A 4-year paramedic bachelor's degree program consists of an extensive internship program involving many hours of field experience, as well as work in hospitals and the classroom. Some programs offer training to beginners, but others require that applicants already hold the EMT-Basic certification. All enrollees must hold a high school diploma or equivalent. Due to the extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology required to be a professional paramedic, a background in these subjects is beneficial.
Students can expect to spend time working along with other trained paramedics and gaining experience with actual patients. This discipline is often referred to as pre-hospital medicine because paramedics and EMTs treat patients on-site and in an ambulance before the patient reaches the hospital.
Interested students may pursue further training in certain treatment specialties or prepare to enter graduate degree programs in a related field, such as medicine.
Paramedic Bachelor's Degree
Some paramedic programs incorporate general education into the first two years; if transfer credits apply, then these courses are not necessarily required. The goal is to give students experience working with medical professionals in a hospital, a classroom, and out on the streets. Here are some examples of courses that might be offered:
- Basic healthcare
- Life support-cardiac and pediatric
- Medical emergencies
- Emergency medicine
- Emergency behaviors
- Pre-hospital life support
- Clinical experience
Career Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics in the country is expected to go up 24% for the 2014-2024 decade. EMTs and paramedics made a median annual wage of $31,980 as of May 2015.
Paramedics can receive further training in disaster response, poison and drug overdose treatments as well as air medical training, where they perform their duties in a helicopter or plane. Through a residency program, students can work with trained professionals in an emergency room (ER) setting to train for possible ER positions. Depending on how in-depth the student wants to go, there are also options of going to medical school to become a doctor.
Paramedic bachelor's degree programs provide relevant instruction in the pre-hospital care of medical conditions requiring an urgent response. Students are constantly exposed to emergency settings through internships, which prepare them for licensure exams and advanced studies.