The Paramedic Science Program
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 initially 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 is 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.
Beginning with the 2018-2019 Paramedic cohort, 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. March 31st is the deadline for priority processing of applications for the fall cohort. 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 an anticipated end date no later than the beginning of fall classes. Prerequisite courses and requirements are:
- Successful completion of Anatomy and Physiology (HO 0111 Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology or equivalent, 4 credits) with a C or better before fall classes begin
- Successful completion of Medical Terminology (HCA 2210, HE 2210, HO 0106 or equivalent) with a C or better before fall classes begin
- Passing the National Registry EMT exams, both written and practical, and providing the Paramedic Science program with a copy of your National Registry card before fall classes begin
- Providing a copy of your current AHA BLS Provider or Healthcare Provider CPR card before fall classes begin
- Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Course and Certification
- Biology, including Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Medical Terminology
- Basic Computer Classes
- Health Occupations/Health Sciences Classes
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 Paramedic Science Cost of Attendance 2018-2019 for the four paramedic science professional semesters.
Our program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org), 25400 US Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763, 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.
1) Why do I have to apply twice, once to ISU and, second, to the Paramedic Science program?
All students applying to the Paramedic Science program must already be accepted to ISU as a student. We cannot consider anyone until they have been accepted to ISU. However, acceptance to ISU as a student does not guarantee acceptance into the Paramedic Science program. Paramedic Science is a selective program which means that only qualified students, who have completed all of the pre-requisites, will be accepted into the program. And, if there are more qualified students than the maximum number of places available in the program (24) then the application process will become competitive.
2) Do I have to complete all of the General Education courses before I can begin the Paramedic Science Curriculum?
No. You must complete the General Education requirements in order to be awarded your Associate in Science degree. You may do this either before or after the four semesters of paramedic science courses.
If you already have an Associate or a Bachelor degree from another, regionally-accredited institution of higher education your degree automatically fulfills the general education requirements at ISU.
3) What are the pre-requisites I must complete before I can begin the paramedic science courses?
The professional pre-requisites you are required to complete before beginning the paramedic science program are:
- National or state certification as an EMT
- Current in Health Care Provider CPR card (AHA or American Red Cross)
- Two semesters in Anatomy and Physiology, 8 credits total, with a lab
- One semester of Medical Terminology, 2 credits
You do not have to have completed all of these pre-professional requirements in order to apply to the program or to be interviewed. Many, perhaps most, of our students do not complete the pre-professional requirements until shortly before the program begins each fall. At the time of your interview we ask that you provide us with your plan to complete all of the requirements before the fall semester begins. Students in this situation are accepted to the program contingent upon their completion of the requirements before the fall semester begins.
4) Can I take my general education courses and the Anatomy and Physiology and Medical Terminology courses at ISU?
Yes, but they are only offered in Pocatello. None of these courses are taught at the Meridian campus because there are two other, state-sponsored institutions in the valley that already offer all of these courses: Boise State University and the College of Western Idaho. Most of the students in the paramedic science program take their professional pre-requisites at one of these two institutions.
5) How can I make sure that the courses I take at another institution are the correct courses to complete the ISU general education requirements?
Ali Crane, Director of Enrollment Services at ISU-Meridian, email@example.com, (208) 373 1706, is the person who can evaluate your transcripts and help you identify the correct courses to meet the general education requirements at ISU.
An alternative, and perhaps an easier approach, is to complete the general education requirements at either BSU or CWI (or any other Idaho public institution of higher education) and have that college or university declare, on your transcript, that you are "core certified". ISU can accept core certification from any other Idaho state college or university as fulfilling the ISU general education requirements.
6) How much will the program cost?
The paramedic science coursework takes four semesters; two full time semesters (fall and spring, 16 & 15 credits respectfully) and two part-time semesters (summer and fall, 6 credits each). See complete curriculum layout. Students will pay ISU tuition each semester plus class fees as follows:
- Fall Semester $680
- Spring Semester $730
- Summer Semester $490
- Fall Semester -none
In addition, there are fees for malpractice insurance ($60/year), a background check ($45), uniforms, and your books. You will also need to show proof of immunization, which may require some expense and you will have to purchase student health insurance if you are not already covered by your own policy.
Expanded explanation of costs
7) What is the class schedule for the Paramedic Science program?
ISU's Paramedic Science program begins once each year at the beginning of the fall semester (usually the last week of August). This is a cohort program which means that a group of students go through the classes and the program together for the four semesters of paramedic science. One cannot enter at any other time of the year.
Classes are held from 8AM to 5PM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the first fall and spring semesters. The summer semester is part-time with two courses taught on Wednesdays from 8AM to 5PM each week as well as the Paramedic Clinical Practicum in which students will sign up for various clinical rotation assignments. The second fall semester, the final semester of paramedic science, is the Paramedic Field Practicum. This is the internship with a local EMS agency in which students spend 48 hours a week working in the field for a total of ten weeks.
8) How and where can I obtain my EMT or CPR certification?
Various agencies and educational institutions offer EMT or CPR training and certification. All certified courses are listed on the Idaho EMS Bureau's website, EMT & CPR Training Resources.
9) How do I apply for federal financial aid?
Apply for federal financial aid by submitting an application on the FAFSA website (https://fafsa.ed.gov/) Be sure to list Idaho State University as the institution you will be attending.