boli

Contingency Plans

12 posts in this topic

I know it's still "early" in the cycle for applications, but I applied to 7 schools and have received one rejection and nothing from the others. I'm reaching a point where  the reality that I might not get in this cycle is starting to set in and I need to start thinking about contingency plans...

A little background for context- I am a non-traditional student who will be graduating with a biology degree in December. When I originally went to school (10 ish years ago) I didn't do well (33 credits of 0.0) but since going back to school in 2013 I have 140ish credits of 3.6+. Unfortunately the old credits drop my cum GPA to roughly a 2.89. Thus my conundrum. I'm an EMT, worked for several years in the ER as a tech and now work in cardiology reading EKGs. It pays very well but frankly it's boring, overnights, and I don't particularly love it or feel actualized. 

Assuming that I don't get in this cycle I see a couple routes to progress and I want your opinion of them....

a) take post bac classes at the university to try and raise GPA while working in cards. The major downside to this I see is that if I don't get in NEXT cycle too, I haven't done much to further my station or career and spent a lot more money. Also, we have a baby on the way so finances and time (for child care) are real concerns.

b) take paramedic classes. The major downside with this choice is that paramedicine jobs in my area are god aweful unless you want to work for the fire department. Many of my coworkers in cards are former paramedics so again, doesn't really further my career (at least locally). 

c) enroll in a program like RT or surgical tech. This would give me plenty of credits and some career mobility but to be honest I don't love either career option more than my current job and I'd be taking a pay cut to work as an RT or Surg Tech. Furthermore, they might not accept transfer credits from my bachelors so a lot of classes would be repeats.

d) do a 1 year accelerated RN program. This option is enticing but expensive and I DO NOT want to be a nurse so it would not be a terminal degree. I also probably couldn't work very much while in nursing school.

e) apply to some other graduate program in anatomy, biology, chemistry etc. I don't like lab work and have no interest in research so this would be solely for the credits. 

F) some other plan of action.

 

sorry for the long post I just don't really know where to proceed in the event I don't get in this cycle. Thanks in advance!

TLDR VERSION: everyone says to improve your application if you don't get in but in my case I don't know exactly how to proceed with bettering my app. I don't really want to take post-bac undergrad classes and spend more money solely to raise my GPA ever so slightly. I want to keep working in medicine for HCE but don't want a huge pay cut. 

 

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Does the hospital where you work accept anyone as a cath lab tech without being an RN? I was an EKG tech and a lot of my coworkers were also paramedics that were able to do a quick certification through an online program to become a certified cath lab tech. I don't know exactly what their wages were but it was much more than the EKG techs but still less than the RN's who worked in the cath lab. But some hospitals only hire RNs to be in the cath lab. It seemed to be pretty good money especially if you are ok taking call time. This might help you advance a little with another PCE job but also take some post bac classes on the side? Just a thought but maybe not an option.

Echo tech might also be another avenue but I don't know if you want to keep doing cardiology stuff. I don't know what the echo programs require but it might also give you some good science courses to boost GPA but have a higher paying job with the opportunity to take call and make more. Where I worked they rotated through outpatient echo appointments and echos on the floor.

I know you said you don't want to be a nurse, but honestly they have so many options on where they can work. I also didn't want to be a nurse but I can't deny how many job options they have.

Just throwing out ideas :)

 

 

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2 hours ago, pastudentw said:

Does the hospital where you work accept anyone as a cath lab tech without being an RN? I was an EKG tech and a lot of my coworkers were also paramedics that were able to do a quick certification through an online program to become a certified cath lab tech. I don't know exactly what their wages were but it was much more than the EKG techs but still less than the RN's who worked in the cath lab. But some hospitals only hire RNs to be in the cath lab. It seemed to be pretty good money especially if you are ok taking call time. This might help you advance a little with another PCE job but also take some post bac classes on the side? Just a thought but maybe not an option.

