ROCHESTER, Minn. - After 2,000 hours of labs, fieldwork and classwork, 10 paramedic students graduated from the Mayo Clinic Ambulance Paramedic Program.
It's a short walk for these graduates to get their diploma. But it's been a marathon for these men and women to become paramedics ready to save lives at a moment's notice.
"We spent a lot of time studying," Michelle Koetz said. "I worked full-time and then I went to school full-time."
While acknowledging the stress, sacrifices and hard work, these grads say it was all worth it.
"So being able to work in a team, and then be around patients all the time, answer questions and really be there for people when they need us," Koetz said. "That's the best part."
Mayo Clinic's Paramedic Program Director wishes there were more young people called to this important line of work.
"We're working on gaining that knowledge and getting these folks into our programs early but it's a hard hurdle, it's a hard void to fill right now," Meyer said.
Meyer wants the world to know that being a paramedic is exhilarating.
"Every day is different," Meyer said. "It's never going to be the same day. Every call is different."
These newly minted graduates are ready to save lives and spread the word their chosen work is filled with rewards.
"It feels really good to have people tell us we're the coolest part of medicine because I would definitely agree with that," Koetz said.
All of the graduates got a 2-year degree in paramedicine and a certificate to become nationally registered.