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EMT Schools in Philadelphia with Program Overviews

Research emergency medical technician (EMT) training classes in Philadelphia, which currently has six institutions offering programs. Read an overview of courses, admission info and program requirements for three schools within 30 miles of downtown and decide which program is right for you.

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Philadelphia, PA, Schools with EMT Programs

Students who want to study to become EMTs near Philadelphia have a number of schools from which to choose. This article profiles three that are within 35 minutes of the city center and the courses, certificates and associate degree programs they offer. There is a table of data about each school, such as enrollment, tuition and campus setting, arranged in a format that makes it simple for individuals to compare these institutions.

  • Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University offers an EMT-Basic course as well as a paramedic training program. This school is in the heart of downtown Philly.
  • Students can take an EMT-Basic course at Villanova University, about 13 miles from downtown.
  • At Delaware County Community College (DCCC), 26 miles from downtown Philly, an EMT certificate of competency is available, along with an associate's degree in paramedic-advanced life support.

Thomas Jefferson University

EMT training classes affiliated with Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals are provided by JeffSTAT (an organization that serves the Philadelphia area in medical transportation) AHA (American Heart Association) education services, and emergency medical services (EMS) training. Accreditation for the JeffSTAT Education Center is provided by both the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the American Heart Association.

EMT - Basic Course

The EMT - Basic course requires the completion of more than 250 hours of curriculum and includes lectures, skills practice, and clinical hours completed in the field. Students learn life-saving skills such as the administration of oxygen to patients, splinting and bandaging, and patient assessment. Prerequisites for students include a minimum age of 18 years, a background check, and the completion of a timed reading comprehension exam. Following the completion of the course, students are eligible to sit for the National Registry of EMTs psychomotor skills practical exam and the state-issued written exam. Once a student passes both tests, certification as an EMT will be issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Course costs are estimated to be about $2,000 for in-state students. The EMT class is available in three formats: day, evening, and hybrid. Students enrolling in the hybrid class must be at least 21 years old and have access to the internet via a home computer.

Paramedic Program

The paramedic program takes nearly a year to complete for students attending full-time. A part-time program is also available, requiring approximately 18 months to complete. Coursework expands upon the basic skills learned as an EMT and includes the administration of intravenous fluids and medications, cardiology, and medical emergency and trauma management. Students applying to the program must be currently certified as an EMT - Basic in Pennsylvania, have completed certain academic requirements (college level English, math, two levels of anatomy and physiology classes), and have current health insurance. The program includes about 526 hours of didactic instruction, 400 hours of clinical experience at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital's Level 1 Trauma Center, and a 240- to 400-hour field internship with Philadelphia Fire Rescue and surrounding providers. The paramedic program costs about $11,550 for in-state students.

Villanova University

The EMT training course available at Villanova University is provided by the school's emergency medical services group. The EMS organization is student-run and volunteer-based. The class is periodically offered in cooperation with the Montgomery County Department of Emergency Services, which co-sponsors the course and provides licensed instructors to teach the classes on campus at Villanova University.

EMT Basic Course

The price of the EMT - Basic class offered by Villanova University's EMS is approximately $350 and includes costs associated with learning materials and the insurance coverage required for field training. An additional $10 fee will be collected the first night of class for a background check. Following the completion of the class, students are eligible to take the certification exams required by the State of Pennsylvania to become licensed EMTs. There are no prerequisites for the class; it is open to all applicants, though availability may vary, and preference is given to volunteers awaiting certification.

Delaware County Community College

DCCC offers two programs related to the field of EMS: an EMT certificate program and an Associate of Applied Science, Paramedic - Advanced Life Support program. Both are provided by the Division of Allied Health, Emergency Services, and Nursing. DCCC has been accredited by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of EMS as an EMS Training Institute.

EMT - Basic Certificate of Competency Program

The basic certificate program for EMTs requires the completion of two classes, earning a total of 12 credit hours. Skills acquired through the program include patient assessment, transportation, and medical treatment en route to a hospital or medical center. Students taking the EMS 100 - Emergency Medical Technician course must complete ten patient assessments in the field before program end. Certification as an EMT - Basic is a prerequisite for education as a paramedic.

Associate of Applied Science, Paramedic - Advanced Life Support

The paramedic degree program offered by DCCC takes about three years to complete. The A.A.S. program requires the completion of a total of 67-70 credit hours, 40 of which apply to EMS core classes. Students must earn a grade 'C' or better in all core classes. Prerequisites for the program must be met by the end of the second (fall) semester and include a minimum age requirement of 18 years, current certification as an EMT - Basic in Pennsylvania, and the submission of cleared background and child abuse background checks. Students are eligible to sit for the National Registry of EMTs paramedic certification exam following the completion of all EMS core classes and eight credit hours in physiology and anatomy.

Comparison of Schools

Aspiring EMTs need to consider many factors when choosing a school for their training. This table contains important information about these three institutions.

Thomas Jefferson University Villanova University Delaware County Community College
School Type Private, not-for-profit, 4-year Private, not-for-profit, 4-year Public, 2-year
Total Enrollment (Fall 2011) 3,708* 10,661* 13,248*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2011-2012) $32,159 for all students* $41,110 for all students* $4,330 for in-district students, $7,450 for in-state students, $10,570 for out-of-state students*
% of Students Receiving Grants or Scholarships (2010-2011) 41%* 52%* 51%*
Acceptance Rate N/A - data not available 44% in Fall 2011* N/A - open admissions policy
Retention Rate (From Fall 2010 to Fall 2011) N/A - data not available 94% for full-time students, 100% for part-time students* 63% for full-time students, 48% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (Students began Fall 2005) 70% overall* 90% overall* 14% overall, 24% transfer-out (students began Fall 2008)*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics' (NCES) College Navigator.

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