Davin’s hands-on journey into healthcare
At BHS, Davin Alt explored the world of healthcare, earned important certifications, and got real life experience saving real lives
When he was younger, Davin Alt was a member of the Boy Scouts and found that he really enjoyed first aid, emergency preparedness, and the work of search and rescue. During his time at Burnsville High School, that spark of interest was fueled by encouraging teachers and real-life experience and became a blaze similar to the ones he is training to battle.
While attending a camp, a staff member who worked as a paramedic and firefighter shared details about what his work was like. Davin knew that would be his path. As a freshman and sophomore, Davin completed the required courses, even when the pandemic resulted in remote learning, knowing that more electives were on the horizon.
He stayed involved in band and since he also enjoys working with his hands, he took a few classes in the Design, Engineering & Manufacturing Pathway as a freshman and sophomore. As a junior, he dove into some of the courses of the Health Sciences & Human Services Pathway at BHS and he ultimately knew that healthcare was his calling.
“I liked the ability to explore and see different options, to get more experience, or even ask others who have taken a class or guidance counselors to narrow things down,” said Davin. “Classes like Healthcare Core Curriculum covered a lot of important concepts while EMT class was more hands-on with learning about airways, cardiac issues, and patient assessment. I saved thousands of dollars being able to do those classes in high school!”
The classes Davin took often provided hands-on learning experiences, but most importantly, he was able to earn important certifications that would be instrumental to his future. During hybrid learning his junior year, he started the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program with remote days focusing on theory and concepts and in-person days being focused on building skills and real-life applications like helping patients with daily activities and being a patient liaison.
By testing for and achieving his CNA license while still in high school, Davin found himself equipped with a head start on his career with new opportunities ahead of him. During his senior year he took the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class where he was certified in Basic Life Support (BLS) and received incredible experience on his goal of becoming a paramedic.
“I knew I eventually wanted to become a paramedic which is the highest level you can achieve for care outside of a facility,” said Davin. “I was learning how to deal with cardiac arrests, about respiratory issues, moving and lifting, getting folks to the hospital, and being able assess situations and adjust the approach based on symptoms or signs. It was a great way to develop critical thinking.”
Davin also worked on these skills in other ways. After encouragement from a teacher, he joined the Future Health Professionals (HOSA) group at BHS and competed against students from across the state in healthcare assessment and EMT skill competitions.
Another requirement of the EMT course is clinical experience, which Davin completed with the Burnsville Fire Department. Shifts took place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and he tracked all his patient care experiences with a total of ten patient contacts required before being able to test for the license. This experience was invaluable to preparing for his EMT licensure, which he achieved before graduation.
“I hung out at the fire station and would go out on calls,” said Davin. “Sometimes I would just push the stretcher, but by the end of the shifts I was participating more by taking blood glucose levels, helping with lifts, or even doing CPR. I definitely saw that by being a firefighter and a paramedic that I could make a huge impact and really help people.”
Davin graduated in 2022 and is pursuing a paramedic degree and licensure at the South Central Community College in Mankato. The two-year program is tough, but not being one to back down from a challenge, Davin is also training to be a firefighter as part of a residential firefighter program with the Mankato Fire Department. In exchange for living at the fire station, he will complete his training and will work overnight shifts on a two days on, four days off schedule.
Once he graduates from the two-year program and gets some experience in the field, he wants to move back to the Twin Cities area and serve as a firefighter and paramedic, ideally for the Burnsville Fire Department. He is excited to get out in the field and help people as soon as possible.
“This path is how I feel I can do the most good,” said Davin. “With this two-year plan, I will be able to rescue a person from a car and immediately start performing medical care very soon. You have to be able to handle a certain level of blood, guts, and gore in this field, but if you like hands-on learning and helping people, it’s a great thing to explore!”