If you are training to become a paramedic, you will need to have completed some EMT training and be prepared to log in several hundred hours of practical training and clinical hours. Paramedic training programs are the most advanced educational programs for those who want to work in emergency medical services. Courses in this program are typically more comprehensive versions of the courses you completed in EMT-Basic and EMT-Intermediate training, and are designed to prepare students for the paramedic certification exam. In addition to completing all paramedic course requirements, you will need to log in several hundred hours of practical skills training and also meet all of your state health department's requirements for licensed paramedics.

Types of Courses for Paramedics

The basic types of paramedic courses cover topics in ECG, anatomy, physiology and respiratory care. The amount of training varies by state, but the types of paramedic courses are relatively the same from state to state, and even between different accredited schools and training centers. Certification requirements include taking courses in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), International Trauma Life Support (ITLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Pediatric Education for Prehospital Professionals (PEPP).

Most paramedic training programs consist of the following paramedic courses:

  • Anatomy and Physiology for Paramedics
  • Introduction to Advanced Practice
  • Emergency Pharmacology
  • Patient Assessment
  • Airway Management
  • Cardiology
  • EMS Operations
  • Trauma Management
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Handling Special Populations
  • Assessment Based Management
  • Environmental Emergencies
  • Toxicology
  • CISD
  • Behavioral Emergencies
  • Obstetrics
  • Pediatrics and Geriatrics
  • Medical Legal Issues
  • Communication Techniques

If you already have your paramedic license, you will need to take continuing education paramedic courses to maintain your license. These include refresher courses and skills training. Continuing education courses also include training in ACLS, ITLS, PALS and PEPP. The field internship component of a paramedic training program typically involves working with a 911 agency, a hospital emergency department, an operating room, an intensive care unit and or at a local fire department. Clinical hour requirements vary by state, but most paramedics in training need to log in at least 175 to 500+ hours in a clinical setting.

Taking a Paramedic Course Online

Some paramedic training programs give students a chance to take a paramedic course or several courses online. These courses can fulfill the classroom training requirements, but the student will still need to attend a medical training center or finish clinical hours at a hospital in order to complete paramedic certification requirements.

If you do decide to take a paramedic course online, you may be given access to Web-based educational platform where you can watch videos and tutorials, work on simulations and online exercises, submit quizzes and tests, and attend online lectures or live webcasts of various training modules. Some online course programs also include a discussion forum component where you will need to contribute a certain number of posts each week and participate in conversations with instructors and students.

Taking a paramedic course online can give you some flexibility with your schedule and ensure that you are finishing all classroom instruction hours needed for certification. Still, this educational format isn't for all students and you may learn better by attending a lecture or completing in-classroom instruction. Keep in mind that online learning isn't for everyone, but it may be a last resort if you are having difficulty attending in-classroom sessions or when you need more flexibility.