Emergency medicine lectures for ZAW paramedics in Germany, e-learning during COVID-19

Due to COVID-19 crisis, the Bundeswehr (German Republic) Army professional development service changed its training on ZAW paramedics (emergency paramedics) briefly. Instead of education on emergency medicine in classrooms, the theory will be carried out at home.

In the many previous weeks of COVID-19, e-learning was popular from home – across various learning platforms, email, video conferencing and chat. And it worked always very well, based on the circumstances. Now, also the ZAW paramedics learn theoretical parts from home.


ZAW paramedics learning from home because of COVID-19

ZAW paramedics learn theoretical parts from home, too. However, the e-learning method can never completely replaced classroom education. On the official website of the Bundeswehr, the experience of Obermaat Jan Strohdeicher has been reported. He is one of the ZAW paramedics that is learning from home. The exchange between his classmates is missing. “Our training is very practice-oriented. We need to practice and test our knowledge on various practical case studies. It is now completely missing and we really need it. I hope this can be compensated for in the practical phase. ”

Methodological and social skills are essential for the trainees’ future work and direct communication and classroom interaction are central. “This is why I am now even happier to be able to deepen the part of the past homeschooling, which is characterized by isolation, in the didactic guard of the German Red Cross in Sternberg through practical activities”.


ZAW: What is it? And what is the condition of paramedics during COVID-19

Since the beginning of 2019, the 22-year-old navy soldier has undergone civilian training (zivilen Aus- und Weiterbildungsmaßnahme), or ZAW, as an emergency doctor. A total of 15 other trainees are completing training in their class. This is done by the professional development service of the Bundeswehr Schwerin.

With civilian vocational training and higher education, the Bundeswehr offers its soldiers temporary professional training with a state-recognized qualification. The final exam is carried out in front of the local Chamber of Commerce or Industry. Professional training for the Bundeswehr is carried out by civilian training providers. Training takes place with an increased theoretical part.


Practical service for ZAW paramedics during COVID-19

Paramedics are the first figures to provide medical care to the injured and sick in an emergency. Decide on the need for medical care and initiate life-saving emergency measures.

ZAW paramedics help patients involved in emergency accidents and carry out steps induced by the doctor independently. They transport and assist patients in a professional way.

COVID-19 will be a special challenge for Jan Strohdeicher in the practical phase that will be active now.

“We must first report any symptom apparently tied to coronavirus disease. Paramedics carry and treat patients with suspicion COVID-19 syndrome and assume the worst, in order to be always most careful as possible.”

PPEs like the protective suits, the ventilator’s mask, the protective face shield and the hood will be included in the ZAW paramedic workwear in case of suspected COVID-19 patient. Closeness to patients and physical contact is inevitable for a paramedic like Strohdeicher. That’s why PPEs are often essential for survival. This is. of course, valid for any type of emergency and medical profession.

In early February 2021, Obermaat Strohdeicher will finish his training. Then he will take his final exam under the supervision of the Bundeswehr State Exam Office. His hope is to keep on being a naval medical assistant for his whole service time.



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