The Paramedic Science Program
An Idaho State University Paramedic Science Student studies for an upcoming exam
Paramedics respond to everything from automobile accidents and heart attacks, to drownings, gunshot wounds and heat exhaustion. Paramedics provide the same level of care to patients in the ambulance that patients initally receive at the hospital. This immediate attention is often the difference between life and death.
Paramedics are typically dispatched to scenes via 911 operators and often work closely with police and fire department personnel in the field. Once they arrive on scene, paramedics determine the nature and extent of the patient's condition, whether there are preexisting medical problems and whether the patient needs to be transported to the hospital. In some events, paramedics are able to treat patients with minor injuries (like falling or blood sugar problems) at the scene of the accident without having to transport them to a medical facility. In more severe cases, emergency treatment for complicated problems are carried out under the direction of medical doctors, by radio or phone, preceding or during patient transport.
Paramedics are trained to provide intravenous therapy (place IVs), administer medication and use other tools like heart rate monitors and electrocardiography (ECG) equipment. Generally, one paramedic will drive the ambulance while the other monitors the patient's vital signs and provides additional care as needed in transit. Once they arrive at the medical facility, paramedics help transfer patients to the emergency department and provide an in-depth hand-off report to hospital staff. Some paramedics also work on helicopter flight crews which transport critically ill or injured patients to hospital trauma centers.
While a paramedics' primary scope of practice is to assess patients and prevent/reduce morbidity, paramedics' roles are being expanded. Some emerging responsibilities include public education, health promotion and integrated healthcare (also known as community paramedicine) As the role continues to expand, paramedics will also facilitate access to care, as well as act as first responders.
Helpful High School Courses
- Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Course and Certification
- Biology, including Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Medical Terminology
- Basic Computer Classes
- Health Occupations/Health Sciences Classes
Paramedic Science Program Requirements
The following criteria must be met or in progress prior to submitting an application for admission into the Paramedic Science program. Meeting the admission criteria does not assure acceptance into the program. Each spring there is a deadline for priority processing of applications for the fall cohort. See the current application form for this year's deadline. Associate degrees in health provide a pathway for students to continue into the Bachelor of Science in Health Science..
- You must be admitted to ISU. For information on university admission, contact ISU Meridian Health Science Center at (208) 373-1700.
- Prerequisite courses, or equivalents, must be complete or in progress with anticipated end date no later than the beginning of fall classes. The prerequisite courses are:
- Anatomy and Physiology (BIOL 3301, 3301L, 3302, 3302L or equivalent)
- Medical Terminology ( HCA 2210 or equivalent)
- All prerequisite courses must be complete with a 2.5 cumulative GPA.
- You must have a current American Heart Association or American Red Cross CPR for Health Care Providers card.
- You must have a current EMT certification (or proof of enrollment in an EMT course with anticipated completion date) by the beginning of fall classes.
Additional Admission Criteria for Paramedic Science
- Submit a one-page essay describing your professional goals and why you want to be a paramedic.
- Submit 2 letters of recommendation.
- Students pursuing the Associate of Science degree must complete required objectives under the ISU General Education program. These can be completed either before or after the four semesters of the paramedic curriculum.
- All Associate Degrees require a minimum of 64 credits.
Paramedic Science candidates will be notified by email/mail regarding acceptance. Students not accepted to the program may reapply. Upon acceptance we require immunization records, a physical, and a background check. (Please do not submit prior to acceptance). Acceptance will be conditional until all required documents have been received.
If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact ISU Meridian Health Science Center at (208) 373-1760.
Cost of Attendance
Program costs include tuition, professional fees and miscellaneous additional expenses. Student health insurance is mandatory unless proof of personal insurance is provided each semester. See summary of all costs of attendance for the four paramedic science professional semesters.
Paying for College
ISU Paramedic Science students are eligible for federal financial aid, scholarships, grants, and loans to help finance your college education.
Our program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org), 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756, 727-210-2350, as recommended by the Committee on Accreditation of Education Program for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP), 8301 Lakeview Parkway, Suite 111-312, Rowlett, TX 75088; (214) 703-8445.
Employment of emergency medical technicians and paramedics is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. Population growth and urbanization will increase the demand for full-time paid EMT's and paramedics. In addition, a large segment of the population-the aging baby boomers-will further spur demand for EMT services, as they become more likely to have medical emergencies.
Job opportunities include hospital and private ambulance services, fire, police, and independent third service rescue squad departments. Earnings of Paramedics depend on the employment setting and geographic location as well as the individual's training and experience.
Those in emergency medical services who are part of fire or police departments receive the same benefits as firefighters or police officers. For example, many are covered by pension plans that provide retirement at half pay after 20 or 25 years of service or if disabled in the line of duty.
For further information concerning this program please contact Michael Mikitish, by phone at 208-373-1763 or firstname.lastname@example.org.