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PISD adds EMT training to CATE program

Mariana Trevizo and Makayla Taylor practice skill on a mannequin. When Princeton ISD investigated possible programs to add to the CATE Center, options in the medical field showed the most interest and employment potential. Statistics from the Texas Workforce Commission revealed a high demand for Emergency Medical Technicians or EMTs.

“There is an expected growth rate in the field of 22 to 26 percent,” said CATE director Greg Tabor. “So this was a natural addition to our CATE offerings. This is a growing healthcare field that will open many doors for our students who are interested in entering the medical field.”

In its first year, there are 15 students in the EMT program, which is the maximum allowed.

According to Mr. Tabor, certified EMTs are qualified to take jobs with ambulance companies, hospital emergency rooms and nursing homes. In addition, they are a step ahead when seeking a position as a firefighter or paramedic.

“I’ve always wanted to work in the medical field,” said senior Mariana Trevizo. “I think this class offers good practice to continue my medical training. And, it also gives you a good idea if this is a field you want to pursue.”

A typical classroom session offers hands-on education.

“The instructor makes this classroom like real life,” said senior Madisyn Kile. “He gives us different scenarios we might face as an EMT, and we have to decide what to do. We are learning how to save a life in here.”

In a recent lesson, the students were using mannequins to learn how to insert tubes to find an airway.

“I like how we actually do everything in here,” said senior Abbi Smalley, as she checked the blood pressure of her classmate.

When the students aren’t practicing the skills themselves, they are watching real-life EMTs in action.

Navy Bennett checks Brutus Fowler's blood pressure. Madisyn Kile and Abbi Smalley practice with the blood pressure cuff. “I enjoy the cool videos because we can see them on the scenes with patients,” Abbi said. “It shows us what EMTs do at work.”

Typical coursework for a student on the EMT path includes Principles of Health Science in 9th grade, medical terminology in 10th grade, CNA during 11th grade and EMT senior year.

“The EMT courses include an introductory course that covers the history of the EMT field, as well as an overview of human anatomy and physiology, patient assessment and infection control techniques,” Mr. Tabor said.

This is followed up with preparation for the EMT certification and clinical skills. Once the students have logged enough classroom hours to master clinical skills and pass their final exam, they will begin rotations at the fire station and emergency room required for EMT certification.

“The final step toward becoming an EMT is the work-based learning experience and clinical rotations with working professionals,” Mr. Tabor said. “This is career training at its finest.”

Abbi Smalley and Madisyn Kile.