The Paramedic is an allied health professional whose primary focus is to provide advanced emergency medical care for critical and emergent patients who access the emergency medical system. This individual possesses the complex knowledge and skills necessary to provide patient care and transportation. Paramedics function as part of a comprehensive EMS response, under medical oversight. Paramedics perform interventions with the basic and advanced equipment typically found on an ambulance. The Paramedic is a link from the scene into the health care system.
TO APPLY FOR THE PROGRAM, PLEASE STOP IN OUR MAIN CAMPUS
Please review our current academic catalog, section 6 for further information.
The EMT Academy and HCC Paramedic Consortium Paramedic Training Program (“paramedic program”) is a twelve month course designed to prepare students to successfully pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) Paramedic certifying exam. The course includes a mix of both didactic (e.g. classroom) and clinical experiences that provide students with the basic medical knowledge, clinical reasoning and judgement, and psychomotor skills necessary to function as a competent and safe entry-level paramedic in the emergency pre-hospital and inter-facility transfer environments.
The course is divided into two parts: the first six months are spent primarily in the classroom and focus on developing the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor competencies necessary to function in a clinical environment. This portion of the course consists of two full days (8 hours) on Monday and Wednesday and one evening (4 hours) Wednesday of didactic time per week. A mixture of lecture, small-group discussions, simulations, skills stations, and self-directed learning experiences are utilized to introduce students to the essential knowledge and concepts they must master to become effective clinicians. Students can expect to dedicate a significant amount of time outside of class reading, studying, completing homework assignments, and preparing for quizzes and exams during this portion of the course. Students also complete all necessary certification courses (e.g. ACLS, PALS, PHTLS, GEMS) during this time.
The second part of the course is 6 months of intensive clinical rotations in the hospital and field settings. Students complete rotations in an emergency department where they gain experience assessing and diagnosing patients under the direct supervision of experienced ED clinicians. Students also gain significant experience with most of the important psychomotor skills (e.g. intravenous access, medication administration, patient assessment, etc) during this time. Students also complete rotations in labor and delivery, the operating room (for airway management experience), and optionally the intensive care unit. Following the in-hospital rotations, students complete field experience where they accompany working paramedics on actual emergency incidents. This experience affords students the greatest insight and most accurate representation of the working environment, expectations, and challenges faced by active paramedics. Although they are expected to perform skills in this environment, the primary aim of field internship is to give students experience functioning as “team leader” on emergency calls, responsible for both patient assessment and treatment decisions, under the direct supervision of experienced pre-hospital clinicians. Following the successful completion of ride time, students will have gained significant experience operating in the real-work clinical environment unique to pre-hospital medicine.
At the completion of the course, students sit for the NREMT paramedic written exam, and must obtain a passing score to progress to the next phase of testing. Students will take the NREMT practical exam, which will occur after the scheduled end of ride time, in general. The practical exam takes place at EMT Academy, and students will complete a review period in the days leading up to the exam.
Successful completion of all portions of the paramedic program not only more-than-adequately prepares students to be successful on both components of the certifying exam, but equips them with the knowledge, judgment, and experience necessary to begin their careers as paramedics, practicing the art and science of medicine in one of the most dynamic, challenging, and rewarding environments imaginable.
Applicants for the Paramedic Program must meet the following requirements at the start of the program:
If interested in applying for the Paramedic Program, prospective students must fill out an application either online or stop by EMT Academy to fill one out. Prospective students will be interviewed and will take a basic life support examination.
EMT Academy and Holyoke Community College are in partnership to offer college credits to Paramedic Program graduates. These credits can be used towards a degree at Holyoke Community College. Students will receive more information on this incentive when they enroll.