Trade Schools with EMT Programs

Interview with an EMT

An interview with Roxana Perez, a student studying to become an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) at City College in Miami.

What school did you attend?

City College in Miami

What program?

Emergency Medical Technician. It’s an associate degree, which is a two year program, but you can choose to take another two years once you complete it for a paramedic program, and that’s what I’m doing so it’s 4 yrs to be a paramedic.

I’m a sophomore.

How has your training been so far?

Training so far has been okay; they don’t let you start any medical programs until you do some requirements for the associates. Basically, it’s the Math, English, Psychology and other elective classes that sometimes have nothing to do with what you’re studying. But then sometimes like with psychology, you can see how it’s going to help you to understand people.

Are you happy with the training that you’ve received?

Not necessarily excited like I was once at this point, but little by little the medical classes are more exciting and I’m just starting to get into them. At the beginning it’s very though.

Favorite classes and why they are your favorite?

My favorite right now is my anatomy and physiology class. It’s my first step into learning about the medical field, so I’m learning the basic knowledge about the body and terminology and everything is first hand. It’s something that I love. At 6:00 when I have that class, that’s a class I know I’m not going to be late to and I put my full focus on.

How much did it cost for you to complete the program?

At the beginning when I was first shopping around, I was told it would be $32,000 in total, but once you sit down and really look at it, it’ll be a little bit more than that because they do require you to purchase the books online through their school website. They don’t give you another choice if you’re just a student you do as they tell you. For me books are getting more expensive especially my medical books, so renting books for me is so much better I wish I could go back in time and do it the first year too. The only thing is when you don’t buy the books through them, they do call you down. They do question you about why you’re not doing it on their website but they haven’t told me not to. They just tell you that you have your loans and financial aid why not use it? Basically, to scare you off they ask why are you paying out of pocket. For me it’s more common sense to pay $30 out of my pocket now than to pay $155 in the long run.

Did you receive any financial aid or scholarships? Which ones? Were these easy to obtain?

I have received government Pell grants. Scholarships I’ve just been looking at this year. I talked to one of my advisors, they told me to be careful because they don’t accept all of them. The financial aid advisor does everything for you for the grants. And I have about two student loans.

Did you go to school on a full-time or part-time basis?

Full time.

Were any of your classes online?

No, they do have that option but it’s very limited. They don’t offer a lot of classes online they might have like three or four out of the ones you need. No I would not take any online anyway.

Did you consider other programs?

No I already knew what I wanted to do.

Why did you choose the school you’re at?

I was stuck between about two schools. The other one was a faster program but it was all about student loans. It was so much cheaper and faster but once I spoke to the advisors at City College and told them I was shopping around they automatically shut me down. They told me that school doesn’t offer associates they only certify you. So I thought what’s better? So I went on and told them ok, it’ll cost me more and be harder and, but in the long run I thought it would be better to have my associates degree. Later I found out they do offer associates degrees at the other school and it does cost less but it’s only online.

Would you recommend this school to someone else? Why or why not?

I would say I would just because you would finish faster and classes are so small. There are about 10 to 15 students so there is more teacher interaction. Whenever you need a tutor your teacher tutors you for free at your time in case you need any help. Basically that’s why I would recommend it, but overall through expenses and the way they handle things and choose to communicate, I wouldn’t. It’s very hard if you need to sit down and talk to your advisor. It’s hard to communicate and then it’s very expensive too.

Was that or something else the most difficult part of the program for you?

Yes, that actually {the communicating to advisors}

About how many other students were in your classes?

Yea, it’s about 10 to 15. That is one of the best things they do. There is more of the interaction with teachers instead of a class of 40 where you get stuck in the back, and they try to group all the business students or all the EMT students together, so it feels like your going through the process with them. They’re great about that, it’s definitely very friendly; everybody knows everybody at City College so they’re not that bad. It’s very friendly you’ll feel very comfortable with your classes and little by little it’s getting bigger too. They’re putting up newer buildings.

For your particular program, are there any special licenses or certifications that you need to receive before getting a job? If so, what are they and what do they entail?

You need to have certification and a license for every stepping stone: EMT Assistant EMT 1 and 2. In order to pass you do have to pass the state exam and have all your certifications and the license. When you take the exam you get to choose whether you want to take the state or national exam.

Is the state/national exam the one to get your license?

From what I could remember yes for the state/national exam is for the license, to be certified you would need to take a written and practical exam and register with the state.

Can you get a job before you have your license, with just the certifications?

Definitely you can have a job with only a certification, but you will be limited on the things you are going to be able to do and I believe salary also decreases slightly.

At City College, are they going to certify you through your classes? In other words, which of these requirements are you going to have completed when you graduate City College?

City College will provide all the training and classes I need, but it is up to me to take my exams, register, and get certified and of course actually pass all requirements. It’s possible that when I graduate City College I will have completed all EMT 1 and 2 as well as being certified and licensed as a Paramedic.

Related Resources

Becoming an EMT in California
Becoming an EMT in Florida