By Pablo Sanchez
Dan Jones is a Hutchinson Community College Emergency Medical Service advisor and has been helping out students and helping them make their dreams come true.
Jones has worked at the college for more than 20 years, teaching even as he continued to work in hospitals and with patients.
“I was ready for a change in that point in my life, and so I become a clinical coordinator, and so I would go around Wichita, Salina and Hutch and take students to their clinical settings in the hospital, because that was my area of expertise,” Jones said. “Then I got interested in the classroom, I got my instructor license, in the state to teach in. I got that in 1986, and so I kind of liked going in the classroom, and that was around 2000.
Jones said he worked in the Emergency Medical Technician field, and EMS was the embodiment of medical.
“Doing it on the wing and a prayer, and you don’t have the doctors and the people in the field to help you, and I thought it was interesting,” Jones said. “EMS is more of a specialty area, a jack-of-all-trades. They were the specialty in the crisis situation, so I was always thought that was interesting within EMS.
Jones said he had a lot of students through the years, and he had to change his approach on how kids learned. He said it was a challenge at times, that’s one reason why he wanted to retire.
“It’s getting harder, all the changes, one thing in especially in EMS and medicine and education is that there’s change, and it’s getting a bit harder on the change. I still go with the flow, but it’s been an interesting 23 years at the college. I’ve had different roles, but my favorite would be the classroom.”
Not to say the classroom was easy, but Jones said it was rewarding.
“I’ve had kids with challenges, and they overcome the challenges to get through, and you knew that they wouldn’t be a paramedic. They knew their spot, and would be a good EMT. With specific ones – there have been too many to pick out – but I had one and you could tell she was smart, and it went in the classroom socially inept, and through the class, she really came a long way, and I’ve helped her along the way with that. She’s a paramedic now, and there was a time where I thought I don’t know if she was going to make it or not. But if it’s something I learned, it’s not to give up too early.”