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Paramedic and EMT Training in Sacramento with Program Overviews

The Sacramento area has five schools that offer emergency medical technician (EMT) and paramedic programs. Learn about the training programs, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools, all within 25 miles of downtown, and make an informed education decision.

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Sacramento Schools with Paramedic and EMT Training Programs

Students looking for EMT and paramedic training in the Sacramento area have a few options. This article looks at three schools that are no more than half an hour from downtown and at the programs they offer. Facts that are pertinent to prospective students, such as school size, tuition, and the campus setting, are presented in a table at the end of the article.

  • California State University - Sacramento is just five miles from the city center and offers both a basic EMT course and an EMT-Paramedic training program.
  • Paramedic associate degree and certificate programs can be found at American River College, 11 miles from downtown.
  • Sierra College, about 23 miles from downtown Sacramento in the town of Rocklin, offers EMT training, first responder training and paramedic preparation courses.

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Comparison of Schools

Aspiring paramedic and EMT students should consider many factors when choosing a school for their training. They can use the following table to compare important aspects of these three institutions.

California State University - Sacramento American River College Sierra College
School Type 4-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017)* 31,255 31,858 18,221
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large suburb
Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)* $7,204 in-state
$19,084 out-of-state
$1,104 in-state
$8,208 out-of-state
$1,142 in-state
$6,214 out-of-state
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 84% 73% 56%
Acceptance Rate (2017)* 68% N/A Open enrollment N/A Open enrollment
Retention Rate (2017)* 83% full-time, 66% part-time 70% full-time, 50% part-time 72% full-time, 53% part-time
Graduation Rate* 48% (3% transfer-out rate) (for students beginning in 2011) 28% (7% transfer-out rate) (for students beginning in 2014) 35% (8% transfer-out rate) (for students beginning in 2014)

Source: NCES College Navigator.

California State University - Sacramento

California State University - Sacramento offers emergency medical technical training at the basic and paramedic levels through its College of Continuing Education. Students pay a course fee instead of standard tuition for these courses. Each course has specific entrance requirements.

Emergency Medical Technician - Basic Training Course

Students must be at least 18 years old to enroll in this EMT program, which is designed to prepare students to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam. The program is a single course that lasts nine weeks and is delivered through classroom discussion, practice scenarios and ambulance ride-alongs. Students who successfully complete the program will earn American Heart Association CPR, Haz-mat and ICS-100 certifications.

Emergency Medical Technician - Paramedic Training Program

Students in this program complete a didactic course, a clinical experience and a field internship. Students learn advanced life support (ALS) training for pre-hospital patients. The curriculum covers areas such as cardiology, obstetrics, pediatrics, respiration and trauma. To participate in this program, students must have EMT certification through the NREMT and pass an entrance exam. The school prefers that students also have at least one year of professional experience or be currently employed as an EMT.

American River College

Students must complete prerequisite courses in biology and medical calculations to be eligible for entry into the paramedic program at American River College. Once a student has been accepted, he or she must meet further program criteria such as passing a physical exam, drug screening and background check as well as acquiring medical malpractice insurance.

Paramedic Certificate

This program requires a course in advanced pre-hospital care, an internship and a field experience. It offers the same core classes as the associate degree program but doesn't include any of the general education requirements or allow students to choose electives.

Associate of Science - Paramedic

Courses cover the same emergency medicine subjects covered in the certificate program, such as advanced pre-hospital care, airway management and cardiac life support. Electives are offered in areas such as wilderness medicine and pediatric advanced life support. This is a full-time program. All students are required to participate in a clinical internship and field experience.

Sierra College

Sierra College also offers training through single courses for EMTs and an introductory course for prospective paramedics. A related option is the Emergency Medical Responder course, which can help prepare students for EMT studies.

EMR - Emergency Medical Responder Course

This 54-hour course prepares students to become first responders. They'll look at basic life support as well as emergency interventions and patient assessment. After this course, students will have earned CPR certification and an Emergency Responder certificate of completion. Sierra College recommends that students complete this course prior to pursuing the EMT course.

EMT - Emergency Medical Technician Course

This class covers EMT knowledge and skills, including moral and legal issues, scene safety, patient assessment and medical equipment use. Students also learn patient assessment and treatment skills for emergency medical and trauma issues. The curriculum includes clinical and internship learning formats. To participate in this program, students must be 18 years old, have acceptable CPR certification, pass a criminal background check and meet program health standards.

Introduction to Paramedic Training Course

This is a pre-paramedic course for EMTs who may be interested in pursuing a paramedic program. Students are taught ALS components including pharmacology, airway management and cardiology. The program also introduces students to national and local ALS protocols. To be eligible to enroll in this course, students must have California EMT certification or be eligible for NREMT certification and must have completed prerequisite coursework. Students who successfully complete this course may meet the prerequisites for entry into some regional paramedic programs.

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