Brynn Carnesecca | Lehi Free Press
At MTECH campuses throughout Utah, students can receive technical training and gain employable skills. MTECH boasts over 50 programs in categories such as Automotive/Transportation, Technology, Apprenticeships, Healthcare, Manufacturing and Service Trades.
Two MTECH Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) students recently competed in a Health Occupations Student of America (HOSA) competition. According to an EMT instructor from MTECH, “HOSA Future Health Professionals gives students who are interested in the healthcare industry a chance to explore their options and compete against others who are interested in the same field.”
At the competitions, students get the chance to stretch their abilities and polish up on employable skills. “It is a great opportunity for networking and exploring other interests. I encourage our students to compete in HOSA for multiple reasons. It is a fun way to connect. They also get scholarships and networking opportunities.”
Although Erick Romero and Naomi Guzman partnered for the competition recently, their preparation started months ago. Both are students at MTECH in the EMT program. “I felt the pull to pursue my EMT when I realized the career path I was on was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Romero explained. “I was finishing my degree in accounting and had just gotten out of a desk job I had worked for the last four years. After leaving that job, I realized that I never wanted to work at a desk again and that if I were ever to enjoy my career, it needed to be something physical where I felt like I was helping people.”
Guzman’s EMT journey began with a medical anatomy class at Provo High School. “I was fascinated with how complex the body was,” she said. “After that, I fell in love with all the medical staff. When I graduated, I had the opportunity to continue with my education because of a scholarship. That’s how I found MTECH and this amazing program.”
Once partnered, Romero and Guzman’s preparation continued. They participated in monthly meetings and classes with their instructor, quizzed each other on steps for specific skills and spent many hours studying. “I think what set Naomi and me apart preparation-wise was that we met outside of normal classroom hours and started working on how we would work to succeed as a team,” said Romero. “When we first met up, I barely knew anything, so Naomi helped a ton with teaching me how the patient assessment was supposed to go and how we should establish our roles.” Guzman summed up their preparation as “seeking our strengths and working on our weaknesses.” With hours of practice, the duo was ready to compete nationally.
The pair competed in the EMT post-secondary category. They prepared for shock management, CPR, bleeding control and emergency patient assessments. “For the competition, we ran a patient assessment on a trauma patient,” Guzman shared. “We put a lot of practice and effort into having a strong partnership by knowing what each of us would do, depending on the situation. Also, effective communication was key to helping our patient and achieving faster results.” The team placed 3rd, advancing to the international competition.
The team participated in similar skills at the international competition and took seventh place. “When we were listed for the grand final of the internationals, I remember all our friends cheering and being so happy for us,” said Guzman, “but when we finally left the room after our last assessment, we felt relieved and anxious to know the results right away. We were happy because we had reached that point in the competition and already won in our hearts.”
Winning an international competition is a prestigious award for any school, highlighting the quality of programs offered to students. “To have our students win at an international level shows the level of education our students receive at MTECH,” an instructor commented. “It also shows the level of commitment and passion our students have towards their fields of study.”
Currently, Romero works at the University of Utah in Neurosurgery and hopes to work as a PA or firefighter. Guzman also hopes to work as a fire paramedic.
To learn more about MTECH’s programs and courses, visit www.mtec.edu