(BROWNWOOD, Texas) – The fast pace of the profession led April Stanke, of San Angelo, to begin her journey to becoming an emergency medical technician.
The longtime certified nursing assistant is studying for her new career path in Texas State Technical College’s Emergency Medical Services program.
“I enjoy the fast pace of the medical field. You always have to be on your toes,” she said.
Stanke said the pace of being an EMT is not that different from a CNA because both professions have the same objective.
“They both have the same pace and same goal. We want to be right there to be able to watch our patients for their signs and systems,” she said. “We want to make sure they are safe.”
One difference that Stanke has already noticed between the professions is the interaction with patients.
“As a CNA, we get to know our patients more. We are able to visit them in the room and make sure they are taken care of,” she said. “As an EMT, we will be walking up to a stranger to help them. But we are there to help the patient in their time of need. That does not change.”
Stanke said one of the most challenging aspects of the training for her is taking tests on the computer. However, she knows it is preparing her for real-life emergency calls.
“The tests do make you think more,” she said. “That is good when you are in the field. We are going to have to make quick decisions when we arrive at the scene.”
Stanke said she relies on her classmates and Emergency Medical Services instructor Tim Scalley when they meet in the lab.
“We work hard during lab sessions. Having the hands-on equipment to learn helps all of us,” she said. “Also, being able to watch paramedics during clinicals is great. I have watched many different things happen in the field, and you cannot learn that from just reading a book.”
Stanke said Scalley brings a different perspective to the classroom.
“He brings his real-life experiences to class and tells us what he had to do during a call,” she said. “That is something we all appreciate.”
She also appreciates how Scalley will make sure to help students when they have questions.
“Tim will make sure he gets back to us, even if it is for help with stupid questions,” she said. “It is not only Tim, but the instructors we have in Abilene. You can count on the support of every instructor in the program. That is what makes this program special.”
Stanke wanted to honor her late brother by becoming a first responder. In 2014, her brother died in an accident, and she knew that the EMTs did what they could to help him.
“They did everything in their power to help my brother, but it was too late,” she said. “I want to do everything in my power to help others, as well as honor him.”
In TSTC’s Emergency Medical Services program, students can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Paramedic. The college also offers certificates of completion in Emergency Medical Services – EMT, Emergency Medical Services – Advanced EMT AEMT, and Emergency Medical Services – Paramedic.
According to onetonline.org, jobs for emergency medical technicians in Texas are projected to increase 11% by 2028.
Registration for the fall semester is underway. Scholarships are available. For more information, visit tstc.edu.