Upgrade for Nursing and EMS


The new nursing classrooms on campus double as mock emergency rooms, giving nursing students a taste of working in a real life hospital ward.

Kellie McCown

Nursing and Emergency Services have been cornerstone programs of success at Los Medanos College since their beginnings in 1974, and now they will continue to serve students at LMC with a brand new building.

Both programs moved into a new, state of the art building located on the third level of the College Core complex at the LMC Pittsburg Campus.

Colin McDowell, Co-Director of the Nursing Program, says that the new hi-tech buildings are providing more training for nursing students than ever before.

“This technology creates an environment where the student has to collaborate and work in a team,” said McDowell. “It’s really great as our students go forward toward licensure.”

Some of the new technologies that are being used to prepare nursing students for licensure are a new lab, mock training rooms of both a hospital emergency room and ambulance bay, and a new hi-tech life like dummy that has the ability to simulate real life human medical conditions, from high blood pressure to cardiac arrest.

Senior Office Assistant for the Nursing Program Beth Anne Robertson says that the upgrades made to the nursing department go beyond merely students preparing for licensure, but gives students hands on experience that will prepare them for real life emergency situations.

“The program now has a lot more hi-tech equipment,” said Robertson. “Students will have hands on experience and get more of a feel of what it’s like to work in a hospital ward.”

The Emergency Medical Services Program has also benefited from a modern face-lift.  In the past, the EMS department occupied the portables located outside of the cafeteria, a space that was too small to offer a suitable office and lacked the modern tools that are being used in the EMS field today. Since moving to the new building, EMS can now offer students the space, modern innovations, and experience that will prepare them for a career in the emergency services field.

“It’s very important to adapt to the technology and structure of today’s student,” said Troy Hess, Emergency Medical Technician and LMC Fire Program Assistant Professor.  “I believe the new building has done this. This new space will allow us as instructors to be more efficient and help provide our students a top flight education.”

With the new advancements of both programs, EMS and nursing students will be able to  work together, and simulate a real life emergency situation, from assessing a patient in an ambulance, to delivering the patient to an emergency room to be treated by nurses.

“The beauty is that we can simulate the whole process of recovering a patient,” said Enrico Aguilar Paramedic Instructional aid at LMC. “From pick up in the mock ambulance bay, to delivering the patient to the mock hospital to be assessed by nursing students. That way, the nursing students see what we do, and the EMT students see what nurses do.”

This synergy is exactly the vision of Kiran Kamath, dean of career and technical education at LMC. Klamath’s hope is that both programs will work together to develop the communication skills needed in both fields.

“I am looking forward for both programs to get together and get to know one another,” said Klamath. “Our hope is that synchronizing the two programs will provide students with beneficial, hands on experience.”