Earn EMT certification in 324 hours with Cherokee Nation EMS

BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Former Reporter
08/30/2018 12:00 PM
Audio Clip
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Emergency Medical Technician Nathan Summerlin, left, instructs EMT students Jake Wofford, right sitting, and Edwin Loco on making sure a patient is stable on a longboard before being moved during EMT certification training on July 17 at the Cherokee Nation EMS building in Tahlequah. In the background is student Jacob Kester. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Emergency Medical Technician Nathan Summerlin, left, instructs EMT student Edwin Loco on checking for vital signs before moving a patient to a longboard to be transported by ambulance. The July 17 training was at the Cherokee Nation EMS building in Tahlequah as students prepare to take their EMT certification tests. Students must complete 216 hours of classroom and lab training, as well as 108 clinical hours under the direct supervision of an EMT or a paramedic. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Emergency Medical Technician student Hope Shatwell practices providing CPR and using a heart defibrillator with the assistance of Tahlequah firefighter Heath Pennington during an EMT certification class on July 17 held at the Cherokee Nation EMS building in Tahlequah. Paramedic Lead Instructor Nathan Buscher, standing left, oversees the class work that prepares students to take a test to become certified as an EMT. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – After 324 hours of classroom and hands-on instruction with the Cherokee Nation’s Emergency Medical Services staff, individuals can sit for their emergency medical technician licenses through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.

“Students must complete 216 hours of classroom and lab training, as well as 108 clinical hours under the direct supervision of an EMT or a paramedic,” CN paramedic lead instructor Nathan Buscher. “You take this program, then you take the test. Once you do that, you get certified and accepted by the registry and added to the list. You take that certification to the state, the state recognizes it and sends you their license.”

The EMT course runs seven months and accepts approximately 20 students each cycle. Tuition cost is $350 for individuals with a Certificate Degree of Indian Blood card and $550 without. National testing fees, books and supplies are not included.

Buscher, who has been teaching the EMT certification class for three years, said it allows more “flexibility” for students than similar programs.

“In the state of Oklahoma, the number of programs are dwindling,” he said. “EMT (courses), you can find them more easily than paramedic courses, but with this being here and the availability of it and the fact that we do it at night...it’s not a college-level program or a trade school program. It’s by Cherokee Nation EMS, and that opens up a lot of flexibility for us.”

Buscher also said students don’t need prior medical experience.

“Everybody thinks you have to have all these prerequisites, a base. Well, this is the base for a lot of people,” he said. “When you come in you get introduced to a preparatory phase, which is learning what EMS is all about, what we do, what’s the history of EMS, what’s expected of you as a medic. Then we start to transition into learning anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, different aspects of it.”

After students obtain foundations, Buscher covers medical and trauma assessment techniques.

“That is pretty rigorous,” he said. “It’s how to manage the patient. That’s where we get to start talking about all the different pathophysiology and assessment techniques with specific illnesses like heart attacks, strokes, abdominal issues, diabetes. Somebody suffering from a heart attack, we aren’t going to manage it like with somebody in a car wreck.”

The program uses two classrooms, a skills lab, several mannequins and iPads for training.

“In the real world it’s not like it’s a plastic person falls on the floor and says their hip hurts and can’t get up. Maybe they had another medical issue to cause the fall,” Buscher said. “Having equipment like that in our classroom, we can simulate those realities for them so they can actually assess the patients and try to find the causes or things they can correct and provide better care.”

Students must also complete a one-hour shift in the EMS communications center and four 24-hour shifts in the EMS ambulance, all while navigating the job’s “human element.”

“It’s a lot of human element that is required. You have to be able to treat people with compassion and empathy and understand where they’re coming from,” Buscher said. “It would be like saying, ‘if you don’t walk away with something from this job that is emotionally taxing, the comparison would be trying to walk through a lake without getting wet. The people that we get into this profession have an interest in helping people and they understand that’s part of the profession.”

Applicants must be 18 year old and possess a high school diploma or GED. They must also be able to pass an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations background check. Proof of immunizations for tuberculosis, rubella, tetanus, varicella and hepatitis B are also required.

For more information, call 918-453-5200 or visit www.cherokee.org/Services/Health/Emergency-Medical-Services.
ᏣᎳᎩ

ᏓᎵᏆ – ᎣᏂ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏦᎢᏧᏈ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏅᎩ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏍᏓ ᏩᏥ ᎤᏪᏅᏍᏗ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏯᏛᏗ ᎠᏓᏕᏲᎲᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏟᏍᏗ ᏅᏬᏘ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎬᏩᏖᎳᏗᏍᏗ, ᎠᏂᏏᏴᏫᎭ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎬᏩᎾᎵᏍᏛᏡᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏟᏍᏗ ᏅᏬᏘ ᏧᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ.

“ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎠᏎ ᎤᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗ ᏔᎵᏧᏈ ᏓᎳᏚ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᏩᏥ ᎤᏪᏍᏗ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎩᎦ ᎤᎾᏓᏁᎩᎡᏗ ᎤᎾᎵᏏᎾᎲᏍᏙᏗ, ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏧᏁᎳ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᏩᏥ ᎤᏪᏅᏍᏗ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏗᏕᏲᎲᏍᎩ ᎡᏙᎲ ᎠᎴ ᏱᎩ EMT ᎠᎴ ᎨᏥᏐᏅᏅ ᏗᎦᏁᏏᏙᎯ,” ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏧᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎨᏥᏐᏅᏅ ᏗᎦᏁᏏᏙ ᏗᏕᏲᎲᏍᎩ Nathan Buscher.

“ᏂᎯ ᏣᎩᏍᏗ ᎯᎠ ᏣᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗ ᏃᏊᏃ test ᏣᎩᏍᏗ. ᏃᏊ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏱᏂᏣᏛᏁᎵ, ᏰᏣᏅᏏ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏣᎵᏍᎪᎸᏓᏁᎯ ᎠᎴ ᏧᎾᏓᏓᏂᎸᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᏃᏪᎸ ᎠᎴ ᏳᏩᏃᏪᎸᎦ ᏕᏣᏙᎥᎢ ᎾᎿ ᏙᏗᎪᏪᎸᎢ. ᏣᎾᏫᏓ ᎯᎠ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏣᎵᏍᎪᎸᏓᏁᎯ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ, ᎠᎴ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᏃᎵᎪ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ ᏃᏊ ᏯᏥᏅᏏ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎤᎵᏍᎪᎸᏓᏁᎯ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏚᏕᎶᏆᎥᎢ.”

ᎾᏍᎩ EMT ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ ᎨᏐᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏓᏂᏯᏂᏍᎪ ᎾᎠᏂᎨᏍᏗ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏂᏓᎾᏓᏁᏟᏴᏏᏒᎢ. ᎠᏈᏴᏗ ᏦᎢᏧᏈ ᎯᎦᏍᎪ ᎠᏕᎸ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᎭ ᎾᎿ ᏳᏂᎾᎢ ᏆᎾᏯᏍᏗ ᎠᏙᎯᏗᏍᎩ ᎯᏣᎳᎩ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ $550.00 ᏃᎾᎥᎾ ᏱᎩ ᎠᏆᎾᏲᏍᏗ.

ᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᎠᎾᏓᎪᎵᏱᏍᎬ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ, ᏗᎪᏪᎵ ᎠᎴ ᎬᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ Ꮭ ᏳᏠᏯᏍᏗ.

Buscher, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᏓᏕᏲᎲᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ EMT ᎪᏪᎵ ᎤᎾᎢ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏕᏲᏗᎢ ᎾᎿ ᏦᎢ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᎵᏍᎪᎸᏓᏁᎰ ᎤᎪᏛ “ᎢᏗᏝᏊ” ᎾᎿ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎤᏠᏯᏊ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏱᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᎢ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᏒᎢ.

“ᎾᎿ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ, ᏗᏎᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎯᎠ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎡᎳᏗ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᎭ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “EMT (ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ), ᎡᎵᏊ ᏱᏕᎯᏩᏔ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎠᎯᏗᎨ ᎾᏃ ᎨᏥᏐᏅᏅ ᏗᎦᏁᏏᏙᎯ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎯᎠ ᎾᎿ ᏥᎪᏢᎭ ᎠᎴ ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᎤᏒᎢ ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬᎢ....... ᏠᏃ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏱᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎠᎴ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎦᎬᏙᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ.
ᎾᏍᎩᏍᎩᏂ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ EMS, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎵᏍᏚᎢᏍᎪ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏲᎨᏓᏍᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ.”

Busher ᎾᏍᏊ ᏄᏪᏎ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ Ꮭ ᎠᏎ ᎤᎾᏅᏗ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏱᎩ.
“ᏂᎦᏓ ᎠᏁᎵᏍᎪ ᎣᏅᏙᏗ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎨᏒ, ᎠᏓᎴᏂᏍᎬᎢ. ᎯᎠ ᎠᎴᏅᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ,” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ. “ᏱᏣᏴᏟᏞ ᎠᎾᏓᏃᎯᏎᎰ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏯᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ EMS ᏂᎦᏓ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎨᎡᎢ, ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏯᏛᏗ, ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ EMS, ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏅᏬᏘ.
ᏃᎴ ᎣᎦᎴᏅᎲ ᎠᏓᏁᏟᏴᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᎣᏣᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᏛᏍᎬ ᎠᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗᎢ ᎠᏰᎸ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅ ᎠᎴ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎢᏳᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ, ᏄᏍᏛ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎥᏳᎩ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏙᏢᏍᎬ, ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏛ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏍᏗᏓᏂ.”

