The Paramedic Certificate Program provides a study of the information, skills, and techniques necessary to implement safe, effective, and appropriate care as an entry-level paramedic. Additionally, the program focuses on the professional demeanor necessary for the role.

As the most highly trained member on the emergency medical services system team, the paramedic is the team leader who delivers out-of-hospital emergency care under the direction of an emergency physician. Paramedics direct and manage the patient care aspects of the emergency response team. This team is commonly composed of emergency medical responders, emergency medical technicians, public safety officers and/or community service agency personnel that respond to traffic accidents, fires, explosions, cave-ins, emergency rescue calls, and other life-threatening situations. The paramedic’s primary responsibilities are to provide competent care for victims of accidents or sudden illness by stabilizing the patient’s condition using advanced medical skills and equipment as well as safely transporting the patient to the hospital. The paramedic performs these duties in a variety of diverse settings in conjunction with other public safety personnel. In addition, paramedics may also participate in patient care within hospitals and/or medical offices. The actions of a paramedic can often make a difference in patient survival. Successful completion of this program yields a certificate of completion, which affords graduates the eligibility to attempt the State of Florida Bureau of EMS Paramedic Examination and/or the National Registry EMT-P Examination.

Program Description

The Paramedic program is a three-semester sequence consisting of various components including didactic lectures, skills and simulation labs, and clinical practice. Throughout the course of the program students, gain the necessary skills and abilities to demonstrate competency and professionalism as the highest trained personnel within the scope of pre-hospital medicine. Program participants are subject to an intensive 1,200 contact-hour program requiring careful planning of school, work, and home schedules in order to succeed. In addition, class sessions do not follow the traditional two-days-a-week course schedule common amongst other collegiate classes. Conversely, the paramedic class schedule varies week-to-week in order to accommodate participants who work a 24-on, 48-off type of shift schedule. Furthermore, clinical internship schedules do not follow the college’s academic calendar and often require participation during nights, weekends, and/or holidays. Interested parties should contact EMS program staff for scheduling details and/or additional information.

The Paramedic Certificate is a limited admission program, which subjects applicants to the admission criteria listed below and begins in August of every year. Applicant selection takes place during the summer using the selection process outlined below.

Accreditation

Polk State College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP).

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
1361 Park Street
Clearwater, FL 33756
727-210-2350
www.caahep.org

The Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP)
4101 W. Green Oaks Blvd. Suite 305-599,
Arlington, TX 76016; 817-330-0080
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
1361 Park Street
Clearwater, FL 33756
727-210-2350
www.caahep.org

The Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP)
4101 W. Green Oaks Blvd. Suite 305-599,
Arlington, TX 76016; 817-330-0080

Admission Criteria

  • Current State of Florida Bureau of EMS certification as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
  • Current Polk State College student in good standing
  • Completed all college preparatory courses in reading and writing, as well as MAT0012 (Arithmetic with Pre-Algebra), if necessary
  • Completed any of the following pre-requisite courses: EMS 2010, BSC1084C, or BSC2085C and BSC2086C
  • Current grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 or higher
  • Complete a program application accurately and submit said application to the EMS staff by the deadline.

Applications may be obtained by visiting the EMS Clinical Education office or the Program Director’s office. Incomplete applications will not be considered for selection.

Please note that prerequisites to a program and courses that can be taken prior to admission to a program can change; students not yet admitted may be required to take additional or alternate prerequisites prior to admission to the program.

Additional Program Requirements

The following requirements are completed after the selection process is completed. Thus, they do not affect candidate selection.

  • Ten panel drug screen
  • Criminal background check (by Florida statues any felony convictions involving drug crimes and/or misuse of public assistance make candidate ineligible for state certification)
  • Full physical examination including essential functions
  • Immunization records and communicable disease screening
  • Current professional level CPR certification (i.e. AHA Healthcare Provider / ASHI CPR Pro / ARC Professional CPR)

Additional information regarding these additional requirements will be provided with the acceptance letter and during the mandatory pre-course orientation.

Selection Criteria

Admission to the program is based on the following criteria, with maximum points for each criterion as indicated:

  • GPA in pre-requisite courses; up to 30 points.
  • GPA in the general education courses listed below, which are associated with the A.S. in EMS; up to 10 points.

o   ENC1101 College Composition
o   HUM2020 Introduction to Humanities
o   PSY2012 General Psychology

  • Interview with the selection committee; up to 40 points.
  • EMS related experience; up to 20 points. (Experience as a volunteer must be documented and is subject to verification).

Selection Process

·         Candidates are selected based on their total number points earned, as indicated within the selection criteria.

·         Thus, the most qualified candidates are selected.

·         Candidates who are selected must enroll by the designated date or lose their seat in the class. Any unclaimed seats are awarded to alternates.

A new application must be completed every year that a candidate would like to be considered for admission. Previous selection does not guarantee selection for a later class.

Program Cost

Approximate cost is about $6500.00 including tuition, lab fees, textbooks, and uniforms. Students are likely to encounter additional expenses associated with travel, meals, or other related supplies. In addition, pre-requisite course work is not included in this estimate.

Potential Earnings

Potential entry-level salary for paramedics vary from $34,000 – $45,000 depending on the agency of employment.

Certification Examination

Program graduates are eligible to attempt the State of Florida Bureau of EMS Paramedic Examination and/or the National Registry EMT-P Examination.

Click here to see the Paramedic Certificate curriculum.

Gainful Employment

This is a gainful employment program. Visit the Gainful Employment page for gainful employment programs’ placement and on-time completion rates, median loan amounts, SOC codes and estimated program costs.
Gainful employment programs include only training programs of at least one academic year that lead to a certificate (credit programs requiring 16 or more credit hours and clock hour programs requiring 600 or more contact hours). These programs prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.