How I Became An EMT

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving.”

Martin Luther King Jr.



Prior to COVID, I was a medical scribe working at an Urgent Care center earning 12 dollars an hour. I was told to put my work, and my studies on hold by my parents as the economy shut down from quarantine. 

The many months I was home, I was quite lost.

I didn’t know how to continue from where I left off. But after a lot of thinking, I decided I’d take this time to try something new. 

That’s how  I decided to try out to be an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) at a local fire department.


Deciding What You Want:

What helped me come to my decision had a lot to do with what I wanted to achieve from what I chose to do. I wanted to experience a more “hands-on” approach to patient care than just recording a doctor/nurse converse with the patient.

Obviously, I wouldn’t be earning a salary from being a volunteer EMT; however, the main goal wasn’t about the money, but the experience, and getting the skills necessary to actually help people in need.

Others instead might consider the industry, role, salary, and benefits, along with their position and work culture.

Those were not in my consideration as I simply just wanted to help people.

Ever since middle school, I volunteered at nursing homes to interact with the elderly at every school break I had. I would be spending nearly six to eight hours a day, three to four days a week at the nursing home. This continued throughout most of my high school career until I had started getting busy with other internships and sports.

At one point in high school, similar to the Peace Corps, I joined a program that sent groups of students abroad for a few weeks to developing regions. The two years I was a part of the program, I was sent first to Haiti, and then Manaus, Brazil respectively. 

We reached out to the natives living in the more dilapidated regions/small villages and taught them to use computers, communicate using basic English Language, and create water pumps, filters, and collectors. Our goal was to help them develop healthy habits, and live an improved lifestyle with access to clean water, and more modern technology.

As a pre-med student in college, I wanted to continue this trend and contribute something more meaningful to society. Which is why I wanted to be an EMT.


Look for Opportunities:

Sometimes, even when you find the motivation to do something, the world just doesn’t want you to succeed. When I was applying at a volunteer fire station near my home (literally a 10-minute walk) I did not hear back from the coordinator. I called, I emailed, I went in person, but the one I needed to meet was never available. 

Without a choice, I had to look for other stations further away, but luckily the one near my college responded very promptly. Which is how I joined my current workstation. 

Of course, there were also some stations that didn’t accept volunteers at that moment in time and rejected me, but rejection is also a part of the process.

Funny enough, it was only after I was nearing the end of the application process for my station, did I hear back from my first choice, saying that there is an upcoming interest meeting and orientation that I should take part in. But by then, it was too late to go back.

Moral of the story: Don’t limit yourself by putting all your eggs in one basket.  Look for better opportunities when you have a chance.


Find Help If Needed:

I have consulted with my advisor and the college career center, and they both supported my getting more work experience prior to furthering my education. I also found that such endeavors have become the trend for many college students throughout the COVID crisis, and I find comfort in knowing that I am not alone in halting my education.

For others not in school, they may find peers following a similar path, or even a professional career counselor for further advice on what to do when lost. The opinions of both professionals and those close to you can be of aid when making your decision. 

You may even want to reach out to relevant groups via Linkin to find more diverse opinions as well.

Just know that there is always someone you can turn to for help.


Take Your Time:

As the saying goes “Time waits for no one.”

However, acting in a rush can sometimes be more harmful, than taking things slow.

When you’re making big decisions, it’s best to think about the consequences, and the benefits to you slowly, even if it means losing some opportunities. Don’t be disheartened, nor should you be ashamed for doing so.

I’ve known a lot of people in college, Medical, and Law school, that decided to take a semester or even a year off, because of stress or because of personal matters.

They take this time to cool off and get away from what is disrupting their physical and mental health. Most of the time, they come back stronger, and ready to face the world. 

This is time well wasted in my opinion.

Even the decision to become an EMT, knowing that I’d have to get my fingerprinting, background check, and physical with cardio done, along with the 200+ hours of in-class learning, came to me after several months.

Take your time, and you’ll eventually figure something out.

Time never rests, but I strongly believe “slow and steady wins the race.”

About the author

Lazy Potato

Hello! I'm the Lazy Potato, a beginner blogger with an obsession for relaxation and comfort. This blog is dedicated to helping myself, and others unwind and find motivation.

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