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SYEMC Partners with SCC Nursing Program to Create Training Scenarios


Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corporation and Surry Community College partnered to provide training for the SCC Practical Nursing program on Monday, Oct. 28, in the plant yard at SYEMC in Dobson.

The proximity of the two entities allowed the nursing students to walk to the SYEMC office, where they received information on electrical safety, as well as linemen gear and the safety measures linemen take in the field.

Two rescue scenarios were set up in the training area of the yard — a pole top rescue scenario, where a lineman experiences an electrical contact while on a pole, and a bucket rescue scenario, in which the lineman is electrocuted while working in one of the bucket trucks.

Linemen with SYEMC used their own safety training to assist in the scenarios as they would in the field until medical rescue personnel arrive on the scene. SCC’s practical nursing students provided the medical rescue response.

“It’s important to participate in these training exercises because in a real-life situation, scene safety is the most important step to beginning a rescue attempt. In other words, they need to know in any electrical incident to be aware of potential dangers,” said Sheldon Howlett, Safety Coordinator for SYEMC.

Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corporation Practice Rescue Scenario
Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corporation employees set up a practice rescue scenario where a lineman experiences an electrical contact while working in one of the bucket trucks. Lineman Josh Norman lowers the bucket to rescue lineman Chris Tolbert who suffered a mock electrocution.

He said while some of the students had paramedic and EMT training, even a nurse could be exposed to an injured lineman rescue attempt.

“I think partnering with the college for any educational purpose is a benefit for both participants,” Howlett said.

Linemen participating in the training included Chris Tolbert, Josh Norman, Nick Newman, Garrett Johnson and Patrick Gwyn.

Nursing students involved included: Lindsay Newman, Megan McBride, Whitney Martin, all of Mount Airy; Haley Stevens of Lowgap; Bailey Sprinkle of Sparta; Teah Gonzalez of Yadkinville; Melisa Dunlap of Winston-Salem; Amanda Flinchum of Wilkes County; Leann Byrd of Thurmond; and Jonathan Farmer of Danbury. SCC faculty overseeing the college’s participation were: Dena D. Shore, MSN, RN, and Betsy Duncan, MSN, RN.

"At Surry Community College, we strive to find creative and innovative ways to challenge our students to utilize critical thinking skills and apply them to real-life scenarios. Working with Surry-Yadkin Electric on this project has been absolutely perfect for the application of the first-aid skills learned in the Practical Nursing program,” said Shore. “In the Practical Nursing Program, we note that a nurse may be the first person on the scene of a trauma, and this was an excellent opportunity for the application for both science safety and emergency care. I was so very impressed and thankful for Sheldon Howlett, Megan Cox, and the many linemen's expertise and willingness to share their knowledge with us. I am very grateful for Chris Tolbert, one of the linemen that allowed us to apply mock injuries for the students to evaluate and intervene. The students truly enjoyed the partnership between Surry Community College and Surry-Yadkin Electric. I look forward to repeating the experience with future students."

Surry Community College Practical Nursing students Practice Scenario
Surry Community College Practical Nursing students assist a Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corporation lineman Chris Tolbert who has been “electrocuted” on the job during a rescue simulation.

SCC nursing students have many educational pathways. They can choose to complete the three-semester Practical Nursing program; Associate Degree Nursing (ADN), which is a two-year program, or currently Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) can choose to complete the LPN-ADN program, which is a three-semester program. SCC also offers opportunities for students to pursue a baccalaureate degree in Nursing (LPN-BSN and RIBN or Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses) through a partnership with Lees-McRae College.

For more information about the Nursing program, contact Dr. Yvonne Johnson, Associate Dean of Health Sciences, at (336) 386-3368 or You can also follow the Nursing program on Facebook @surrynursing.

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