ᏃᏊᏃ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏳᎾᏕᎶᏆᎢ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᏓᎴᏂᏍᎬᎢ, Buscher ᎫᏢᏍᎪ ᏅᏬᏘ ᎠᎴ ᎨᏥᏐᏅᏅ ᏂᏓᏅᏁᎵᏙᎲ.

“ᎡᎵᏃᏙ ᏒᏓᎴ ᎠᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᎠᏎᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏎ ᎠᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏯᏛᏗ ᎠᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᏓᏂᎵ ᎢᎬᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ. ᎾᎿᏃ ᎠᏓᎴᏂᏍᎪᎢ ᎧᏃᎮᏗ ᏂᎦᎥ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᏍᎬ ᎥᏳᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏯᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏑᏓᎴᎩ ᎤᏓᏁᎸ ᏯᏛᎾ ᎤᏓᏅᏛ ᏳᏩᏂᎵᏢ, ᏳᎸᏓᎸᎾ, ᎤᏍᏆᏟᎢ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏱᎦᎵᏍᏔᏅᏍᎩ. ᎩᎶ ᏯᎩᏟᏲᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏓᏅᏛ ᏳᏩᏂᎵᏟ, ᏝᏃ ᎤᏠᏯ ᏱᏂᎦᏲᏨᎦ ᎾᎿ ᏙᏆᎴᎷ ᎤᏐᏅᏅ ᎾᏃ ᎠᏓᏅᏙ ᎤᏩᏂᎵᏢᎢ.”

ᎯᎠ ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ ᏔᎵ ᏧᏂᏴᏍᏗ ᏚᏙᏢᏐ, ᎤᏕᎶᏆᎥ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗᎢ, ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᏴᏫ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ iPads ᎠᎵᏏᎾᎲᏍᏙᏗ.

“ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎡᎶᎯ ᎢᏕᎲᎢ Ꮭ Ꮎ ᎠᏝ ᏗᎪᏢᏔᏅ ᏱᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᎴ ᏯᏖᏃ ᏯᏂᏅᎪ ᎠᎴ ᏧᎧᏍᎨᎾ ᏯᎾᏗᏍᎪᎢ ᎠᎴ Ꮭ ᏱᏗᎬᎾᎴᎲᎦ. ᏯᏛᏂᏃ ᏄᏓᎴ ᎥᏳᎩ ᏱᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏥᎦᏅᎩ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Buscher. ᎤᏂᎲ ᎬᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎤᏠᏯ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏣᎭ, ᎡᎵᏊ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎢᏗᎬᏁᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎡᎵᏊ ᏧᏅᎦᏙᏗ ᎤᏢᎩ ᏒᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎲ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏳᏅᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏓᎰᏢ ᏧᎾᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗ.”

ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎠᏎ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗ ᏐᏟᎶᏓ ᏩᏥ ᎤᏪᏅᏍᏗ ᎢᏳᎯᏓ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ EMS ᏓᎾᏟᏃᎮᏍᎬ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎠᎴ ᏅᎩ ᏅᎩᏦᏁ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎾᎿ EMS ᏗᎦᏁᏏᏙᎯ, ᏂᎦᏯᎢᏐ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ “ᏴᏫ ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏛᎢ.”

“ᎤᎪᏓ ᏴᏫ ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏗᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏎ ᏯᏛᏗ. ᎠᏎ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏗᏛᏁᏗ ᏗᎨᏳᏗ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏗᏓᏅᏓᏗᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎪᏟᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎾᏓᎴᎲᏍᎬᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Buscher. ᎾᏍᎩᏯ ᏱᏅᎦᏪ” ᎿᏓᏅᏍᎬᏅ ᎢᎩ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎯᎠᎾ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᏓᏁᏖᏗ ᏥᏓᎦᏘᎴᎪ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᏯ ᎥᏓᎵ ᏗᎦᎾᏗᏫᏍᏗᎢ ᏅᎦᏓᏁᎲᏍᎬᎾ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏥᏕᏗᏯᏗᎭ ᎯᎠ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎪ ᏧᏂᏍᏨᎸᏗ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏃᎵᎪᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ.”

ᎠᎧᎵᏏᏐᏗ ᎠᏎ ᏂᎦᏚ ᎢᏳᎾᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᎾᎢ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏧᏂᏍᏆᏛ ᎠᎴ GED. ᎠᏎ ᎤᏂᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ Bureau of Investigation ᎤᎾᏓᎪᎵᏱᏗ ᏅᏛᏁᎵᏙᎲᎢ. ᎪᎯᏗᏍᎩ ᏚᎾᏓᏣᏲᏢ ᎾᎿ tuberculosis, rubella, tetanus, varicella and hepatitis B ᏂᎦᏓ ᎯᎠ ᏓᏠᏯᏍᏗᎭ. ᎤᎪᏛ ᎠᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗ ᏲᏚᎵ, call 918-453-5200 or visitwww.cherokee.org/Services/Health/Emergency –Medical-Services.

– TRANSLATED BY ANNA SIXKILLER

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