172 and Counting

Friday, April 5, 2013

Late last month, A Tu Lado completed its third-ever condensed EMT course and its second in Bolivia. Like previous courses, it was a collaboration with a public university and local medical response teams. From 29 applicants we selected 19 students into the class. Of these, 15 graduated and earned certificates of completion. (More details in our upcoming newsletter!)

From what we have seen of past graduates, we know many will go on to do great things. They may streamline the communication protocols of their medical service, using insights from our course. They may spearhead an initiative to build training programs for their colleagues, expanding emergency response capacity across Bolivia. One common theme, however, is recognition that this course is a spark: it is not intended to complete one’s education, but rather to provide an introduction to prehospital care, and act as a stepping stone to more comprehensive programs we are building with Universidad San Simón.

A Tu Lado hopes to return to Bolivia this June to lead another, similar course, and answer our partners’ call for continued training. We are confident it will be the most successful yet, informed by lessons from previous programs and geared specifically toward student groups positioned to benefit the most. Underemployed doctors and nurses, as well as police officers and firefighters already working in the field, will make up the majority of our students. We’ll keep you posted as we plan, but for now consider this: A Tu Lado has trained 172 students in Venezuela and Bolivia together. The vast majority are frontline health workers and see critical patients every day; many are also instructors. Those 172 students are changing the lives of thousands of people, caring for individuals in need and training others to do the same.

As we gear up for the next course, we have a simple request. Help us train a few dozen more students, and we’ll start a program in the University that’s sustained long beyond our presence. Join us. Donate today.