Cowley CollegeCowley College conducted an intensive, two-day, national-level course designed for paramedics, critical care transport nurses, physicians and other advanced providers on May 19-20 in Arkansas City.

The college has one of the few paramedic programs in the nation — and the only one in Kansas — to offer “The Difficult Airway” course as part of its core curriculum.

Twenty-two students took part in the course, including those from Cowley College’s paramedic program cohorts in Winfield and its Andover program, and also from other service areas and several different states.

The course is designed to help individuals to learn the important airway algorithms and mnemonics.

Individuals in the course are use all of the proven airway devices in small group sessions, while practicing decision making and airway techniques in Code Airway Stations.

Participants are presented with challenging patient scenarios, such as elevated ICP, pulmonary edema, cardiogenic shock, status asthmaticus, foreign body in the airway, direct airway trauma and multiple trauma with shock.

The didactic and hands-on training covers Rapid Sequence Intubation, prediction of the difficult airway, difficult airway interventions using video laryngoscopes and other devices designed for EMS, and surgical airway techniques. The group uses advanced patient simulators to mimic airway problems.

The course was conducted by local instructors, consisting of 12 Cowley College Difficult Airway faculty, two physicians and one CRNA. Ambu provided equipment for the course.

“We want individuals to leave with the tools to manage the most critically ill patient they will see, and to be equipped with the thinking and skills to improve patient outcomes,” said Chris Cannon, Health and Human Services Department chair and director of EMS education.

Along with Cannon, Cowley instructors were Dr. Rob Dillard, Shelby Durler, Jeremy Gorzen, Travis Morin, Dr. Kent Potter, Deryk Ruddle, Steve Storm, Samantha Troyer, Cindy Webster, Lyle Webster, Andrea Winters and Malachi Winters.

“Cowley College continues to show a commitment to airway education excellence,” said Jeff Birrer, regional course director.

“We know that this commitment has saved lives in the local community. The commitment the staff shows is second to none. I am humbled that Cowley College has partnered with ‘The Difficult Airway Course: EMS.’”

This information was provided by Cowley College Director of Institutional Communications and Public Relations Rama Peroo.