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The Model Student

If you ve got a question about EMS education about how to succeed as a student, how to polish your skills as an instructor or how to push education to the next level JEMS.com education expert Paul Werfel has got an answer for you. Contact him at paul.werfel@stonybrook.edu.

Question

I m considering taking a paramedic class in early 2007, and I m trying to maximize my preparation so I can do well in the program. I have three questions:

1. How can I maximize my chances of getting into a program?

2. Once in, how can I stay in and do well?

3. What are the most important attributes of a successful paramedic student?

Frank B., Lancaster, Pa.

Discussion

I think the mere fact that you re thinking this far ahead bodes very well for you. I suggest you enroll in an anatomy and physiology course at your local community college to familiarize yourself with the material to come.

Your first two questions and more are discussed in Paramedic Prep 101: How To Gain Admission to a Paramedic Program from the August 1997 JEMS.

As for your third question, the most important attribute of the successful student is the ability to manage their time. Effective time-management skills can compensate for other student weaknesses, such as a less-than-perfect memory. With your time being divided between lectures, labs, clinicals, studying and family, your ability to juggle all of your responsibilities and effectively use your time is more important than any other individual quality that you possess.

Time management is essential for successful studying and preparation, and after graduation, this skill set is the basis for being a successful practitioner. If we define EMS practice as making incredibly accurate and critical decisions under stress without complete data, it s easy to see why the ability to manage our time is critical for the student as well as the graduate.

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