All posts by Melanie Kielich

Allstate Center provides hands-on training

Red sign over a hospital entrance that reads emergency

The St. Petersburg College Allstate Center recently installed a Simulated Ambulance Rig to provide hands-on training and experience to EMS and Paramedic students funded by the 2019–20 Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V).

Built to the exact specifications of the real thing, the SimRig Ambulance allows students to learn through real-life scenarios within a controlled environment. With this experience, SPC students can transfer into the workforce with improved efficiency and accuracy in their work.

EMS students in blue uniforms receive hands-on training inside of the ambulance simulation while an instructors stands outside of it overseeing their work

According to Cedrick Harrington, SPC’s EMS PSAV Coordinator, the SimRig is part of a larger transition at the Allstate Center to create a hands-on experience for EMS students that simulates the entire call process as if they were on the streets. Beginning in the apartment, the students will transition the patient (a simulator mannequin) onto a stretcher, load the patient into the ambulance, and treat them according to the scenario created by the instructor. A hospital environment is also in the works for the final stage of the call experience.

The entire class can join in and learn from each other with the additional observation booth, which tracks the progress of the simulation happening inside of the ambulance. This also allows the instructor to step away from the students and evaluate as they go through the entire call process.

SPC instructors are excited to be able to give the students real-life experience and hands-on training while engaging their critical thinking abilities and, so far, the students love it!

To learn more about the emergency medical degrees and certificates offered at St. Petersburg College, please visit

Working From Home Tips and Tricks

Hands typing on a laptop keyboard.

With the current pandemic forcing SPC students, staff and faculty to suddenly study and work from home, adjusting to the new normal can be a little difficult. Here are some suggestions to help ease that transition.

Set up a separate office space

You will be working or study from home for at least the next six weeks, so take some time to organize and pay attention to comfort. It’s best to have a dedicated working space separate from where you typically do other activities like relaxing or eating.

Stick to a morning routine

It can be tempting to stay in your PJs all day and believe me, I have lived in them, but you will feel more put together if you take the time to get dressed in the morning. Give yourself time to prepare for the day; make a cup of tea or coffee, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, etc.

Keeping your usual routine will mentally and physically prepare you for the day, and create a little stability in this tumultuous time.

Schedule breaks and stick to them

Creating structure for your day will help your mind wander less, so create a schedule for yourself and follow it (as much as possible). Take your breaks in their entirety and avoid doing anything work-related during this time.

Get outside!

Now is the perfect time to take advantage of your yard, balcony, open windows, etc. and get a breath of fresh air. Take your dog for a walk. Take your cat for a walk. Take your iguana for a walk. Take yourself for a walk. Say hello to your neighbors (from 6 feet away) and let them know they are not alone.

Communication is key

Have a question? Hit a milestone on a project you’re working on? Receive some good news? Pick up the phone, send an IM, or email for anything large or small. Remember to communicate your changing needs as our normal lives become more and more disrupted.

Connect with your fellow students or coworkers

We’ll be missing those lunchtime chats soon enough, so take time to foster your relationships from afar. Check-in on each other. Commiserate. Joke. Send cat pictures. Lessen the social distancing while you’re physical distancing.

Turn on the tunes

Background music, white noise, audiobooks… These can all help to create an insulated atmosphere and foster focus, especially if your family is self-isolating, too.

Set house rules

Routines have been turned upside down, so sit down with your household and talk about each of your needs in this new environment. Set ground rules like keeping the volume low while you are working or spaces that are off-limits, whatever you need to keep everyone on the same page and your workday productive.

Take care of yourself

Hydrate. Stretch. Wash your hands. Keep exercising, meditating, and doing anything you normally do for your own well-being. Talk to others about your fears, your hopes, and your needs. Don’t forget to breathe!