred in September, Anita Bailey, an inspector and coordinator for this area, asked for a copy.

“It was certainly innovative and very well done,” says Bailey. She sent it to five of her peers as a sample that could give individual squads a place to start in compiling something similar for their group. “I got great comments on it,” she says.

“I was excited about the project from the beginning,” says Zuidema. “It was meaningful for Theo and allowed the students to give something to the community.” She praised the team members for their ability to work so well together, using individual gifts to create a very successful result.

For Theo, the project is one more affirmation of his love for and call to practice medicine. “I’ve learned so much from the person-to-person interaction I’ve gained as an EMT,” he says. And he’s gained invaluable emergency medical skills. He’s glad to be able to share what he’s learned with others.


Media Access: Download Word Version | High Resolution Image: 1