State successes: How Arkansas EMSC uses collaboration, technology to share prehospital education

  • Published January 31, 2023

The Arkansas EMSC State Partnership Program, Arkansas Children’s, and the Department of Health have been working collaboratively to create the Arkansas Pediatric Vodcast, a monthly, videocasted educational series that offers continuing education units for EMTs, paramedics, and firefighters.

Community outreach coordinator and vodcast host, Charles Wooley, BSN, RN IV, CPEN, Paramedic, of Arkansas Children’s Heart Institute, talks about the program and the partnership with EMSC. Wooley is also a member of the EMSC Arkansas Advisory Council.

Tell us about your amazing program!

“We are very proud of the quality of education we have been able to provide with the Arkansas Pediatric Vodcast! This was our answer to the pandemic that would not allow us to travel and do hands-on training. We live in a very rural state and were already challenged to reach everybody that needed pediatric education.

This format allows us to talk with very talented and smart people and glean from their knowledge and deliver high quality Pediatric education to a wide audience. As the host, I have the funnest job ever! I don't need to know anything about the content. In virtual training sessions, people are not likely to ask questions. My job is to ask questions for them – from the paramedic or EMT's perspective – keeping the topic relevant to the audience.”

How did you get involved with the Arkansas EMSC State Partnership Program?

“I can't say enough about our partnership with the Arkansas Department of Health and EMSC.  Through my position at Arkansas Children's and as a volunteer on the Arkansas EMSC Advisory Council, I am able to work with these groups to support and provide EMS education for pediatrics.

I can remember being a paramedic in the back of an ambulance with a coding baby and wishing I had more pediatric training. That is why I do this every month and share it with our audience. Arkansas EMSC helps to find the best guests to provide pediatric education and exposure. This is my passion: to be a part of improving pediatric care.”

Why a vodcast?

“This program started as an attempt to duplicate what we were doing pre-COVID. I tried to recreate the class I had been doing in the virtual format by myself. I found this to be awkward. I'm a big podcast fan and thought it would be super cool to host a podcast. This was the inspiration. I also knew we had many wonderful teachers and subject matter experts available to come and talk. The second vodcast we did was a “Stop the Bleed” class that I collaborated on. We had over 200 participants. This is when I realized the potential of this platform.” 

What type of reach does your program have?

“One of the amazing things about this vodcast is that we reach the entire state with every presentation and even have guests from other states. We have tracked data showing that participants – in all but a handful of the counties in Arkansas – are using this educational resource to be better prepared to care for sick and injured children.” 

How do you choose your topics?

“We have covered a wide range of topics, but the mainstays will always be those hot topics in pediatrics; airway-breathing-shock, trauma, abuse recognition, pharmacology, toxicology, and resuscitation. This year will have a cardiology focus. Recognition of sick versus not sick and pediatric-specific care will continue to be on the forefront of our educational drive.

Every year we poll the learners and ask what they want to learn about. We also continue to listen to what issues and barriers pediatrics providers encounter in the field and tailor the learning to that.”

Sign up for the next vodcast, watch a previous vodcast, or learn more about the Arkansas EMSC State Partnership Program.