Or, how do you teach a medical class without mentioning parts of human anatomy?

Last week, I was teaching a class on intubation to a group of aspiring paramedics. I was covering the class for another instructor who was out sick. When discussing the procedure, I used the following youtube video to teach the anatomy:

I pointed out that the landmark the students would be looking for was anatomically similar to the vagina (I actually said vagina, and did not use any vulgarities), and then went on to explain the procedure.

A female student, an 18 year old who finished high school 6 months ago, and who became an EMT less than a month ago, filed a complaint. When the director of the school spoke to me about it, she said the student had been in tears, and stated that no one had ever spoken to her like that before, and she felt violated.

The administrator knows me. We are friends, and I have been teaching for this school for going on 5 years. My wife and I have gone on vacation in the past with her and her husband. She is good people. To her credit, she knows nothing about medical procedures, so I showed her the video. All of our lectures are taped. She viewed the tape. She agreed that I had done nothing improper, but the girl is threatening legal action.

I was upset, and offered to resign, or take a leave of absence. She then told me that she has no desire to terminate me, and does not want to see me leave. She asked if I would promise to stop saying controversial things, but I pointed out that you cannot teach a medical class without mentioning parts of the anatomy, and that being adult education, the girl should get over it. What will happen when the class gets to the OB/GYN lectures? At any rate, I will not be teaching paramedic for awhile. It looks like I will be back to doing ConEd (for the same school) until this girl (and I mean girl, she certainly isn’t a woman) either graduates or fails out.

Teenage girls seem to thrive on drama, and what is better than the drama of watching everyone jump at your command?

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Tam · January 31, 2010 at 1:48 pm

"Teenage girls seem to thrive on drama, and what is better than the drama of watching everyone jump at your command?"

The alternative view is even worse: She really has led that sheltered of a life, really did feel "violated", and really does feel like nobody's taking her seriously.

In which case her parents and educators should be flogged for having turned this child out into the great, big world so woefully unprepared. I'll bet they push kittens into alligator ponds in their spare time.

This little girl is going to be horrified if she rides a real ambulance. She better hit her knees and thank her gods that she didn't get a job at Coal Creek Armory when I was there; she'd have gone home in tears on the first day.

alath · February 9, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Let me get this straight… this child is planning to be an EMT?

And can't tolerate hearing the word 'vagina?'

She needs to go back to the career counselor, STAT. 'cause she's going to run in to stuff that will make her head MELT.

The Constitutional Right Never to be Made Uncomfortable is one of the things you have to give up at the door if you are going to function in the health care world.

If I were the administrator I would have told the twit that she either needs to get over this or find a new career. If I ever approached you about it, I would have prefaced it with; "You're never going to believe this, but…"

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