Kristen Magpuri finds her calling at Miramar College

May 6, 2016 | San Diego Community College District

It was Kristen Magpuri’s life-changing moment. 

Magpuri, then a biology student at UC Irvine, was wrapping up a lunch visit with her mom and a younger brother when a man in the restaurant parking lot suddenly fell to the ground while suffering a cardiac arrest. The event convinced Magpuri to enroll at Miramar College’s Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program “so I could do more to help someone if a similar situation were to happen in the future,” she said.

That was three years ago. Magpuri has not only earned a EMT certificate from Miramar since then, but she also works as an EMT trainer who assists instructors at the college. She also works as a paramedic, and is planning to earn a master’s degree en route toward becoming an emergency room physician’s assistant.

“I enjoy helping people,” Magpuri said. “Miramar College helped me find and fuel my passion.”

Magpuri enrolled at UC Irvine to study biology after graduating from Mount Carmel High School, but she said she was unsure of what career path she wanted to follow. That changed when she witnessed the man suffering a cardiac arrest. Magpuri talked to the man and did what she could in tending to him, but did not know CPR and was unable to provide more help.

She decided to pursue a career in health care. And after earning her degree from UC Irvine a year later, she enrolled in the Miramar College EMT program. Just one semester later, Magpuri had an EMT program certificate, passed an exam to become a certified EMT, and found a job as an EMT with Pacific Ambulance in San Diego.

That was followed with a year in college to become a paramedic, a position she now holds with American Medical Response. Magpuri, 24, hopes to begin her master’s program in physician assistant studies next year, and will begin applying to various programs soon.

Meanwhile, Magpuri is sold on Miramar College, where both her brothers also are graduates of the EMT program.

“The instructors and everyone on that campus is there for you,” she said. “They explain their experiences in the field, they let you know what to do and what not to do. And they’re very humble and willing to help the students as much as they can.”

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