Echo tech might also be another avenue but I don't know if you want to keep doing cardiology stuff. I don't know what the echo programs require but it might also give you some good science courses to boost GPA but have a higher paying job with the opportunity to take call and make more. Where I worked they rotated through outpatient echo appointments and echos on the floor.

I know you said you don't want to be a nurse, but honestly they have so many options on where they can work. I also didn't want to be a nurse but I can't deny how many job options they have.

Just throwing out ideas :)

 

 

Definitely good ideas, thanks! Our Cath Lab techs are not required to be RNs but are required to be AART (radiology tech) certified which is a 21ish month program. That's definitely an option but would require an extended commitment both fiscally and time wise. Like you said, it's hard to argue with the options nurses have but I would definitely be kicking myself for getting an entire BS of Biology before enrolling in RN school

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On 9/22/2017 at 3:54 PM, ilygurlie said:
Are you possibly just applying to the wrong schools? Whats your science gpa? 

Definitely possible. I tried to identify schools that evaluated holistically but admittedly the programs I applied to are "good schools" on paper. Its hard to find programs that have a min gpa below 3.0cum. I applied to Duke, medex, atsu, pacific, Missouri state, Utah, Idaho state and I'm planning on applying to south in TN after I graduate in the fall. My sGPA is a 3.2 as some of those classes from way back were science classes. My GRE is 159v 155q 4.5w and I have 6000+ hours hce, buckets of volunteer experience and several leadership positions. I feel like with the exception of those grades I'm a good applicant on paper.

Edited to reflect accurate GPA after looking it up

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I'm partial towards either taking post-bacc classes (for the sake of bumping up your cumulative to at least a 3.0 to increase the number of programs you can apply to) or entering a science-related graduate program (to show that you can handle graduate-level work). However, I could be wrong in estimating how many credits of A's with the first option you would need to reach a solid 3.0. Have you calculated this? Do you know if you could reach a 3.0 in a year?

I would also try my best to really research and apply to more "lesser known" programs to increase your odds of getting in (whether it be due to less number of applicants or having many students ultimately giving up their spot for a different program).  Maybe try avoiding wildly popular locations?

I personally think your quality of PCE is fine and there's no need to really branch out unless you feel compelled to. If you can't stand the thought of being a nurse and making little income while in nursing school, definitely avoid that route.

I'm not seeing anything on your post really detailing the type of applicant you are other than your GPA and PCE. Make sure you really try to compensate for your GPA by being an exemplary candidate in all other aspects (personal statement, letters of rec, GRE, volunteering, leadership, HCE). Play on and really emphasize on your outstanding qualities and apply to programs that are looking for people like you.

Like you said, it's still early in the cycle. This advice may (I hope) become totally unnecessary. If it turns out that you need to apply again next cycle, I highly recommend contacting the schools you applied to and getting their input. Some will be happy to help you analyze your application. Also, try attending open houses so program directors can match your face with your name should you apply. AND APPLY VERY EARLY.

Good luck!

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Of the options presented: go with A.

I know you don't WANT to take classes solely to raise your GPA but unfortunately sometimes you have to play the numbers game when applying.

Your other options leave you spending money for OTHER careers which may or may not improve your GPA and don't leave you any more satisfied in your career than you currently are - so why bother?  Take post bacc classes on your schedule and find science courses that interest you and/or will be helpful in the long run and make the best of it.

Make sure you're applying to schools where you'll be competitive.  Just because programs have stated minimums below 3.0 unfortunately doesn't guarantee that your GPA will get you past the threshold of having your app reviewed.  (i.e Duke may not have a minimum listed but they do state that a competitive applicant profile will have a GPA of 3.5-3.8 based on recently accepted students....)

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4 hours ago, LadyNichiavelli said:

I'm partial towards either taking post-bacc classes (for the sake of bumping up your cumulative to at least a 3.0 to increase the number of programs you can apply to) or entering a science-related graduate program (to show that you can handle graduate-level work). However, I could be wrong in estimating how many credits of A's with the first option you would need to reach a solid 3.0. Have you calculated this? Do you know if you could reach a 3.0 in a year?

