Arizona Colleges Offering Paramedic Programs
A paramedic is an advanced-level emergency medical technician (EMT) who is able to perform advanced pre-hospital care, including starting an IV and administering medication. Arizona residents interested in pursuing careers as paramedics must complete training programs and obtain proper certification. Training programs are offered by several community colleges in the state and can be found as emergency medical technology or EMT-Paramedic certificates or associate degree programs.
Below are details about two Arizona community colleges and the paramedic training programs they offer. Find information about coursework, required credits and clinical field training opportunities. Learn helpful facts about the schools in the table at the end of this article.
- Pima Community College offers paramedic training at both the certificate and 2-year degree levels. The college is based approximately five miles west of downtown Tucson.
- Glendale Community College is situated about 12 miles northwest of Phoenix. The college also has certificate and associate degree programs for aspiring paramedics.
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Comparison of Schools
While researching paramedic programs, you might also consider all factors of the schools offering these studies before making your selection. Below you will find statistics and figures reflecting each school's population, acceptance rates, tuition, financial aid and more.
|Pima Community College||Glendale Community College|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2014)||28,070*||20,506*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large suburb|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)||$1,974 (in-state)
| $2,046 (in-state)
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014)||66%*||74%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2016)||100% (open admissions)*||100% (open admissions)*|
|Retention Rate (2014)||58%*||60%*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (Students began in 2011)||11%*||15%*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Pima Community College
Founded in 1969, Pima Community College offers two paramedic training programs, both of which are approved by the Arizona Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. To be accepted into either program, a student must already have EMT certification from the state.
After completing a paramedic training program, graduates must pass the National Registry EMT exam then submit the proper certification documents to Arizona's Bureau of Emergency Medical Services & Trauma System to become certified paramedics. They must also complete a practical exam administered by the National Registry.
EMT Paramedic Certificate
While working towards this certificate, students build on the emergency medical training they have obtained from programs at the basic or intermediate levels. The student is required to complete six general education credits in communication, analysis and critical thinking. Students must also complete 50 credits of EMT courses.
Students take classes in EMT operations, pharmacology, foundations, patient assessment, trauma emergencies and advanced cardiac care. Through practicum courses, students gain clinical and vehicular experience. The curriculum includes an EMT independent research course where students conduct research related to advanced pre-hospital care.
Associate of Applied Science Degree - EMT Paramedic
This degree program increases what a student already knows from previous EMT training. Students take 19-21 credits of general education requirements that cover communication, analysis, critical thinking, computer and information literacy, humanities and social science. In addition, students must take 50 credits of EMT courses.
EMT classes teach airway and ventilation, patient assessment, medical emergencies, special medical considerations, advanced foundations and cardiac care. Students in this program take vehicular and clinical practicum courses. They also must complete an independent research course.
Glendale Community College
Glendale Community College was founded in 1965 and has more than 20,000 students. It offers programs for future paramedics that have been approved by Arizona's Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. To be accepted into the paramedic programs, students must already have spent one year as a basic EMT and be certified by the state.
Certificate in Paramedicine
Of the 39.5-46.5 credits necessary to complete this program, required courses account for 38.5 credits and cover topics in emergency cardiac care, pharmacology and advanced emergency technology. An advanced EMT practicum course is required and gives student clinical experience and the opportunity to work in an ambulance.
In addition, students take 1-8 credits of restrictive electives. Possible elective classes include human anatomy and physiology, advanced cardiac life support, trauma management, victimology and abnormal psychology.
Associate in Applied Science - Emergency Response and Operations (Paramedicine)
While taking the 60.5-64.5 credits required to earn this degree, students learn assessment techniques. This program includes 18 credits of general education requirements, including courses in composition, oral communication, critical reading, math, humanities and science.
Students are required to take EMT courses that focus on emergency cardiac care, pharmacology, advanced emergency medical technology and a practicum. Electives are available in human anatomy and physiology, vehicular extrication, advanced cardiac life support and trauma management. Students can also take a life support refresher.