EMS Education Tips

Program Student Down Time during Scenario Practice

As I waited to board different rides at Epcot Center during a summer 2009 visit, I noticed that many of the attractions had education activities and displays for riders to view as they waited. At Mission to Space I learned about space exploration. At the Soarin’ ride I joined other riders to interact with a large video display. Together we jumped and clapped to burst balloons that floated across the screen revealing different wildlife and landscape images. The activities helped pass the time, build anticipation for the ride, and introduce us to the attraction.

As an educator, I know that students frequently wait for their turn at a skill station, high fidelity patient simulator, or to complete a patient assessment scenario. Many times students receive vague directions to “review your skill sheets” or “do some studying” while waiting. After visiting Epcot, I have ideas to program the time while students wait for their next scenario, skill station, or simulator. These are a few of my Everyday EMS Ideas to program student down time:


1. Read a CE article relevant to the scenario.
2. Write the narrative for previous patient assessment scenario.
3. Review a series of drug cards before starting the scenario.
4. Answer 10 multiple choice questions.
5. Write 10 multiple choice questions.
6. Listen to a podcast segment.
7. Measure their partner’s vital signs.
8. Create 10 review flash cards.
9. Find a medical reference website.
10. Prepare two questions for review session.

Share your ideas to intentionally program your student’s downtime?

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.