Junior Bridget Montle balances EMS, equestrian team, nursing

Bridget Montle works as an EMT, while also being a nursing student and riding for the equestrian team. | Photo by Grace DeSanti.

College students oftentimes struggle to create a manageable routine to complete their academic endeavors. Junior nursing student Bridget Montle, however, has been able to balance being a full-time student, with being a member of the University of Rhode Island’s equestrian team and an EMT for Charlestown Rescue.

“The structure of how I have to schedule my days, between having time to get school work done, having time to work full-time, it’s definitely been hard, but I function well under high stress,” Montle said.

Montle has always known she wanted to do something involving medicine, but she had considered a number of options in high school. She first considered being a physician’s assistant, but by the time she was ready to come to URI, she had set her sights on nursing and has not wavered since.

After college, Montle hopes to end up working as a nurse in the emergency department. Montle shared that she has “always been big in pre-hospital medicine” and that she thinks her niche is within emergency medicine.

Montle has been working for South County Hospital as a patient care technician for over two years in express care. Montle shared that she has even piloted a scribe program for the hospital. She explained that her role has been to do “documentation for the physicians while they are in the rooms with the patients so their charts are done by the time we are done,” which she explained was “increasing efficiency and the number of patients seen.”

Beyond that, Montle shared that the hospital just received funding to hire more scribes. However, she will be leaving express care and will be moved to the emergency department to be a student nurse this summer.

Along with the hours she spends in her field, Montle has also been an active member of the Charlestown Rescue department since her junior year of high school as an EMT.

“[She is a] dedicated member, she has great integrity, she’s smart and hardworking,” said Chief of Charlestown Rescue Andrew Kettle.

Kettle said that Montle being an EMT is a “great activity that coincides with her nursing major.”

Montle received her EMT basic training going into freshman year of college, and in December of 2017, she received her EMT cardiac, which she explained is on a “national level, it’s an advanced EMT, so it’s a step below being a paramedic.”

A typical week for Montle starts out on Monday with a 24 hour shift on the rescue for Charlestown Rescue. Along with that, on Tuesday, Montle spends her morning at the Department of Health with the department of Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Here, she looks into whether a new protocol put in place by Charlestown Rescue, as of Jan. 1, 2017, which requires that the EMT stays on site for 30 minutes with a patient in cardiac arrest, has caused a higher percentage of patients getting their pulses back.

In between classes and volunteering for Charlestown Rescue, she has also been a part of the equestrian team at URI since she came in as a freshman. Montle has been riding since she was eight years old and competed at the local level before she continued to ride in college.

Montle will typically spend Wednesday mornings, Friday afternoons and Sunday evenings at the barn riding and helping to clean up and feed the horses.