TSC’s EMS program revives one woman’s dreams of a career in health care

Bryana Garcia came to Texas Southmost College with a bachelor’s degree and a dream, she knew she could make come true as a student in the college’s Emergency Medical Services program.

Starting her college journey at a North Texas university as a biology/health and kinesiology student with a goal of becoming a doctor, Bryana felt like she was on the right track, but after working as an emergency room scribe, she quickly realized medical school was not the path for her.

“I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would,” said the 25-year-old. “I love the medical field, but being a doctor just wasn’t for me. Only problem was, I didn’t know what else to do.”

Already in the medical field, she had been exposed to emergency medical technicians and paramedics and to their duties, so she decided that would be her next step.

A Brownsville native, she returned home to mourn the loss of a close family member and with a few EMS credit hours in hand, made the transfer to TSC.

“It was a really difficult time in my life and I remember thinking that transferring was going to add to my stress, but in fact, TSC and its EMS program made it so easy,” she said. “I have my instructor and the program’s director, Scott Nelson, to thank for that.”

Garcia went on to earn an associate degree and pass her national registry as a paramedic in 2020, amid a global pandemic.

“I really do credit Mr. Nelson for handling our training during the pandemic with grace, he did all he could to make sure we were prepared, and you know what, I was prepared and confident in my skills because of training,” said Garcia.

She added that although you can never fully mentally prepare for what a medic will see out in the field, she built a strong foundation as a student in TSC’s EMS program, and she knew she could handle anything that came her way, including passing her national registry.

Immediately upon graduating from TSC’s EMS program, Garcia earned her license and began her career with Med-Care EMS in McAllen as a paramedic, where she would be for a little more than a year.

But when Garcia first moved away, she made a promise to herself – to return to Brownsville and serve the community where she grew up. In keeping with that promise, she applied to the Brownsville Fire Department.
“When I received the news that I had been hired in Brownsville, I was beyond thrilled. I was going to be able to serve my community the way I had originally hoped,” she said. “I’m very grateful for the opportunities that led me to where I am. Med-Care and especially TSC played a large role in that.”

It’s now been 10 months since she started with Brownsville’s fire department working as a fire fighter/paramedic and already Garcia has new goals.

“I hope to grow within the department, but I especially hope to become a trainer within the department’s training division to share and implement the knowledge Mr. Nelson so proudly and confidently shared with me.”

Garcia said she feels TSC had a bigger impact on her life than her university experience did and for that reason, she has no regrets returning to school to pursue a brand-new career.

“At TSC I felt like a person,” she said. “I was trained and taught my skills, but even more than that, I learned about life, and I found my strengths. I found myself.”

Visit TSC’s EMS program for more information.