Matthew Murphy completed his associate of science in paramedicine from Eastern Kentucky University. He works as a Flight Paramedic for JeffSTAT, the medical transportation service owned and operated by Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. He completed his program 100% online and recently shared his thoughts about his EKU Online experience.
How has earning this degree changed or aided your career?
Originally, I wanted a degree to make myself a more competitive candidate to enter the air medical transport and helicopter EMS field. While earning my degree in paramedicine, I simultaneously obtained my FP-C (flight paramedic board certification) and began working in a critical care transport setting in Philadelphia. Even before earning my degree, I believe that showing the dedication to continued learning was a significant factor in my success.
What motivated you to get your degree in paramedicine?
I transferred from Jefferson Community and Technical college to EKU with a previous degree pathway of Associates of Science. My journey to obtain a degree was set in motion by a desire to be the change I wanted to see in my field. I believe that paramedics should have collegiate education in general to elevate the profession as a whole with more well-rounded individuals; open pathways for advancement into alternative roles; and yield greater patient outcomes and satisfaction in emergencies, inter-facility transport, and other settings where we are utilized. After discovering the FOAMFrat/EKU-partnered scholarship opportunity for an associate degree with a specific focus in paramedicine, the choice became clear as to what route I should take.
What was your favorite part or the highlight of your time as an EKU Online student?
The satisfaction of earning a degree on my own terms provided an engaging experience throughout the duration of my journey. If I had to pick, my favorite moments were interacting with peers and taking learning opportunities along with me while traveling from Kentucky to New Jersey.
How did the EKU Online faculty aid in your success?
Christopher Adkins was instrumental in my success. His patience, attention to detail, and willingness to provide input about which classes would lead me on an expeditious path to achieving my goals was incredibly helpful.
What did you find surprising about the program?
The flexibility of professors and staff was the most pleasant surprise I encountered. Several difficult scheduling conflicts, life events, and other uncontrollable variables occurred through my time at EKU. I cannot express my gratitude enough that they were understanding and compassionate through every step of the way.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become an EKU Online student?
This process is a marathon, not a race! If you are a paramedic seeking a degree, it is daunting but not impossible to achieve. Many of us work multiple jobs and unconventional hours, have childcare commitments, and work in roles outside of patient care in addition to regular duty. Rely on the faculty as resources and speak up when you need help. You are not alone in this process. If you stick to the process and put in the effort, dreams really do come true!
Interested in advancing your EMS career?
Earn your paramedic degree from a regionally accredited university that has been an online education leader for over 15 years. Our flexible, online format provides students the ability to complete coursework and assignments according to their schedule.
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