Tara Vlaun, CCP-C, NRP, is a flight paramedic and lead EMS instructor with Distance CME.
She started teaching for us in 2017 and teaches ACLS, PALS and PHTLS. Vlaun is licensed in Canada as an advanced care paramedic.
Currently, she teaches the following courses (check our Course Calendar page for more details):
Vlaun began her career in Florida as a firefighter/paramedic in 2002, and later migrated to the flight world where she has spent the last nine years.
“I have a passion for teaching because I find myself constantly learning new things through the discussions we have in class,” Vlaun said.
Q: What is the best advice a colleague or instructor has given you?
A: I was once nervous about taking on a new clinical base educator position with a flight program. I was going to be educating flight nurses and medics with years of experience.
My supervisor told me that one of the best ways to learn was through instruction. He was right! I studied more and made it my goal to be a better educator, and I continue with that lifelong learning mission.
Q: What is the best suggestion you can give EMS professionals who want to excel in their careers?
A: Never stop learning. Don’t get complacent. Take care of your mental health and stay humble but confident.
This career is full of peaks and troughs. If you find yourself getting in a rut and questioning why you are doing this job, remind yourself what you love about this profession.
Continue learning and do not become complacent. Take care of your mental health!
Don’t let your career define you, rather let it be a part of who you are. This is a very rewarding profession if you allow it to be.
Q: What do you enjoy most about lifelong learning?
A: The students who are passionate about learning really bring joy to what I do. I love learning from them equally.
Not a class goes by that I don’t learn something new.
Q: What is an example of what your students have taught you?
A: My students have taught me to be transparent. I don’t know everything for sure, and I have no problem stopping and verifying information if we have questions.
Lifelong learning goes both ways, and the enjoyment comes when we have discussions that challenge us all to think critically.
Q: First responders have a tough job. What are things that keep you going on the hard days?
A: It is the little things, such as easing the mind of a scared family member as you help their loved one.
I get more enjoyment out of doing something kind for a patient that really brings them comfort than running the exciting calls. Although those definitely appeal to the adrenaline junky side of me.
Q: What advice do you have to help people pass a test like the NREMT?
A: Don’t simply memorize certain values and segments of material. Use good study guides with test banks as a foundation.
If you find that you are getting less than 85% of the questions correct in a certain section, go back to the textbooks and re-read the entire chapter on that material.
Don’t cram right before the test, but study in increments well in advance. Break the questions down and really think about what they are asking.
Believe in yourself!