Jonesboro, AR – Medical students at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University joined members of the medical school’s faculty and staff and local 911 dispatchers for invaluable life-saving training Wednesday.
The Stop the Bleeding Foundation led approximately 125 participants through instruction and hands-on training that will equip attendees with the ability to quickly respond to individuals who have experienced trauma.
“A person who is severely bleeding can die in as little as five minutes,” said Shane Speights, D.O., dean of NYITCOM at A-State. “Sometimes, especially in some of the more rural parts of our state, it can take as much as 30 or 45 minutes for an emergency responder to get to a scene. That makes it crucial for us to train as many people as possible to immediately provide care and potentially save lives, and that’s what we did today.”
The training consists of a classroom portion where participants are shown videos of live trauma situations and receive instruction on how emergency responders handled them. Participants then practiced applying tourniquets and packing wounds on medical mannequins to stop a water flow that simulated bleeding.
The training was led by local law enforcement officers, paramedics and firefighters who volunteer with the Stop the Bleeding Foundation. At the conclusion of the training, each participant was given a Stop the Bleed kit, which they’re encouraged to keep in their vehicles.
Each year, NYITCOM at A-State hosts Stop the Bleeding training for its third-year medical students as they prepare to enter the clinical portion of their medical education. This year, NYITCOM invited its faculty and staff to participate, and the medical school sponsored eight positions for Jonesboro E-911 dispatchers to participate.
“Everyone can benefit from this training,” Speights said. “The more people we have prepared to step into trauma situations, the more opportunity we have to save lives.”
The timing of the training is purposeful for the NYITCOM medical students. The first two years of medical school primarily take place in classrooms and laboratories, while the third and fourth years require medical students to train alongside a physician in a hospital or clinic.
Like most osteopathic medical schools, NYITCOM at A-State partners with community hospitals throughout the region to train its third- and fourth-year students, which means at the start of their third year, many of the students relocate outside of Jonesboro for their clinical training, often to smaller, more rural communities.
“The Stop the Bleeding training allows our students to immediately be an asset to the community where they locate for their clinical years,” Speights said. “We want the communities to benefit from having our students there, and this training gives our students the ability to potentially contribute in a really valuable way. It really helps communities all over our state.”
Ronnie Sturch, E-911 director for the City of Jonesboro, was thrilled that members of his team were able to participate so they can deliver care themselves and help instruct callers provide assistance while they’re waiting for emergency responders.
“Our hope is that if someone calls 911 and says someone is bleeding, the dispatcher can give them instructions to help the caller,” Sturch said. “We provide them the protocols and provide over-the-phone instruction, and when the dispatcher has that hands-on training, they have a better understanding of what they’re trying to tell that caller. We’re very grateful to NYITCOM for including us in this event.”
Featured Photo: Tina Mirzakhanian (left), a third-year medical student at NYITCOM at A-State, packs a wound with gauze while classmate Adrian Ressing applies a tourniquet to a medical mannequin. Billy Calderon (center), a volunteer with the Stop the Bleeding Foundation, looks on and provides instruction.
About NYITCOM at Arkansas State University: New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University, located on A-State’s Jonesboro campus, is dedicated to improving access to health care for the underserved and rural populations in Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta Region. Arkansas annually ranks near the bottom among states in overall population health status due to low health indicators including obesity, hypertension and diabetes. The state also ranks near the bottom of states in the number of active physicians per capita and in the number of primary care physicians. NYITCOM at A-State was established in 2016 with the mission of meeting the need for more physicians in this medically underserved area.