New Course, New Partnership, New Students

Saturday, March 2, 2013

While we formalize our alliance with the Medical School of UMSS in Cochabamba, A Tu Lado has forged a new partnership: last week, the UMSS Department of Nursing offered to support our upcoming course. They are providing classrooms and guest instructors, and they even rearranged the department schedule to enable more students to participate. Fortunately, this enthusiasm is not unique to UMSS.

Earlier this evening, Emily, Ethan and Terence spent three hours interviewing applicants who wish to join the course. They came from all walks of life. Some were lawyers, looking to build emergency medical skills and volunteer with SAR Bolivia. Others were paramedics looking to expand their skill sets and move into a future role as instructors with A Tu Lado. There was one firefighter with the national airport firefighting service, and two nurses specializing in emergency medicine, eager for their first foray into pre-hospital education. Among the dozens of students who waited in line to interview was a flight attendant who, 17 years ago, made the difficult decision to give up her dreams of medical school in exchange for a stable job; today, she is anxious to renew the pursuit of her original calling, medicine.

We will enroll 24 students. Selections will be a challenge, and with more interviews scheduled for tomorrow, it will become more so. One common question among applicants: Will there be more courses? Yes! We have every intention to return and continue building a university-based EMT and paramedic program open to the public. This course, which starts Tuesday evening, is the next step to realize this vision. Stay tuned.