From Teacher to Student to Nationally Registered EMT

Published: January 27, 2016

There is little doubt Dana Hoyer is capable of juggling multiple things. As if being the clinical coordinator for the Emergency Medical Services programs at College of Western Idaho (CWI) and the American Heart Association Training Center coordinator weren’t enough, Dana recently achieved one more accolade—this one as a student. She is now a nationally registered emergency medical technician.

Dana’s journey as a student started in the summer of 2013. After four years of teaching others how to save lives by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), she wanted to gain a deeper appreciation for what students were learning. CWI started offering EMT classes at night, and Dana was one of the first in line.

“The thought of becoming an EMT crossed my mind nearly 30 years ago,” Dana said. “My dad and uncle were both surgeons, so I always had an interest in the medical field. But I never did anything about it until I got here. I truly did it so I would know what students go through.”

For more than a year, Dana spent her day time hours working full-time at CWI. At night, she became a student. She finished her EMT studies in 2014 and successfully passed the written portion of her testing. She inadvertently let more than a year slip by without completing the practical portion of her exam, and she had to start prepping for that part all over again. At the end of January 2015, she—along with 30 other students—successfully passed national registry testing.

“There is no small commitment and it reflects the passion that Dana brings to the EMS and CPR programs,” Dexter Hunt, the Paramedic and EMS Programs Director at CWI, said. “She has always gone above and beyond (for our programs).”

“I truly have a deeper understanding when I hear what my coworkers and students are now saying,” Dana said. “Going through this has also started to change my way of thinking. I now think like an EMT, understand the lingo, and I truly want to jump in and help when needed.”

Dana says she absolutely loves her day job and has no plans to go anywhere or do anything else. The thought of continuing her studies to go on and become a paramedic are there, but they are way off in the distance. Her more immediate plans are to volunteer for a local fire department as an EMT.

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