Paramedic Science

Program Information

The Program

Paramedics primarily provide care to patients in and out of the hospital setting. Through patient assessments and provision of medical care, their goal is to prevent and reduce mortality and morbidity due to illness and injury. Emerging roles and responsibilities of the paramedic include public education, health promotion, and participating in injury and illness prevention programs. As the scope of service continues to expand, the paramedic will function as a facilitator of access to care, as well as an initial treatment provider.

Aptitudes and Interests: People’s lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care of paramedics. Incidents as varied as automobile accidents, heart attacks, drownings, childbirth, and gunshot wounds all require immediate medical attention. Paramedics provide this vital attention as they care for and transport the sick or injured to a medical facility.

Depending on the nature of the emergency, paramedics typically are dispatched to scene by a 911 operator and often work with police and fire department personnel. Once they arrive, they determine the nature and extent of the patient’s condition while trying to ascertain whether the patient has preexisitng medical problems. Following strict rules and guidelines, they give appropriate emergency care and, when necessary, transport the patient. Some paramedics are trained to treat patients with minor injuries on the scene of an accident or at their home without transporting them to a medical facility. Emergency treatments for more complicated problems are carried out under the direction of medical doctors by radio preceding or during transport.

Paramedics may use special equipment such as backboards to immobilize patients before placing them on stretchers and securing them in the ambulance for transport to a medical facility. Usually, one paramedic drives while the other monitors the patient’s vital signs and gives additional care as needed. Some paramedics work as part of the flight crew of helicopters that transport critically ill or injured patients to hospital trauma centers.

At the medical facility, paramedics help transfer patients to the emergency department, report their observations and actions to staff, and may provide additional emergency treatment. After each run, paramedics replace used supplies and check equipment.

Helpful High School Courses

Biology, including Human Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Terminology, Computer classes, Health Occupations classes.

Program Requirements

Program begins in August
At least one summer session is required

All Associate Degrees require a minimum of 64 credits. Students pursuing the Associate of Science degree must complete Goals 1, 2 and 3; Goals 4 and 5, or 12 hours in the physical or 12 hours in biological sciences; two of Goals 6, 7, and 8; and three of Goals 9, 10A or 10B, 11 and 12. Students should consult with their advisor while choosing goal courses.

Associate degrees in health can articulate into the Bachelor of Science in Health Science.

For further information concerning this program please contact Michael Mikitish, by phone at 208-373-1763 or

Apply Online

Additional Admission Criteria for Paramedic Science

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.

  1. You must be admitted to ISU. For information on university admission, contact ISU Meridian Health Science Center at (208) 373-1700.
  2. 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.
  3. You must have a current American Heart Association or American Red Cross CPR certification for Health Care Providers.
  4. 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.

As part of the application process, you will be required to submit a one-page essay describing your professional goals and why you want to be a paramedic. You will also be required to submit 2 letters of recommendation.

Paramedic Science candidates will be notified by email/mail regarding acceptance. Students not accepted to the program must reapply. Upon acceptance immunization records, a physical, and a background check will be required. (Please do not submit prior to acceptance). Acceptance will be conditional until all required documents are submitted.

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact ISU Meridian Health Science Center at (208) 373-1760.


Fees apply to the current Idaho State University fee schedule which includes mandatory student health insurance.

Paying for College

You may apply for financial aid, scholarships, grants, and loans to help finance your college education. When you pay registration fees, you are a student of Idaho State University with the privileges and responsibilities of a college student.

Affirmative Action & Equal Employment Opportunity at ISU

Career Opportunities

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.

Books Required

Book and Supplies List 2013-2014

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921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209