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Student Overcomes Personal Barriers to Succeed in TSTC’s Emergency Medical Services Program

HARLINGEN — A student at Texas State Technical College, Destiny De La Fuente became interested in the health care field when she saw the career success of a close friend who is a paramedic.

“(He) talked about the rush of patient care through various high-intensity situations in an ambulance,” she said. “I felt it was a good choice (for me) because I like helping others.”

TSTC Emergency Medical Services student Destiny De La Fuente works during a recent lab session. (Courtesy: Texas State Technical College/TSTC)

De La Fuente is pursuing a Certificate of Completion in Emergency Medical Services – EMT at TSTC’s Harlingen campus. But his personal life presented some challenges.

“I am a single mother with two children and I have a part-time job,” the Harlingen resident said. “I was delighted to get A’s and B’s on my assignments. Then I started having personal family problems. It became a distraction towards the end of the semester.

The EMS instructors noticed a change and approached her.

“I informed the instructors of the situation,” she said. “They admired my dedication as a single mother and as a student. They offered helpful advice on time management and study. I put their suggestions into action. I practiced more and worked less to save time for my studies. I also started budgeting and saving money. It allowed me to refocus. »

With a new determination, De La Fuente is now on the road to success.

Adriana Contreras, TSTC EMS instructor, said De La Fuente has a compassionate heart and enjoys helping others through patient care.

“Destiny’s children are his motivations,” Contreras said. “His compassion and eagerness will result in a great career in EMT (Emergency Medical Technician).”

De La Fuente recalled a trauma skills assessment as his favorite hands-on training.

“We learned to stoke any bone in the body,” she said. “This assessment tells us where the patient is bleeding and for how long.”

De La Fuente said she is grateful for her experience with the program.

“EMS instructors explain the hands-on training and answer each student’s questions,” she said. “They provide us with extra attempts to make sure we learn it correctly. Now we do live scenarios in the immersive interactive EMS training lab.”

At its Abilene, Brownwood, and Harlingen campuses, TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Paramedic, as well as Certificates of Completion in Emergency Medical Services-EMT, Emergency Medical Services-Advanced EMT AEMT and emergency medical services – paramedic. A Vocational Skills Achievement Award in Emergency Medical Services – EMT is also available.

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information, visit

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