South Carolina-based students interested in paramedic training have more than a few schools from which they may receive their training. Individuals should note that some programs already require EMT-Basic or EMT-Intermediate certification before applying. Other schools have entry-level programs that provide all levels of EMT training, including the paramedic level. Programs lead to the award of certificates and associate degrees and all include practicum or clinical requirements.
Aiken Technical College
Graniteville's Aiken Technical College provides an entry-level paramedic associate degree program. Students take courses like EMT-Basic, pharmacology and advanced emergency care. Several internships and clinical experiences are required.
Greenville Technical College
This school in Greenville offers an associate degree in emergency medical technology. This program is offered in a day or evening format and requires students to complete 68 credit hours. Because the program is entry-level, students don't need to have prior EMT-Basic certification. The first semester covers basic emergency care topics, and the other 4 semesters include courses in paramedic skills and advanced medical care. Clinical experiences and internships will be required. Another educational option at this school is post-initial paramedic training. This is a continuing education program, and it is intended for certified paramedics who want to complete refresher courses in EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and advanced life support.
Horry-Georgetown Technical College
Located in Conway, this college has an EMT-Paramedic certificate program that is available to students who have already have EMT-Basic certification. This 37-credit program takes 3 semesters to complete. Each semester, students take a paramedic internship and courses like electrocardiography and cardiac life support.
Students who don't have any EMT certifications may opt to complete the Associate in Applied Science in EMT. Students complete all levels of EMT training. The 5-semester program integrates didactic courses, clinical experiences and field internships. Certified paramedics who want to earn this associate's degree can choose to go through an advanced placement program.
Midlands Technical College
This college in West Columbia has a 200-hour EMT Basic course. Applicants to the program must have a high school diploma or GED, and must have a score of at least 3 on each section of the WorkKeys assessment.
Spartanburg Community College
Students at this school in Spartanburg can pursue paramedic certificate or associate degree programs. The certificate option requires students to already have EMT-Basic certification and requires at least 40 credits of coursework. Paramedic internships, clinical experiences and advanced care courses are required. The entry-level Associate in Applied Science program teaches students about basic emergency care, so they do not need EMT certification for admission. The associate degree program includes a capstone course, paramedic clinical experiences and field internships.
Trident Technical College
Trident Technical College in Charleston offers a 36-credit paramedic certificate program for students who already have EMT-Basic certification. Students learn about advanced life support techniques and participate in paramedic internships. An advanced placement EMT program lets certified paramedics earn an associate degree. The program has 77 semester hours of coursework like trauma life support and advanced clinical experiences.
Those with no prior EMT certification may earn an EMT Associate in Applied Science degree. Applicants to this program will need to shadow licensed paramedics for 12 hours. The associate's degree program has courses in basic emergency care, anatomy and electrocardiography. Paramedic internships and clinical rotations are also required.
York Technical College
Located in Rock Hill, this college provides an EMT Basic course through its continuing education department. Classes are available in daytime, evening and online blended formats. This course covers CPR training and patient assessment among other topics.
In order to become a paramedic in the state, students need to be certified by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. This is achieved by passing background checks, getting licensed and having Basic Life Support (BLS) and CPR certifications. Students must also pass the paramedic National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exams. In order to become eligible for the NREMT exams, aspiring paramedics need to pass an approved paramedic program and already have EMT-Basic certification. Certification is maintained through continuing education and additional exams, though some qualifying individuals may be exempt from examinations.
With the exception of Trident Technical College and Spartanburg Community College, all the schools state that their programs prepare for licensure exams.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Paramedic Training Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Aiken Technical College||2-year, public; fringe rural||Associate in Applied Science in Paramedic General Technology|| $4,352 (in-district)*
|Greenville Technical College||2-year, public; small city|| Emergency Medical Technology Associate in Applied Science,
Post-Initial Paramedic Training
| $4,224 (in-district)*
|Horry-Georgetown Technical College||2-year, public; small city|| EMT-Paramedic Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Technology
| $3,960 (in-district)*
|Midlands Technical College||2-year, public; large suburb||EMT Course||$1,159 (for the course)**|
|Spartanburg Community College||2-year, public; midsize suburb|| Paramedic Certificate
Associate in Applied Science in Paramedic General Technology
| $4,192 (in-district)*
|Trident Technical College||2-year, public; small city|| Paramedic Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Technology
| $4,039 (in-district)*
|York Technical College||2-year, public; small city||EMT Basic Course||N/A|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Midlands Technical College.