A couple decades ago I took an interest in becoming an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and, eventually, maybe even a paramedic. The local community college, famous for its EMT program, had classes on a regular basis at reasonable rates. I signed up.
I took a prerequisite class first to become a Wilderness First Responder from a man who later became renowned for being the first person to survive an overnight near the top of Mount Everest, saving the life of another person in the process. I then took the EMT-1 course, the first of three to becoming a paramedic. While the initial cost of the course was not expensive, the books were outrageously priced. The main course book and its work book were $100 apiece.
As I was taking the course I came across something I would see often again later- almost all the other, younger students in the class were having their class costs paid for by the local fire department or some other agency. I would usually be the only one paying for the class myself. And whereas I would take the class seriously and work hard at it, the others would often have a relaxed attitude towards since they didn’t have to worry about it because they had a sugar daddy paying for it.
I worked hard at the course getting mostly A’s and having to do practicums drawing blood, going on ambulance runs and serving as an aide at the local hospital. After months of work, study and sacrifice I passed the first class with flying colors.
Then reality set in.
I received the state certificate for being an EMT-1. To get nationally certified I would have to take a separate test in some obscure and distant town hundreds of miles away. I did not have a car. That is what eventually killed it for me.
Trying desperately to find a way to the testing site I could not find a ride to get from the high mountain town where I was living to the flatland’s place where the test was to be. The date came and went without my being able to participate. I had some time in which to get my national certificate before the state one would expire and I would not be able to get the other. Later I was in my hometown in another state and found that the local community college was going to have national testing. I went to the college and then to the local EMT board and to see if I could take the test along with the rest of the students since I had already passed the initial course. But they said “No” because I wasn’t a student there. Gee thanks! Like that really couldn’t have been worked out. Second strike out.
I finally was visiting my brother in Columbus Ohio where the EMT national board was located. I went through some difficulties to go over there (difficult because I still didn’t have a car) and told them my situation. They told me they couldn’t help me either. Which is the same as saying they didn’t give a damn; which they didn’t. The people who invented the whole system wouldn’t help me.
Now after spending all that money and time my state certificate expired. In the mean time I found out the only job I could get with an EMT-1 degree was to be a volunteer ambulance worker. Do you know how much money ambulance companies charge for their services? Scandalously, A LOT!!! And they couldn’t pay a ride-along EMT? Now, to advance to EMT-2 I would have to spend the time and money to take the EMT-1 course all over again.
I came to realize that this whole introduction into the medical field was a set up and just another money making pyramid scheme just like so many other businesses in our wonderfully profit oriented society. The ‘official’ EMT agency in the U.S. had themselves set up nicely as the authority on the field and through their control raked in the profits from the profession. What a great set up! Just like so many agencies that claim to be the only ‘go-to people’ on a subject they can manipulate the system to their financial and controlling betterment. And thereby to the non-betterment of those who have to kow-tow to them to get ahead.
The same is apparently true for a lot of the rest of the medical profession as well. As I hear nurses pay a lot for their extensive training and then have to pay an exorbitant price to stay registered. Of course they do need to set standards of competence for their professions, but sometime the over training and costs of education ruin or derail people trying to get somewhere. Or, maybe in our time of Corona virus and lessening personal power there is no “getting ahead” anyway- only meandering around in big economic and educational circles wasting time and money.
So they say they are short on health care workers?
Don’t come running to me- if someone would have helped me two decades ago I would have been happy to help now…..