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Traditional Chinese Medicine and Fire Services Students Work Together for Success

Written by: Eli J. Ridder

Fire plans and medicinal herbs. Flammable hazards and healing acupuncture. Exit routes and traditional cupping.

These were the topics of intense discussion and knowledge-sharing at the first part of an inter-professional education learning experience between the Fire Services and Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner programs in March 2022.

Angel Rodriquez on March 28, 2022

Hannah Koziolek on March 28, 2022

Fire services students listen to TCM students speak about potential fire hazards at the clinic.

“It gives us a little bit of real-world experience,” second-year fire services student Angel Rodriquez said. “I certainly think it’s worthwhile.”

The fire service students were tasked with creating an official fire plan for the Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic at North campus as their Winter 2022 semester final assignment.

A big part of that includes collaboration. For fire services student Hannah Koziolek, this means working with the TCM students to learn about potential hazards in the working environment.

“This is definitely good, because it's very practical,” Koziolek said.

The inter-professional educational experience challenged students to become communicators, Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner program coordinator Will Hossack said.

“You can see the nerves coming out as people are asked to speak about their profession to someone that doesn't know their profession,” Hossack said.

“Suddenly, you can see that they're very aware of the words they're choosing, the things that they decide to talk about or not talk about. And it's fascinating.”

Many practitioners do not experience inter-professional scenarios while in school and end up having to figure it all out on their own, Hossack explained.

This approach to education is becoming increasingly common across the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellness, with collaboration “bringing us to the next level,” added Hossack.

“Because we are all students, educating someone else is another way to teach myself as well,” second year TCM student Hyejin Yang said.

It’s a mutually beneficial approach to learning for both programs, Fire Services Program Coordinator Don Lawson said.

“The TCMP learners are educating my students about treatment modalities which can improve their health and extend their wellness throughout their careers,” Lawson explained.

“It really is a two-way, win-win scenario.”

Supervised by professional, registered practitioners, students in the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner program perform several procedures, including gathering a medical history, performing tongue and pulse exam, determining a TCM diagnosis and treatment plan, prescribing herbal formulas and executing acupuncture procedures.

Humber’s Fire Services diploma program teaches students the theory of fire science, fire prevention, safety, and physical and mental health while working in a collaborative environment. Students gain a well-rounded education in fire services and will acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities required by fire and emergency services.