Paramedic training courses are offered through certificate programs that can last up to two years. They are also included in associate's degree programs for EMT training, paramedics, and fire-fighting. Certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is required to enter all of these programs and practice in the field of emergency medicine. All paramedics and lower-level EMTs must be certified by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). Additionally, they must be licensed by the state where they work, a requirement often fulfilled through the NREMT certification exam, or through an exam administered by the state.
Some common concepts covered in paramedic courses include:
- Medical terminology
- Airway management
- Medications and administration
- Patient assessment
- Invasive pre-hospital procedures
- Trauma assessment
List of Courses
Paramedic Fundamentals Course
Students learn how to conduct rescue operations and assess patient stability on arrival. They listen to lectures and conduct labs to learn to check for open airways, difficulties breathing, signs of trauma, and any of the four stages of shock. This paramedic training class covers the necessary steps for assessing patients' health upon arrival at an emergency scene and helps students determine which patients need to be aided first.
Paramedic Procedures Course
Students combine the technical skills gathered through the introductory paramedic training courses and identify uses for them in emergency situations. Coursework may include practical experience like accompanying emergency vehicles on runs and helping in emergency rooms. This course is usually taken about halfway through a degree program.
IV Therapy and Pharmacology Course
This paramedic training course prepares students to administer intravenous therapy to patients in need of fluids like blood or medication. The pharmacology aspect of the course familiarizes students with how different drugs affect the body. Students use this information to determine what an individual's tolerance level could be and how patients with allergies or other health concerns might respond to the drugs. In order to practice IV therapy, students must earn IV therapy certification.
Trauma and Pulmonary Disease Treatment Course
Trauma and pulmonary disease treatment courses in paramedic training are lab and lecture courses. Students learn the correct methods for treating trauma, including head, chest, abdominal and spinal injuries. The course covers the respiratory system and teaches students how to identify respiratory problems in patients. Through the lab courses, individuals learn how to manage trauma and pulmonary disease cases.
Paramedics gain field experience by accompanying trained paramedics and EMTs on emergency runs and by working in hospitals. These practical experiences prepare students for taking and passing an EMT test to become full-fledged paramedics. This advanced-level paramedic training course is taken during the last year of the program, although many of the other paramedic training classes also require students to accompany EMTs on runs.