Student finds time to help

Erin Fowler, Staff Writer

Those who help others can be found in many places, even among UPJ students.

Jordan Creany, a senior Biology and Chemistry student also holds a full time position as a paramedic at the East Hills and Jackson Township EMS departments.

Creany started his career as a volunteer fire fighter in 2004 and began to become interested in medicine as he continued to work.

“Curiosity steered me toward medicine,” he said.

He started as a first responder and eventually worked his way to a paramedic by completing a one-year Allied Health program at Conemaugh Memorial Hospital, which he said is equivalent to a year and a half of college.

Paramedics can administer 30 kinds of medications and interventions, including a tube to assist breathing, something emergency medical technicians and nurses cannot do.

However, balancing a full-time job and a full-time college courseload can be difficult.

“Sometimes it is challenging, but I can get a lot of work done at work. We can do whatever we want after calls and chores,” Creany said.

A typical weekend can consist of long shifts, with some lasting from Friday night into Sunday. Despite long shifts, he said, his time-management skills have improved.

Creany is interviewing for medical school admission, and hopes to be accepted to the University of Pittsburgh’s school next year.

However, entrance into medical school is competitive, said biology prfessor and Pre-Professional Committee Chairman Dennis McNair.

“Admissions committees look first at a combination of overall grade-point average, science and math grade-point average, and Medical College Aptitude Test scores.

“If students make the cut, committees then look at student application essays, letters of recommendation and a variety of other criteria,” McNair said.

Over the last 10 years, 36 UPJ students have applied to medical schools and 33 have been accepted, McNair said.

Despite his current job as a paramedic, he is shying away from emergency medicine as a career and hopes to pursue either cardiology or neurology.

“It’s always going to be a part of me,” Creany said of his current job.