Erica Prough, Goshen Health

Erica Prough

Director of Education and Professional Practice/ Goshen Health

Published Oct. 2023

Learn to Help, Learn for a Future with Classes at Goshen Health

Getting certified in CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and learning how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is more than just something good to do; these aren’t just nice items to have in your toolbox.

Learning CPR, AED, and also First Aid—all of which anyone can learn through classes at Goshen Health—can give you the knowledge to help save someone’s life.

No one ever expects to be in a situation where someone’s life is at risk, but things happen. You might be out in public when someone near you goes into cardiac arrest, or you could be at a restaurant when someone chokes and is unable to breathe. These things happen, and you never know when, or to whom, they will happen. If this happens to a stranger, friend or family member, knowing CPR and responding quickly can significantly increase their chances of survival.

Here at Goshen Health, professional development is a big part of what we do. In addition to providing a variety of educational opportunities for our Colleagues, we also offer education and training opportunities for members of our community. We collaborate with local technical schools, colleges and universities to provide clinical rotations for students, and also provide education for the general public.

For the general public, we offer a CPR/AED certification course that only costs $40 and takes about two hours of training to complete. We also offer a CPR, AED, and First Aid training course that takes around four hours and costs just slightly more.

We provide CPR training to area businesses including factories, schools and day care centers. Also, we schedule two EMT Basics classes per year for those who are interested in a career as a First Responder. The EMT Basics class is only a five-month commitment and those who graduate and pass their state registry exam often return to advance their career in our 18-month Paramedic program.

Erica Prough and Courtney Brickner

Erica Prough, right, got her start with Goshen Health working with laboring patients, new mothers, and babies in The Birthplace—where her daughter, Courtney Brickner, a Registered Nurse, now currently works. Prough is the Director of Education and Professional Practice at Goshen Health.

EMT classes gaining steam in Goshen

We’re seeing increased interest in our EMT Basics classes. Our second 2023 session is completely full, and we’re already starting to field calls for our EMT Basics class scheduled for January of 2024—so we’re definitely seeing an uptick in the number of people interested in becoming First Responders.

A lot of people put their entry into the healthcare field on hold during the pandemic, and now we’re seeing a more people who want to finally get started.

I think there are a lot of reasons people are looking into this field. It’s a rewarding line of work because you have the ability to help others, and the barriers to entry are low. The EMT Basics classes are affordable and don’t require long-term commitments; people see our EMT classes as a good way to get started in the healthcare field.

I think the pandemic itself got people thinking about how they can help and be of service, and getting into the healthcare field is one way that people can have a positive impact by helping others. Experiencing a worldwide pandemic has led to reflection and action; some people are choosing healthcare now specifically because they want to be at the forefront. They want to dedicate their life’s work to being part of the solution.

Goshen Health leading the way

It’s fairly unusual for a hospital to have an accredited Paramedic program like we do here at Goshen Health. All of our EMS instructors who teach our Paramedic, EMT, First aid, CPR, and advanced life support classes are Paramedics who also work at local Fire/EMS stations. They are experts because they live it and breathe it every day.

It’s exciting to be a part of everything going on in the healthcare field these days, and to see Goshen Health remain a strong and committed community healthcare provider.

Like mother, like daughter

After graduating with a nursing degree from Goshen College, I started my professional career here at Goshen Health. I spent 20 years in The Birthplace providing care to laboring patients, new mothers and babies. I then moved to the Colleague Education department, and I’ve really enjoyed focusing on professional development. In my role as Director of Education and Professional Practice, I get to support so many dedicated healthcare professionals who invest their time and energy caring for others.

My daughter, Courtney Brickner, is also a Registered Nurse at Goshen Health. She works in Birthplace, where I got started with my own healthcare journey all those years ago.

As a mother it’s great to see her follow in my footsteps; to know that she values who I am and what I do. And, more than that, it’s rewarding because she works with a lot of people I used to work with, and they often share what a great nurse Courtney is. So there’s a lot of pride for me, and not just because my daughter followed in my footsteps, but because she is excelling in her own right and doing what she has been called to do. Nothing gives a parent more pride than seeing their child excel and thrive.

The greatest reward

There are many great reasons to go into the healthcare field, whether as a nurse, a first responder or other member of the healthcare team.

To know without question that you’re helping people improve their health, or even save their lives—it’s hard to beat that feeling. That may be the greatest reward.

The Goshen Hospital Paramedic Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP). To learn more about the range of classes and educational opportunities offered at Goshen Health, click here

Written by Jake Sandock