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Texas Paramedic Certification Information and Requirements

Texas has 48 schools that offer emergency medical technician (EMT) paramedic programs. Get some information about the programs and some quick facts for two of these schools to make an informed education decision.

Paramedic Training in Texas

Emergency medical technician (EMT) - paramedic training in Texas is available primarily through 2-year schools and can prepare students to earn state certification. Learn about the prerequisites, curricula and hands-on training offered by two Texas schools. The table provides additional school details.

  • Tarrant County College has campuses located in and around Fort Worth, in the northern portion of the state. This college offers a paramedic certificate program, a certificate program for critical care paramedics, and an associate's degree program in emergency medical services.
  • South Texas College, situated in McAllen, near the southern tip of the state, offers EMT-paramedic certificate and associate's degree programs.

Comparison of Schools

Aspiring paramedics may wish to check out the following table to learn about a variety of differences between the schools. Compare the yearly tuition charges, student population figures and retention and graduation rates to help make this important choice.

Tarrant County College South Texas College
School Type 2-year, public 4-year, primarily associate's, public
Total Enrollment (2017)* 52,957 31,321
Campus Setting Large city Midsize city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* $1,593 (in-district)
$2,862 (in-state)
$6,885 (out-of-state)
$3,720 (in-district)
$4,020 (in-state)
$7,620 (out-of-state)
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 65% 89%
Acceptance Rate (2017)* 100% (open admissions) 100% (open admissions)
Retention Rate (2017)* 64% 70%
Undergraduate Graduation Rate* 20% (for students who began in 2014) 15% (for students who began in 2011)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Tarrant County College

Tarrant County College (TCC) is a multi-college system with six campuses in the Fort Worth, Texas area. As of Fall 2017 it had over 52,000 students studying for degrees or certificates. TCC offers three programs in the paramedic field. Two train students to be paramedics. Another trains paramedics for advanced and specialized positions as critical care paramedics.

Paramedic Certificate

The paramedic certificate program at TCC equips graduates to provide immediate medical assistance to the injured or sick before and during transport to a medical facility. The paramedic program is five semesters and can typically be completed in less than two years.

Students are introduced to clinical work outside the hospital or clinic setting. Prerequisites include taking a course in anatomy and physiology and having current Texas EMT certification.

In the paramedic program, students learn how to assess a patient's medical condition, clear and manage a patient's airway, manage trauma, deal with populations having special needs and monitor a patient's heart. The program ends with a practicum in which students work as part of an ambulance team or with a fire department or in some other emergency setting.

Critical Care Paramedic Program

The critical care paramedic program trains paramedics to be members of critical care transport teams that attend to intensive care patients while they are being moved between facilities. This 3-course program has several prerequisites. For instance, prospective students should be practicing paramedics or hold current certificates from the Department of State Health Services in Texas.

Associate of Applied Science - Emergency Medical Services

This program can be completed in five semesters. The degree total is 60 credit hours, though this includes general education requirements as well. Some of the course topics students study include patient assessment, cardiology, medical emergencies, special populations, EMS operations and clinicals. Students in this program can opt to include in their study program two of the three critical care courses.

South Texas College

South Texas College offers two paramedic programs through its Nursing and Allied Health Division. Both the EMT-Paramedic Certificate and the EMT-Paramedic Associate of Applied Science programs take two years to complete, including summer courses. The associate's degree program has a more intensive second year of classes.

Emergency Medical Technician - Paramedic Certificate

This is a 51-credit-hour program involving 20 separate courses. The first semester prepares students to pass the state EMT-Basic exam. Students at this level are taught how to operate emergency vehicles, evaluate trauma victims and lift and transport patients safely. They are also taught lifesaving techniques such as administration of oxygen and treatment of shock.

The second semester prepares students to pass the state EMT-Intermediate exam. In courses such as anatomy, circulation and respiration, students gain a greater understanding of the human body. Students also learn more complex emergency procedures, such as introduction of intravenous fluids and emergency tracheotomies.

The third and fourth semesters involve a clinical practicum with in-depth cardiac care instruction. Consideration of the needs of elderly and pediatric patients is also covered. After graduation, students are prepared to take the Texas Department of Health State Exam at the EMT-Paramedic level.

Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Technology - Paramedic

The first two semesters of this associate's degree program are nearly identical to the certificate above, but the later semesters include nine additional credit hours and two additional courses. These course topics include advanced anatomy, psychology, management and one elective from the humanities. Once graduates pass the state exam, they are eligible to work as paramedics in hospitals, clinics or other health service settings.


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