Career Education at Cuesta College – Paramedic

My name is Heather Tucker and I’m
full-time EMS faculty here at Cuesta. Our EMS programs here at Cuesta College
encompass both certificate programs for specialization in those certificate
fields, as well as an associate’s degree in paramedicine. The initial
program, the EMT program, produces a certificate at the end. Most students
will go out into the field, work as EMTs, and then come back for the paramedic
program which is a year long and it’s in three phases. The first phase is didactic
and laboratory time. Then they go out into the clinical setting in the
hospitals and they have a capstone event which is their field internships lasting
about two months. Scott: I took the paramedic program here at Cuesta College because
it’s one of the highest averaging first time pass ratings in the state.
It’s a local choice – I had the choice between some schools down in LA, San
Francisco and this one with cost and living here on the Central Coast it was the
best option. I decided to take the paramedic program here at Cuesta College
because not only is it my local college I work and live here in San Luis Obispo
County. I am very familiar with a lot of the instructors, a lot of the teaching
assistants that also work in the program here so I knew that if I chose this
program that my education would be top of the line and I would be able to
not only stay here but financially it was also quite advantageous for me to
not have to go anywhere else. Students should choose Cuesta for their
paramedic education not just the location which we love to tout as being
supreme those of us who live here agree but also the innovations we have a lot
of technology that’s coming into our classroom in the way of high fidelity
mannequins, simulation lab, we’re working on getting our ambulance simulators
rolling should have those in place pretty soon and that just gives students
the real training in the classroom that prepares them for the field and that’s
something a lot of programs don’t have the advantage of having community
partnerships for that we do here. With the equipment here at Cuesta College with
the simulation dummies with scenarios that we run pretty much daily I never felt
like going in I was gonna be surprised what I liked the most about the program
was the instructors not only were they challenging they were also compassionate
and understanding they were motivational and made it so that it was actually
really fun to learn. The field of EMS allows you the opportunity to walk with
people sometimes on the worst day of their life but experiencing their the
highs and lows with them you get to be there on their worst day you get to be
the one who’s in control to help them through that and there’s no greater
satisfaction than helping people in that time of need. Teaching in EMS gives me an
opportunity to give back. I had amazing educators that motivated me challenged
me really encouraged me to make a career out of this
and to teach it means I get to stay current with it as well as giving back
to the EMS community by turning out well-educated, ready, prepared EMS
providers of the future who pretty soon will be responding to me so I don’t take
that job lightly I want the students that I send from this program to be
capable of working on my family that’s my goal. I love field medicine I love
being the first on the scene and putting the puzzle together I love being
the one to start the funnel of treatment and be the first contact that someone
has on one of their worst days. I love helping people and I feel like I’m
really able to do that in this field. I think students should pick this route if
they like helping people if you see someone hurt on the side of
the road are you the person that drives by? or are you the person that stops and wants
to make sure that person is right? if you’re the person that stops and you care
about people then paramedic might be the route for you

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