The class usually starts out optimistic and hopeful with how the rest of the semester will play out. Not unlike when I applied to Malcolm X College years ago, we try to forewarn the amount of time it takes to truly understand the material in this class. It's not inherently difficult but rather the volume of content that is overwhelming. We all have something going in outside of the EMT class. Whether it's a full course load at college, a full time job, being a parent, taking care of a sick loved one, the list goes on.
The typical analogy I share after we recap every exam is that you are in a hole if you scored under an 80%. And you must climb out of that hole faster than we bury you with new material. If you don't have an 80% by the end of the course, you're not going on to challenge the NREMT to become an EMT.
So when people ask if this (or any EMT) course is doable with a full college course load, it is. You won't be the first, and you won't be the last. But it won't be easy. If you get anything out of this class, it will be managing your time.
It isn't until the students take Exam 2 when they realize how much work this is going to take. Along with the 50 question multiple choice exam, they are faced with 3 practical scenarios. It's imperative that our students can utilize the knowledge in their heads in an oral and practical exam.
Outside of our class specifically, we have our students sign up for at least 40 hours of clinical time. That is across three different hospitals (Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Insight Medical Center, and Saint Anthony Hospital) as well as two ride alongs of their choice.
We do our best to provide this info in an online orientation so students aren't caught off guard, and yet it still does.
Hope this helps.
Chicago EMT Training team