(HARLINGEN) – Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and paramedics are in high demand across the region and the state with a projected growth of 15 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And EMS instructor Ruben Ramirez said Texas State Technical College is working to fill that skills gap because as long as health emergencies, motor vehicle accidents, natural disasters and acts of violence continue to occur, the skills of this profession will continue to be in demand.

Ramirez gives us more information.

What is the length of the program?TSTC EMS Program 72dpi 300x214 - Graduates of TSTC’s EMS program in high demand

The EMT basic program is two semesters, while the paramedic program is four semesters. You must be a licensed EMT basic to enter the paramedic program.

What certificates and/or degrees are offered?

The program offers an EMT basic certificate and a paramedic certificate and associate degree.

What skills do you learn in the EMT basic and paramedic programs?

The EMT basic courses will teach the foundations of patient care and life support, such as CPR, oxygen administration, automated external defibrillator (AED) usage and broken bone or spinal cord stabilization.

Paramedic courses will teach advanced life support skills, medication administration, advanced airway procedures, electrocardiogram (EKG) reading and IV administration.

What types of technology are used to learn these skills?

In addition to being instructed by experienced paramedics who have worked in the field, students will also have access to industry-standard technology such as, I-Simulate and Reality tablets that are programmed to give students real-world medical emergency scenarios, adult and pediatric realistic simulation training mannequins and Demo Dose medication kits to practice medicine administration.

How does learning these skills help prepare the student for the workforce?

The skills learned while enrolled in TSTC’s EMT and paramedic courses will give the student the skills they need to handle an emergency situation, no matter how critical. Every shift and every emergency call will put one, if not more, of these skills to use.

Graduates from this program will also be ready to sit and successfully pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians exam, which will allow the graduate to become state licensed and work anywhere in the United States.

Who is hiring graduates from this program?

Graduates from this program get hired locally with companies such as Willacy County EMS, South Texas Emergency Care EMS, Med-Care EMS, Hidalgo County EMS, Weslaco Fire Department, Brownsville Fire Department, federal agencies such as the United States Border Patrol, hospitals and health care clinics.

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