Several community colleges in Massachusetts offer paramedic training and education. Aspiring students could learn through associate's or bachelor's degree programs in emergency medical services management, paramedic technology and paramedicine. Existing paramedics might enroll in individual refresher courses that are presented online. Along with classroom work, program students must complete clinical requirements, laboratory experiences and field internships.
In this article, you'll find an overview of six of the local colleges that offer paramedic training and what courses they offer. Also included is a table that compares each school in order to help students make an informed decision.
Cape Cod Community College
In West Barnstable, Cape Cod Community College offers a Paramedic Certificate program. Applicants must complete a background check and a basic skills assessment, submit high school and college transcripts, submit a copy of current EMT licensing, and attend an information session. Once accepted into the program, students take a 7-credit paramedic course in the fall and an 8-credit course in the spring. The first class goes over shock management, patient assessment, abdominal emergencies, and cardiac emergencies. In the second course, students study adolescent medicine, trauma, gynecology, and geriatrics. Both courses have clinical portions where students work in operating rooms, critical care units, emergency departments, and other settings. Students also take a 3-credit course in human communication.
Greenfield Community College
A Paramedic Certificate program is available at this community college in Greenfield. Lasting 17 months, this program requires students to attend classes 2 evenings each week and 2 Saturdays each month. After the first 11 months of the program, students move from the classroom to field internships and clinical experiences. Admission for this program is considered to be competitive, and the program works on a rolling admission basis.
Massachusetts Bay Community College
Located in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts Bay Community College trains aspiring paramedics through a Certificate in Paramedicine program. Field internships, clinical training, lectures, and laboratory assignments make up the bulk of the program. Students have access to simulation mannequins, ambulance simulators, and other equipment. The 32-credit program can be completed in about a year, with 2 semesters spent on classes and an internship taken during the summer.
Northern Essex Community College
Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill offers a program that results in a Certificate in Paramedic (EMT-P) Technology. Students earn a minimum of 37 credits to graduate. Program curriculum covers topics such as trauma, medical, and cardiovascular emergencies; pharmacology; and cardiac life support. Students also learn about pediatric life support and neonatal resuscitation. In addition, students take classes on human biology, anatomy and physiology, and English composition.
Quinsigamond Community College
Located in Worcester, Quinsigamond Community College has an EMT Paramedic Certificate program and an associate in science program in paramedic technology available. The certificate program takes 4 semesters to complete, while the degree program requires 5 semesters. The certificate program requires clinical and field placements, along with courses in patient assessment, advanced pre-hospital care, pediatric emergencies, and cardiology support. Students in the associate degree program take the same courses while also taking classes covering topics such as psychology, communication, microcomputer applications, and English composition. Electives are also available in the associate degree program.
Students in Springfield can gain EMT-paramedic training through the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Emergency Medical Services Management program at this college. The 120 credit hours necessary to graduate consist of major requirements, general education courses, and elective options. The program requires 40 to 46 credits in course topics such as business, accounting, psychology, human resources management, and anatomy and physiology. Major requirements in this program include advanced life support, system status management, emergency facilities and vehicles design, search and rescue management, EMS career planning, and other topics. Students also work on a final senior project and participate in a field internship.
After first meeting the requirements to become an EMT (emergency medical technician), Massachusetts requires prospective paramedics to complete a paramedic training program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Paramedics have to periodically take continuing education refresher courses to maintain their state license. The six schools presented below all have paramedic programs that have been approved by the state of Massachusetts and lead to certification by the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT).
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Paramedic Training Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Cape Cod Community College||2-year, public; small city||Paramedic Certificate|| $175.50 per credit hour for residents,
$381.50 per credit hour for non-residents**
|Greenfield Community College||2-year, public; distant town||Paramedic Certificate||$7,788 certificate program cost**|
|Massachusetts Bay Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Certificate in Paramedicine|| $184 per credit for residents,
$390 per credit for non-resident**
|Northern Essex Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Certificate in Paramedic (EMT-P) Technology|| $25 per credit tuition for in-state residents,
$38 per credit tuition for New England regional residents,
$266 per credit tuition for non-residents**
|Quinsigamond Community College||2-year, public; midsize city|| EMT Paramedic Certificate,
Associate in Science in Paramedic Technology
| $5,302 in-state
|Springfield College||4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city||BS in Emergency Medical Services Management||$34,455*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator, **Schools' Websites.