"Make a plan while you are still in high school. Get involved in a Career & Technical Education program at your high school, if they offer one in the health care field, and take ever opportunity to obtain an entry-level medical certification."

Role Model Photo John Peters

Health Field: EMS Personnel

Number of years in the profession:
0 year

Years in College: 8 years

Professional Credentials:

How did you know this career was what you wanted to do?
I can remember the television show Emergency, which debuted in 1972, and thought it would be really cool to help people like the paramedics I saw on the television show.

What other careers did you consider?
Teaching, which is what I am currently at the High School level as a Health Science Technology teacher at Hereford High School.

What experiences in your life developed your interest in your career?
Being in the military and learning first aid, then eventually taking an EMT-Basic course when I went to college.

What early preparations did you take (in high school and college) to reach your career goal?
None in high school which prepared me for my present career

What things did you find to be difficult as you prepared for your career?
The 2-year Paramedic program that I took at Amarillo College was difficult! But when I was finished I knew the basics and felt I was ready to get on an ambulance and be competent enough to help people who were ill or injured.

How did you overcome these challenges?

Was your family supportive of you through your college (or other training) years?

Did you have a job and work while you were going to college or other training? Yes

Present Career as a EMS Personnel

Describe an average work day for you.
Through all 4 years I worked. While I went back to college to become a paramedic after already having my college degree I worked in the health care field. Finally, when I became a high school teacher and had to continue my education to obtain my teaching certification, I worked as a high school teacher the year it took me to finish that college program.

How many hours do you work in an average week?

What kind of health care setting do you work in?
academic, but I still am in a clinical setting every day as my students work with area health care professionals.

What do you see as strengths needed for your career?
In order to make decisions that might ultimately affect whether a patient lives or dies, based upon your treatment you have to have knowledge. Knowledge in many different areas from patient assessment, treatment protocols, patient care in order to give your patient the best possible outcome.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
As a paramedic it was when you successfully made a difference in someone's life when they had a critical need for trained medical help. As a teacher, when a student realizes that they too can learn and become a health care professional.

What advice would you give to those who are interested in your career?
Make a plan while you are still in high school. Get involved in a Career & Technical Education program at your high school, if your school offers one in the health care field, and take every opportunity to obtain an entry level medical certification while you are still in school.

If you could start over, would you still make the same decision to pursue education?
Yes, it is very rewarding. Even though the hours are long, you have to work at all hours of the day and night, when ever someone needs you, it is very satisfying to be able to use your medical skills to help people.

Do you plan to pursue opportunities for advancement in your career field?
Actually, I have already as a Licensed Paramedic and then going into teaching.

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Peters  |
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