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Preparing to Save Lives

Find out more about how CNM is training New Mexico’s future Paramedics

Mar 20, 2018

Preparing to Save Lives
Holly Litfin, 29, works with other CNM Paramedic students during a training scenario on Main Campus.

If you were on campus Tuesday you might have seen what looked like a series of accidents with victims on stretchers and emergency medical personnel scattered everywhere. Don’t worry, it was just an exercise, but an important one where CNM’s paramedic students were getting hands-on training for how to respond to everything from a head injury to a car accident.

“This is great training because the students are able to make mistakes without really making mistakes,” said John Shelton, a CNM simulation technician who helped set up the scenario.

All the students involved were in their second semester of the Paramedic program and after two more semesters they’ll be full certified. Most are already working in the field as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and came to CNM to advance their careers.

“I really fell in love with medicine and paramedic is the logical next step,” said Holly Litfin, 29, who currently works as an advanced EMT for Albuquerque Ambulance. “I like my current job, but in our system paramedics are the people who get to run the scene and make the most important decisions.”

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Sean Routzen, 26, center, and other students in the paramedic class attend to a manikin patient on Main Campus.

Those who don’t have a job already should be able to find one easily because the CNM Paramedic program has a 100-percent placement rate, meaning all the graduating students from previous years have found jobs with places like Albuquerque Ambulance, the Albuquerque Fire Department, and American Medical Response. 

That placement rate is part of the reason Sarah Rivali, 34, came to CNM, but she was also drawn in by how easy CNM has made the education process. She said that CNM has always been there to answer questions and support her in whatever ways she needed.

“It started day one where I walked in the door and there were people to greet me and ensure I never got lost or discouraged,” she said. “And it continues today. CNM is great at eliminating barriers so we can concentrate on our education and succeed.”  

Learn more about CNM’s Emergency Medical Services programs.

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Sterling Baker, 31, left, and Sarah Rivali, 34, load a manikin into a simulated ambulance on Main Campus.