TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- First responders like Emergency Medical Technicians and firefighters always stand at the ready for the next call for help, and now in Trenton they're helping in new way.
It's all thanks to a partnership between the Trenton Fire Department, Trenton EMS and Thomas Edison State University that is designed to help nursing students gain valuable experience through a new ride-along program.
When the radio call comes in the crew goes into action. Along with the EMT's on this call, a nursing student from Thomas Edison State University.
In a partnership launched earlier this year with the city and part of the school's accelerated nursing program, the Ride-Alongs are another teaching tool to give nursing students on the ground experience beyond the classroom. And so far the Trenton Fire Director says it's been a win-win for everyone.
"A good thing for the Fire Department because what it does is it helps our members learn from them while they learn from us. And then it impacts the community because now it provides the community actually with a higher level of care," said Trenton Fire Director Derrick Sawyer.
Nursing students like Kim Schaefer have been inspired.
"It has been exciting. It's really nice to get out of the clinical situation in the hospital but it really brings it all together. Most importantly, I'm overwhelmed with how much they are committed and they love their job of being first responders. I've never been with anyone that has such job satisfaction, it really is heart warming," Schaefer said.
There's no predicting what they see on any given shift, but working side by side with first responders helps students gain an understanding of the critical decision making process in an emergency.
It helps us get an idea not only of what our other partners in health care do for the community, but also the types of settings that our patients come from. Being on the ride alongs has let us see the conditions that they face," said Anagha Sreenivsan.
And based on the early success, many hope the partnership will continue to grow in the future.
For more information on the Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN Program at the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing, visit www.tesu.edu/bsna
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