Paramedicine training is the highest level of emergency medical technician (EMT) instruction available. At the bachelor's degree level, students gain a complementary foundation in science, studying biology, chemistry, and physics. Additionally, they will typically gain management skills, which will prepare them for supervisory roles in the field. Some paramedicine bachelor's degree programs are complete 4-year programs. However, many schools offer paramedicine major completion tracks for paramedics who already possess a 2-year degree. For degree completion programs, associate degree and paramedic license, a drug and background check is required and preparatory classes are necessary for untrained applicants.
Bachelor's Degree in Paramedicine
For colleges that offer bachelor's degree completion programs, you must generally be a licensed paramedic with an associate degree. Untrained applicants to a 4-year paramedicine major are required to submit to a drug and background clearance prior to the professional component. Additionally, before being able to participate in field experiences, new students must generally take preparatory classes in anatomy and physiology and emergency care.
Untrained paramedicine majors are required to participate in numerous hands-on experiences, including labs, internships, and practica. In a program, students learn techniques in patient evaluation and first-response medical treatment by taking such courses as:
- Medication dosages and effects
- Cardiopulmonary life support
- Infant and child crisis care
- Emergency child birth and women's care
- Trauma and disaster support services
- Health care ethics and laws
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Employment of EMTs and paramedics is expected to increase at a rate of 7% from 2018-2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported in May of 2018 that the median annual salary for emergency medical technicians and paramedics was $34,320.
Continuing Education, Certification and Licensing Information
In order to work as a paramedic in the U.S., you must obtain state licensure, which usually includes securing National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (www.nremt.org) Paramedic certification. Generally, licenses and certifications must be renewed every few years. Continuing education courses are usually required to maintain both.
Earning a paramedicine major may be a starting point for an alternative healthcare career. Some paramedics may decide to continue their schooling to become doctors, nurses, or related healthcare workers. Other paramedics may decide to train to become firefighters.
For those interested in becoming paramedics, bachelor's and associate degrees provide coursework and training on related science and management skills. There are a number of related careers for those with paramedicine degrees and ongoing certification is required but varies according to state.