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Roan profile: Austin Wike ’16 . . . now EMT-certified

November 17, 2015

Austin EMTRoan Scholar ’16 Austin Wike has a new line to add to his resume: basic EMT training.

Since July, Austin has participated in EMT training classes twice a week in the evenings and on some Saturdays—a task he managed in addition to his full ETSU course load. EMT training has given Wike an intimate look at the complexity–and occasional tragedy–of life.  “One of the most surprising things,” Wike says, “is how many incredible things happen that other people don’t know about,” even in relatively small, close-knit communities. The experience has also taught Wike how to relay information under difficult circumstances. “The most important, but also probably the hardest thing, is communicating with the physicians back at the hospital over the radio,” Wike explains. EMTs may describe a situation to get advance direction from doctors. “That’s difficult sometimes,” he says.

Wike will complete his EMT exam in January 2016, and he is currently considering continuing his training with an intermediate EMT course. Upon his graduation in May 2016, Wike plans to work locally as an EMT before applying to medical school. Wike is already reflecting on how his experience as an EMT will shape his career as a doctor. “Participating in this class has helped me gain perspective on what the patients go through before they get to the hospital. I’ll be sure to think of that when I become a physician,” says Wike.