Currently a RN in International Operations at Cleveland Clinic, Michael Trompak, BSN, RN, CCRN, EMT-P, is also a graduate student in the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University. In this story, he recounts how his education and experiences led to his humanitarian work.
As an emergency nurse and paramedic, I have become professionally and mentally conditioned to provide the ‘greatest good for the greatest number of people.’ This phrase is often used when depicting triage and care for a mass of patients. My opportunity to serve the greatest good for the greatest number of people came during an immensely enjoyable and eye-opening humanitarian trip to the Dominican Republic (DR).
In 2014, I traveled with Cleveland State University School of Nursing to provide care in remote villages of DR. While in this developing country, my background as a paramedic peaked my interest to learn more about available EMS services. After investing considerable time learning from Dominican medical staff, I came to the stark realization that professional emergency pre-hospital care in DR was practically non-existent! Rather, untrained ‘ambulance chauffeurs’ with scoop-and-run mentalities comprised the backbone of EMS services. The heartbreaking result of this deficit in available medical education is high mortality rates and undue suffering for patients.
With an ambition to bring lasting change to DR, I led a collaboration with nursing and paramedic colleagues in Northeast Ohio and other experienced EMS educators from the U.S. In 2015, we made a proposal to partner with the non-profit Christian organization, Solid Rock International, and successfully founded Dominican Republic’s first and only Programa de Educacion Paramedico (Paramedic Education Program). To date, this program has provided over 100 participants a robust paramedic education to include academic lessons, practical skills training, and supervised clinical experience. Graduates of Programa de Educacion Paramedico have been highly sought after for gainful employment in local hospitals and ambulance services of San Juan de la Maguana, DR.
It is my privilege to continue serving as Co-Director of Programa de Educacion Paramedico, routinely traveling to DR to provide the greatest good for the greatest number of people.