(BROWNWOOD, Texas) – Before she begins medical school, Mackenzie Brigman decided to spend part of her gap year attending Texas State Technical College.

Brigman, originally from Jacksonville, Florida, said she wanted to gain paramedic experience and enrolled in the Emergency Medical Services program.

“I have always had an interest in the medical field,” she said. “I wanted to spend part of my gap year between college and medical school getting additional experience.”

Brigman learned about the program through her family in West Texas. She said walking into the TSTC lab was “kind of a shell shock.”

“I was excited with what I saw and that everything is hands-on,” she said. “We did not have an ambulance simulator at my college, and I can’t wait to start training on it.”

Brigman said TSTC offers a “great learning environment” for students.

“This is going to help expand my passion for the field I am planning on entering,” she said. “I think coming here will give me a leg up during my first year of medical school.”

Brigman said her passion for the medical field came early in life. After facing medical complications as an infant, she wanted to learn more about it.

In middle school, her interest grew even more when she was able to tour hospitals and other medical facilities.

“It really piqued my interest then. I knew that I wanted to be an OB-GYN,” she said.

Brigman said taking courses this fall will help her “medical confidence.” She added that she has her instructors to thank for building that confidence.

“(Richard) Sharp has really taken us under his wing,” she said. “He invests a lot into making sure we are able to learn. (Timothy) Scalley is also very knowledgeable, and he is a flight paramedic. That adds to his knowledge.”

TSTC is currently accepting applications for the next group of emergency medical technicians and paramedic students, with classes scheduled to begin in the spring. The program is offered both online and with in-person lab sessions. Sharp said students will have opportunities for live discussions and lectures online each week.

Sharp said students interested in the program may contact him at 325-203-2458 to learn about the enrollment process.

For more information, visit https://www.tstc.edu/programs/EmergencyMedicalServices.

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