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Paramedic Students Celebrate Graduation

Paramedic Students Celebrate Graduation

Twenty six paramedic students were approved for graduation at Eastern Kentucky University on Saturday, May 14.  Needless to say (but I’m going to say it anyway!) I am so very proud of these young people who have taken the last two or four years of their lives, placed them on hold from family, fun and other more pleasurable things to invest in an education that they will have for the rest of their lives. As Jack Webb, creator of the television shows “Dragnet” and “Emergency!” liked to say, “this is their story”.  For reasons of privacy, I’ll only use their first names.

Tommie was an interesting student.  She and I butted heads on just about every topic imaginable.  It came as no surprise to me that, while talking with her mother at the graduation reception, I discovered that I was not the only one to experience her quest for excellence in education.  Her mother relayed the time that she challenged an English teacher regarding the proper use of a word.  After being sent to the dreaded principal’s office and her mother making an unnecessary trip to the school, it was discovered that Tommie was correct and the teacher was wrong.  Perhaps a little more softening of the approach might have been needed, but let’s be real.  Is this not the kind of person that you want taking care of you when your life hangs in the balance?  I would think so! I shared with her mother that I am a better instructor today because of Tommie. 

How about Casey?  Casey has been recognized by the university as one of its outstanding students.  Traveling from Virginia to gain an education and excelling in that has been a hallmark of working with him.  Casey is a quiet young man but that does not make him less of a leader.  Most times, it is the quiet people that are the most intelligent and should be listened to.  I had the pleasure of meeting his family this weekend and made the following prediction.  Casey will be in a supervisory position in two years or less.  Why?  He has the talents that make him too good to ignore. 

Speaking of people who place their lives on hold for an education, let’s not forget about Ridha.  Ridha traveled from Saudi Arabia to gain an education taught in English and Appalachianese (of which I am a proud native!).  When I initially had Ridha as a student, my first impression of him was not that positive.  I thought of him as a student who came to the exciting United States for fun.  Was I ever wrong!  As Ridha moved into the advanced sequence of paramedic classes, I discovered that he was very serious about taking the skills that he has mastered back to his home country.  Even when injuries from an automobile accident threatened to delay his paramedic class completion, he hobbled into my classes every day as well as completing all of his clinical and field course work on time to graduate with his class.  Pretty incredible if you ask me!

One thing that all of these students, as well as other, would share with you about their paramedic education journey is this.  When looking forward to what they had to complete in order to say, “I am a paramedic”, the road ahead looked insurmountable.  Having a family, needing to work or traveling long distances to attend school were all obstacles that at one time or another appeared to be insurmountable to them.  However, looking backwards now, I’d bet that they would say that the time in class, “flew by”.  My question to you is, “what are you waiting for?”  Stop making excuses and increase your education today.  Two years from now, your brain will thank you!

Author Bill Young is the program director of the EKU Emergency Medical program. CAAHEP-accredited since 1978, EKU offers top quality degree programs in emergency medical care.

Published on May 17, 2016

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