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Individuals in Oregon who want to work as paramedics must complete an associate's degree in the field and hold national certification as well as state licensing. Students have a range of schools with which they may train and associate's degrees can usually be completed in about two years. Admission requirements to paramedic programs may include current certification at the basic EMT level. Some programs are limited admission and may reserve slots for students employed in the emergency services field. All paramedic programs include practicum requirements.
Central Oregon Community College
Students in the Associate of Applied Science in Paramedicine program at Central Community College in Bend initially train as basic EMTs (emergency medical technicians) before progressing through paramedic training. Curriculum includes field internships and clinical studies. Half of the program slots are reserved for students who are already affiliated with local fire departments and emergency medical services (EMS) agencies. Students must meet physical and health requirements to gain admission. A series of prerequisite courses must be completed with at least a 'C' before beginning paramedic studies.
Chemeketa Community College
Prospective paramedics have 2 study options at Chemeketa Community College in Salem. The Associate of Applied Science program in emergency medical treatment is available to those who want to train as paramedics, as well as licensed paramedics who want to earn an associate's degree. Licenses can be translated into EMT course credits, which may be applied towards the degree.
Students can also pursue the college's dual paramedic/firefighter degree, which begins with firefighter training and culminates in 3 terms of paramedic training. Both programs include general education courses. Some EMT courses are taught as online or hybrid classes.
Lane Community College
In order to take any EMT and paramedic courses at this college in Eugene, students must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and meet program health standards. Background checks are also required. The college's Associate of Applied Science - Emergency Medical Technician program trains students to become paramedics; they must have EMT-Basic certification before beginning the second year of the program. The program's 2 years of study include 1 summer and 2 winter sessions. The first year focuses on first-level EMS skills and paramedic studies are incorporated in the second year. Clinical studies and internships play an essential role in training.
Oregon Institute of Technology
Located in Klamath Falls, Oregon Institute of Technology offers a Paramedic Associate of Applied Science program for aspiring paramedics. The first year of the program consists of foundational courses, including general education classes and courses covering anatomy and physiology, and basic EMT training. The second year focuses on training specific to paramedics and includes didactic coursework, clinical rotations, and a 12-week externship. Students have the opportunity to fulfill their externship in other states, if they wish.
Portland Community College
In order to fully participate in the emergency medical technician - paramedic program at this college in Portland, students must have a high school diploma or GED, be 18 years old, and pass a health exam and criminal background check. The program includes lectures, lab work, clinical practice, and field experiences. Students complete 107 credits of study to earn this degree. The program can be completed in 8 terms and incorporates EMS studies along with courses specific to paramedic training. The curriculum includes topics in anatomy and physiology, patient transportation, crisis intervention, public speaking, and EMS medical terminology.
Rogue Community College
The associate's degree program in paramedicine at Rogue Community College in Grants Pass prepares students to be both EMT-basics and paramedics. To enroll in the program, students will need to complete prerequisite courses, be at least 17-years old, and meet Oregon Department of Human Services - EMS established requirements. Students with current EMT certification may be eligible to participate in the Advanced Standing program. The entire program can be completed in 7 terms of study.
Southwestern Oregon Community College
Students can prepare for both EMT-Basic and paramedic certification exams while earning their associate's degree in emergency medical technology at Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay. The program has a selective admission policy, and students must register at the college before submitting a separate application to the program. The 2 years of study include winter terms, and students must maintain a 'C' average to complete the program and earn certifications. Paramedic courses begin in the second year.
Umpqua Community College
In the first year of the associate's degree program in emergency medical technology at this college in Roseburg, students gain the education needed for EMT-Basic certification. Students then have to apply separately for paramedic training in the second year. Applicants must undergo health screenings and have completed prerequisite courses. Course topics include crisis intervention, emergency communication, cardiac life support, and neonatal resuscitation.
The state of Oregon requires all paramedics to have a license to practice. Requirements include completing an associate's degree program in the field. Applicants must also show proof of national certification, which requires passing an exam. The Department of Health and Human Services may deny licensure based on a criminal history. The 8 schools profiled in this article offer programs that meet the education requirements for application.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Paramedic Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Central Oregon Community College||2-year, public; small city||Associate of Applied Science in Paramedicine||$3,555 in-district, $4,599 in-state, $9,135 out-of-state*|
|Chemeketa Community College||2-year, public, midsize suburb|| Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Technology,
Paramedic/Firefighter Dual Degree Program
|$4,230 in-state, $11,520 out-of-state*|
|Lane Community College||2-year, public; fringe rural||Associate of Applied Science in Paramedicine||$4,047 in-state, $9,213 out-of-state*|
|Oregon Institute of Technology||4-year, public; remote town||Associate of Applied Science in Paramedic||$8,838 in-state, $24,825 out-of-state*|
|Portland Community College||2-year, public; large city||Associate of Applied Science: Emergency Medical Technician - Paramedic||$3,766 in-state, $8,374 out-of-state*|
|Rogue Community College||2-year, public, fringe rural||Associate of Applied Science in Paramedicine||$4,005 in-state, $4,761 out-of-state*|
|Southwestern Oregon Community College||2-year, public, remote town||Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Technology (EMT) - Paramedic||$5,625*|
|Umpqua Community College||2-year, public; fringe rural||Associate of Applied Science in Paramedicine||$4,678 in-state, $8,901 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.