Paramedic Courses – Course Requirements for Paramedics
To become a paramedic, an individual must fulfill prescribed paramedic courses by a credentialing agency to practice out-of-hospital medicine under the direction of a competent medical professional. Paramedics are instrumental in reducing mortality rates of injured patients by providing assessment and appropriate medical care.
Below is a basic outline of a comprehensive classroom and clinical paramedic requirements in most states for becoming a paramedic. After completion of state approved paramedic certification, graduates may apply for National Registry Certification and subsequent state licensure as a Paramedic.
According to the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, paramedic courses must meet the below criteria:
Successful completion of a state-approved Paramedic course that meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Paramedic National Standard Curriculum. You must have completed the course within the past two years. Your Program Director must verify your successful completion of the course on the NREMT web site.
If your initial Paramedic educational program was completed more than two years ago and you have maintained state licensure at the Paramedic level, you must submit documentation verifying completion of a Paramedic refresher training program within the past two years. If your initial Paramedic education program was completed more than two years ago and you never gained state licensure at the Paramedic level, you must complete an entire state-approved Paramedic course prior to applying for certification.
Paramedic Course Components
The didactic phase of the paramedic certification must consist of roughly 458 hours of lecture, laboratory, and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). In addition, students must complete several certifications that may not part of the state approved course curriculum. These include Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) or Pediatric Education for Pre-hospital Professionals (PEPP), International Trauma Life Support (ITLS) or Pre-hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS).
- EMS Systems/Roles and Responsibilities of the Paramedic
- General Principals of Pathophysiology
- Well-Being of the Paramedic
- Medical and Legal Issues
- Illness and Injury Prevention
- Life Span Development
- Venous Access and Medical Admin
- Therapeutic Communications
- Airway Management and Ventilation
- History Taking and Techniques of Physical Exam
- Clinical Decision Making
- Patient Assessment
- Trauma Systems/Mechanism of Injury
- Hemorrhage and Shock
- Musculoskeletal Trauma
- Head and Facial Trauma
- Spinal Trauma
- Thoracic Trauma
- Abdominal Trauma
- Soft Tissue
- Allergies and Anaphylaxis
- Environmental Conditions
- Infections and Communicable Disease
- Behavioral and Psychiatric Disorders
- Abuse and Assault
- Patients with Special Challenges
- Acute Interventions for the Chronic Care Patient
- Ambulance Operations
- Medical Incident Command
- Rescue Awareness and Operations
- Hazardous Materials Incidents
- Crime and Scene Awareness
- Bleeding Control/Shock Management
- Dual Lumen Airway Device
- Dynamic Cardiology
- Intravenous Therapy
- Patient Assessment Medical
- Patient Assessment Trauma
- Pediatric Introsseous Infusion
- Pediatric (<2 years.)
- Ventilatory Management
- Spinal Immobilization (seated Patient)
- Spinal Immobilization (Supine Patient)
- Static Cardiology
- Ventilatory Management – Adult
This section of training consists of roughly 40 hours of observation in specialty areas, such as, recovery room, pediatrics, morgue, labor/delivery, respiratory, operating, among other areas. This portion of the training may require fees paid to the observation site which are not included in the tuition fees.
A total of roughly 160 hours must be spent in the emergency department following the specialty clinical observation requirements. This portion of the training may require fees paid to the observation site which are not included in the tuition fees.
The field internship includes experience monitoring an advanced life support (ALS) unit – this provides expanded patient care responsibilities for the student. Students will perform a minimum of 480 hours of field internship, and a minimum of 40 ALSpatient contacts. During this phase of training, the student moves from observer to team leader. At least half of the ALS contacts will be a full continuum of care. Upon successful completion of this portion of training, the student will receive a Certificate of Completion.