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Degree Overview: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Paramedic Medicine

Majors Overview March 6, 2014

The greatest level of training obtainable for emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, is paramedic medicine. Its purpose is to give advanced training to EMTs in emergency medical care in order for them to qualify for jobs in the field and earn EMT-Paramedic certification.

A.A.S. Programs in Paramedic Medicine

Schools offer three levels of educational training to prospective EMTs, including EMT-Paramedic, EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Basic. Individuals seeking the final EMT-Paramedic training should enroll into an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Paramedic Medicine. Coursework in such two-year programs is typically a combination of EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Basic courses, in addition to advanced courses in advanced life support systems, medical terminology and anatomy and physiology.

A field experience or clinical component should also be contained in an accredited associate’s degree program in paramedic medicine in order to provide practical training in emergency medical techniques. Prospective paramedics enrolled in these programs can expect to become adept at making emergency patient assessments, providing cardiac life support and offering medical disaster management services.

Education Requirements

Four-year universities and two-year community colleges are among the schools that offer Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in paramedic medicine programs. Education requirements vary by school. EMT-Paramedic, EMT-Intermediate, and EMT-Basic training components are combined in some programs that require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. However, some paramedic programs accept EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Basic certified students, and need students to show proof of certification.

Coursework

Practical courses comprise the bulk of coursework in an associate’s degree program in paramedic medicine that is devised to impart technical training in pre-hospital patient care and lifesaving techniques including topic areas such as:

•Medication administration
•Paramedic technology
•Paramedic field internship
•Advanced emergency care
•Electrophysiology
•Cardiac life support
•Paramedic fundamentals
•Human physiology and anatomy
•Patient assessment
•Airway management and ventilation

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2010, there were over 239,100 emergency medical technicians and paramedics employed in the U.S. A faster-than-average job growth rate of 23% has been projected for these professionals during the decade from 2012 to 2022 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals took home an average annual wage of $31,020. Most commonly, paramedics are hired by general and surgical hospitals, government agencies, and ambulatory health service companies. Alaska, Washington and Illinois are the states that pay the greatest wages for EMTS and paramedics.

Certification Choices

Licensure is compulsory for these professionals in all 50 states before they are allowed to practice their profession. Licensure norms vary by state; however, students are commonly required to complete an associate’s degree in paramedic medicine or other state-recognized educational program. Aspiring paramedics are also required to gain some kind of clinical training knowledge before licensure is granted.

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