Spotlight: Daniel Cavin
Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Director of Paramedic Education, IHM Academy of EMS
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised here in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri to Dennis and Cindy Cavin. I was the youngest of three with an eldest brother, Scott, and sister, Meghan. My parents have since divorced, but we all still have a very close knit relationship that is vital to all of us. I am married to my beautiful wife, Stacy, who gave me a lovely daughter, Ariya Shae Cavin.
Before I met Stacy, I graduated college with a degree in Biology from Truman State University, eyeing Veterinary Medicine, but eventually followed in my father’s foot steps and became a Paramedic. This led to a desire to help in the classroom, eventually teach, and then finally, lead the program.
I find that I enjoy spending free time playing ice hockey with my brother and brother-in-law as well as attending the gym, playing video games, and watching movies with my family.
How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved?
I have technically been involved in EMS since I was a small child since I spent a lot of time around the fire department with my father. I have been licensed as an EMT since 2006, and as a Paramedic since 2007.
I worked on the road for several years full time, as well as working in an industrial pharmaceutical plant as an on-call Paramedic, until my best friend coaxed me in to teaching a Medical Terminology class with my Biology background. One thing led to another and I became a full time instructor, clinical coordinator, and eventually Program Director. I find less time in the classroom now that I drive a desk, but I still enjoy putting the pieces together for the program to function as a whole.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy getting to shape the lives of future Paramedics by constantly striving to better the program with new and upcoming evidence-based medicine. At times this is a challenge, but it is quite rewarding to look around at local municipalities and see that many of them are staffed with former students of this program. That in itself is deeply satisfying.
What is your biggest professional challenge?
Keeping current with upcoming changes while not being able to utilize those changes/skills in the field. Knowing the information is often just half of the battle—the other half is applying that information in the field with patients. I entrust my instructors to help me navigate that portion, which makes for a well rounded team, but it still is something that’s constantly a struggle for me.
What is your typical day like?
Balancing corporate structure and communications with the needs of the students on a day to day basis. Emails, conference calls, assisting my instructors in the lab or for AHA classes occasionally, meetings to ensure efficiency and fluency in new topics that need to be passed on, answering clinical questions, dealing with clinical sites, and the balancing act of trying to get the behind the scenes work done while also being available for any student or instructor concerns or questions.