West Virginia-based students interested in paramedic training programs may choose to earn a certificate or an associate's degree in the field. Paramedic training programs typically have admission requirements, although they vary by school. Common admission requirements include a high school diploma, criminal background check, drug screening and proof of current immunizations and a physical examination.
While degree programs include general education classes, certificate programs concentrate on paramedicine courses. Some programs require that individuals hold EMT-Basic certification prior to entry. All programs include practicum requirements, such as fieldwork experiences or internships.
Blue Ridge Community and Technical College
Students interested in becoming paramedics can choose from a certificate or an associate degree program at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg. While both programs take four semesters to complete and meet the DOT National Standard Curriculum, the paramedicine certificate program requires completing 46 credits, while the associate degree program requires 60 credits. General education courses are required to earn the degree. The curriculum for both programs consists of lectures, lab courses and clinical education, with internships completed in the final semester. When all training is completed, the student is prepared to take the NREMT-Paramedic examination. However, before students can take the NREMT exam, they must pass the online FISDAP (Field Internship Student Data Acquisition Project) paramedic exam with a score of 70% or better.
Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College
Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College in South Charleston merged in 2014 with Bridgemont Community and Technical College and is now known as BridgeValley Community & Technical College. Kanawha offers students the opportunity to earn an Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Services. The four-semester program includes three semesters of EMS (emergency medical services) courses and one semester of general education courses. Included in the course load are two clinical practicum courses that have students completing clinical rotations in affiliated sites to obtain hands-on training. This program prepares students to provide advanced emergency care in a pre-hospital setting, while also teaching students about Advanced Life Support (ALS).
Mountwest Community and Technical College
Located in Huntington, Mountwest Community and Technical College has a paramedic science A.A.S. program that can be completed in two years. Students starting this 66-credit hour program must be EMT-B certified and must maintain certification throughout the program. The curriculum for this intensive program includes classroom lectures, lab courses and 400 hours of clinical education. Topics of study include trauma management, anatomy and physiology, pre-hospital considerations, pharmacology and cardiovascular emergencies. Students must complete courses with grades of 'C' or higher to be eligible to take the NREMT exam for paramedics.
New River Community and Technical College
The paramedic certificate at Beckley's New River Community and Technical College incorporates both college-level and paramedic courses. It qualifies graduates for the paramedic NREMT certification exam. The 39 credits cover anatomy and physiology, rescue and operations, general medical care, pharmacology and trauma management across three semesters. Other course topics include patient assessment, pre-hospital cardiopulmonary care, composition and general math. Clinical and field internship courses are taken in the third semester, which takes place in the summer.
Pierpont Community and Technical College
Located near the state's northern border in Fairmont, Pierpont Community and Technical College (PCTC) provides aspiring paramedics the choice of an Emergency Medical Technician - Paramedic certificate or associate degree program. PCTC's one-year certificate program includes coursework in airway management, shock trauma resuscitation, pharmacology, basic trauma life support and advanced cardiac life support. The certificate program requires completing 49 credits. The associate degree program requires the EMT-Basic and EMT-Paramedic courses in the certificate program, as well as 19 general education credits in areas such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, technical report writing and sociology.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College in Mount Gay has a paramedic science program at its Wyoming/McDowell and Logan campuses. The curriculum for this degree program includes EMS courses, field internships and clinical internships. Various websites are utilized to assist in documenting coursework and clinical rotations, so students must have Internet access. Courses in this 60-credit program include pre-hospital pharmacology, medical terminology, trauma/shock management, patient assessment, rescue operations and medical emergencies. Upon completion of this program, students will have earned an Associate of Applied Science in Paramedic Science.
West Virginia Northern Community College
The Workforce Development division at Wheeling-based West Virginia Northern Community College administers a paramedic technology program. The program is based on the DOT's National Standard Curriculum for EMT- Paramedics and includes didactic courses on ALS and emergency pre-hospital care. Applicants must have EMT-Basic certification to be eligible for this program.
To work as a paramedic in West Virginia, individuals must successfully complete a paramedic training program based on the DOT (Department of Transportation) National Standard Curriculum and pass the certification exam. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certification exam consists of a written and practical exam that needs to be passed with a score of at least 70%. The individual should also have current West Virginia EMT-B (Emergency Medical Technician - Basic) and current CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification. The applicant must be affiliated with a West Virginia-licensed Emergency Medical Services agency and possess a valid driver's license.
Outlined below are six WV colleges that offer paramedic training programs.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Paramedic Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Blue Ridge Community and Technical College||Two-year, public; midsize suburb|| Pre-Hospital Care (Paramedicine) Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Services - Paramedic
| $7,309 est. certificate program cost in-state; $11,885 est. certificate program cost out-of-state,
$7,940 est. degree program cost in-state; $12,740 est. degree program cost out-of-state**
|Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College||Two-year, public; midsize suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Services||$4,300 in-state; $9,620 out-of-state*|
|Mountwest Community and Technical College||Two-year, public; midsized suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Paramedic Science||$3,816 in-state; $10,776 out-of-state*|
|New River Community and Technical College||Two-year, public; small suburb||Certificate of Applied Science in Paramedic||$3,706 in-state; $4,834 out-of-state*|
|Pierpont Community and Technical College||Two-year, public; distant town|| Emergency Medical Technician - Paramedic Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Technician - Paramedic
|$4,460 in-state; $10,574 out-of-state*|
|Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College||Two-year, public; distant town||Associate in Applied Science in Paramedic Science||$3,412 in-state; $5,078 out-of-state*|
|West Virginia Northern Community College||Two-year, public; small city||Paramedic Technology Program||$3,530 in-state; $10,130 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES School Navigator, **Blue Ridge Community and Technical College.