Emma Stemen, a sophomore Biochemistry and Hispanic Studies double major, has a lot ahead of her. With dreams of becoming a doctor, she makes sure to stay involved at DePauw as she tackles athletics, research, clubs, and more. One of her most recent endeavors took place this past summer as she elected to stay on campus for an optional May Term course. The EMT May Term is a month-long crash course in becoming a certified EMT; a feat that usually takes 6 months to complete. Today we speak with Emma about her experience taking on this notoriously difficult class.
Alexa: Nice to meet with you Emma! How did you hear about the EMT Course?
Emma: I heard about this opportunity through The Hubbard Center, specifically through Colleen McCracken. She is actually the faculty advisor for the class as well, and a great resource to ask questions about it.
A: What inspired you to enroll in the class? Did you have any hesitations?
E: I am on the pre-med track, so I enrolled in the class to get some patient care experience. After hearing about the workload and commitment of the class, I was definitely a little hesitant, but I believe it was completely worth it.
A: I know there weren’t many people on-campus at the time; what was it like being on campus for May Term?
E: The campus felt very empty, but because we spent so much time either in the class or working on homework for the class, I never found myself missing the activities that are usually going on. Living in Rector village for summer housing was incredibly nice. I loved having my own kitchen.
A: I bet that was nice! What was a typical day of class like for you?
E: Usually we would begin class at 8:00am and our instructor would lecture until we broke for lunch around 11:30. We usually had an hour for lunch. Then we would go back until 4:00, but this time we would practice the skills we had just learned that morning. We always worked in groups and peer evaluated each other.
A: What were the best and worst parts of the class?
E: The best parts were definitely the community of the class, what we learned, and our instructor. All of the class got very close, because we spent so much time together. Additionally, everything we learned was to prepare us for the EMT practical and written exam. In the end, I came out of the class with an EMT certification. Our instructor, Jodi Bondy, was absolutely amazing. She is super sweet and a great teacher. The worst part was the commitment of the class. The eight-hour days five days a week, and four-hour Saturdays were a lot. We also had 8 hours of ride-alongs and 8 hours of ER clinicals outside of class as well.
A: Do you think it was all worth it in the end?
E: It was definitely worth it in the end. I have a job now at Putnam County EMS. I start my first shift on Friday and am very excited to get some experience for medical school.
A: Do you think the class prepared you well for your new job?
E: Obviously it gave me the understanding and skills to pass the exam and get certified, but it also taught me a lot about teamwork and time management. I feel like it gave me the hard and soft skills to take on my new job.
A: What plans do you have for your future career as an EMT and beyond?
E: I’m hoping to work as an EMT through the rest of my undergraduate career, and potentially through medical school. I think I will gain a lot of experience, and come out of it with the ability to remain calm and make good decisions in any stressful situation. I think it will be a great career through school—something I enjoy, and that can make a direct impact on the local health of my community.
A: What advice would you give to someone taking this course next year?
E: I would say that you have to mentally prepare yourself and be committed. You also have to be open to making new friends and connections with your classmates: you will be spending a lot of time together. It’s a great experience though, so if you are thinking about taking the class—do it!
A: Thank you for your time, Emma!
E: Thank you!