I would also try my best to really research and apply to more "lesser known" programs to increase your odds of getting in (whether it be due to less number of applicants or having many students ultimately giving up their spot for a different program).  Maybe try avoiding wildly popular locations?

I personally think your quality of PCE is fine and there's no need to really branch out unless you feel compelled to. If you can't stand the thought of being a nurse and making little income while in nursing school, definitely avoid that route.

I'm not seeing anything on your post really detailing the type of applicant you are other than your GPA and PCE. Make sure you really try to compensate for your GPA by being an exemplary candidate in all other aspects (personal statement, letters of rec, GRE, volunteering, leadership, HCE). Play on and really emphasize on your outstanding qualities and apply to programs that are looking for people like you.

Like you said, it's still early in the cycle. This advice may (I hope) become totally unnecessary. If it turns out that you need to apply again next cycle, I highly recommend contacting the schools you applied to and getting their input. Some will be happy to help you analyze your application. Also, try attending open houses so program directors can match your face with your name should you apply. AND APPLY VERY EARLY.

Good luck!

It's mathematically possible to reach a 3.0 cum by end of Spring Semester 2018 but not practically so. It would require an A in every class including Org II w/ Lab and Biochem w/ Lab. I'm no slouch of a student but while working full time and involved in all my other extracurriculars I wouldn't be surprised to pull a B or two. In reality it would most likely require the utilization of some summer classes to reach and solidify a 3.0 cum, which would preclude me from applying early. I didn't really go into the details of my application because I guess I didn't find them relevant to my plan moving forward. The only major weakness I see on my application are my grades from 10 years ago which drag down my cum. I know my letters were great, I have (what I consider) good PCE, my GRE is solid (314 composite), I'm involved in the community and leadership roles etc etc. I'm graduating Magna Cum Laude from my University this Fall, my essay was solid etc etc. Not to mention that I applied and submitted well before June. 

Should I be rejected across the board this cycle I will definitely contact the schools and get their feedback! I appreciate the advice. I'm probably just having a mid-cycle anxiety attack and need to be patient to see how things shake out. 

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3 hours ago, MT2PA said:

Of the options presented: go with A.

I know you don't WANT to take classes solely to raise your GPA but unfortunately sometimes you have to play the numbers game when applying.

Your other options leave you spending money for OTHER careers which may or may not improve your GPA and don't leave you any more satisfied in your career than you currently are - so why bother?  Take post bacc classes on your schedule and find science courses that interest you and/or will be helpful in the long run and make the best of it.

Make sure you're applying to schools where you'll be competitive.  Just because programs have stated minimums below 3.0 unfortunately doesn't guarantee that your GPA will get you past the threshold of having your app reviewed.  (i.e Duke may not have a minimum listed but they do state that a competitive applicant profile will have a GPA of 3.5-3.8 based on recently accepted students....)

That's kind of what I was leaning towards too, however reluctant I am to throw thousands of dollars at a university to play a numbers game. Would taking a bunch of classes at a community college post-bac be in bad taste? Obviously wouldn't take major science classes there but it's MUCH cheaper and locally they do quarters instead of semesters which could mean more classes per calendar year

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14 minutes ago, boli said:

That's kind of what I was leaning towards too, however reluctant I am to throw thousands of dollars at a university to play a numbers game. Would taking a bunch of classes at a community college post-bac be in bad taste? Obviously wouldn't take major science classes there but it's MUCH cheaper and locally they do quarters instead of semesters which could mean more classes per calendar year

It would definitely not be in bad taste at all. A lot of people do this and that's actually exactly what I did after I got my Bachelor's. Nothing wrong with saving money to reach the same outcome.

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22 hours ago, EmergencyMedicine said:

" If you want to take the island, burn the boats"

Eh, thanks for the advice Tony. I get what you're saying but the boats have been burned already. Just debating campaign strategy at this point. 

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