Paramedic Graduate Plans to Share Education in Japan

Published 08.05.2006


Masumi YasudaAmong the students graduating Saturday from Pennsylvania College of Technology is a woman who temporarily left a nursing career in Japan to come to the United States and improve her English and pre-hospital skills.

Masumi Yasuda, who earned a degree in paramedic technology and received the Paramedic Humanitarian Award for demonstrating traits and behaviors of a humanitarian, was a nurse in Japan for five years.

"When I was a nurse, I loved to communicate with patients," she said.

She enjoyed talking with them and making them feel comfortable; however, she found when she had contact with patients who spoke English, she was unable to converse with them.

"I saw I needed to study English, so that's why I came to the United States," Yasuda said.

She started her U.S. education in the Philadelphia area, where she got a better handle on conversational English. She had thought that, if she had an opportunity for further study, she would take nursing courses. But she found that nursing education in the United States was similar to that in Japan, while pre-hospital services in her home country are still developing to reach the level of what is available in the United States.

She seized the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience that she can share with people in Japan and to challenge herself in what she felt was her limitation as a nurse: emergency care.

"That is my weak point, so if I have a chance to get higher education (in that area), that?s a great opportunity to improve myself," she said.

Yasuda believes Penn College's paramedic program has helped her to improve her weaknesses. After working in the paramedic field to gain more experience, she plans to return to Japan.

She looked for paramedic programs in Pennsylvania and nearby states and said there were not many, and some didn't welcome international students. But at Penn College, she felt at home and followed her first impressions, despite her family questioning why she would leave Philadelphia because most big cities have a good university for the "countryside."

"My first impression (of Penn College) was great," Yasuda said. "I believe my first impression, and, yes, my first impression was right."

She also felt comforted by the support she received from the college's International Programs Office and from her faculty and classmates in the paramedic program, which is accustomed to international students.

Among Yasuda's many experiences was volunteering to offer emergency medical service at the Little League World Series in 2005, when the team representing Japan hailed from a city in which she had lived and worked for five years.

"Now (Penn College) is kind of my second home, and I made a lot of friends here," she said.

For more information about the programs offered by the School of Health Sciences at Penn College, call (570) 327-4519, send e-mail or visit online.