PSLA Partnership with Upstate Paramedics Helps Students Become Career Ready

     Published on 1/15/19   Tagged under:    District News    PSLA @ Fowler   

This is a photo of an EMT student climbing on top of a car hood as part of his licensing training, assisted by a paramedic.PSLA at Fowler students in the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program have a new door open to them, thanks to a new partnership this year with the Upstate Paramedic program.
EMT students are now able to take the NYS EMT-Basic certification class during school hours, in addition to earning their high school diploma. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to take the required licensing test beginning in May 2019.
“This partnership is very exciting, and having the certification program is a great start for any student interested in the medical field,” EMT Instructor Brandi Schaefer said. “My graduating seniors will have the choice to move forward (after completing the licensing test) and further their education in a paramedic program, work as an EMT-Basic, or both. Obviously, not all will want to move straight to paramedic, so working as an EMT-Basic will assist them in the required patient contact hours for any other medical programs.”
In order to complete the course, students are required to wear uniforms during all classes, as well as attend several Saturday trainings. Their first included training on how to handle mass casualty incidents, including removing injured passengers from cars. Another included training with a medical helicopter. Students said they learned about shock, CPR, triage and more.
Upstate teaches the EMT-basic class every Tuesday through Friday for two periods each day. Students are responsible for reading the content ahead of time and coming to class with any questions. They are required to wear their full EMT uniform every day that Upstate staff are present. Each class day begins with students taking a blood pressure reading and listening to the lungs of a classmate, so these generic EMT skills become second nature.
“I knew I wanted to work in the medical field,” Ahmed Ali said, noting that his parents wanted him to become a doctor. “I didn’t know if I’d like it. The EMT program was the best fit for me, because it has helped me learn medical terminology. The Upstate staff have helped me learn what they do, and what they study. Because of this program, I’ve gotten to see what a medical doctor really does. I’ve learned that I want to become a dentist. Without this program, I would have picked the wrong career. This experience has helped me find the best fit for me.”
Ahmed noted that he was interested in the EMT certification course because of how it will help him in the future, regardless of which medical pathway he pursues as a career.

“The certification will help me enter the medical field with a step ahead,” he added. “It will look good on my resume and will also allow me to work part time as an EMT during college or dental school. It’s my heart start.”
“I want to be a Physician’s Assistant,” Anab Farah added. “This program has been life changing – we’re learning how to save people’s lives! I wanted to become EMT certified so I have the ability to work part time as an EMT during college. But the certification class isn’t just prepping us for our careers – it’s also teaching us how to be adults. I’ve learned about being professional, being responsible and the importance of time management. But the class has also taught us the ethics of life… we are learning the right thing to do in different scenarios.”
Having an EMT-Basic certification is applicable as college credit at various colleges around the state. At SUNY Broome, for instance, it would be worth nine credits toward the school’s paramedic program. Thank you to Upstate Medical University for making this licensing possible for our EMT students!