Career Description

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel are unique health care professionals that are categorized in a variety of ways beginning at the First Responder level and progressing to the highest EMS level, paramedic. They provide critical advanced medical care and transportation in an out-of-hospital setting with physician oversight. Emergency Medical Services are a component of the overall health care system, delivering care as part of a system intended to attenuate the morbidity and mortality associated with sudden illnesses and injury.

Paramedics function primarily in paid positions, but some choose to volunteer as well. These frontline healthcare professionals provide out-of-hospital advanced life support to patients with critical, life-threatening emergencies as well as those with perceived urgent and non-urgent calls for service. Paramedics bridge the gap by treating and keeping patients alive from the scene of the call to the ER. This work requires excellent clinical judgment, leadership, problem-solving, and decision-making skills while providing critical on-scene care to the patient. In addition, paramedics fill an essential role transporting patients who require advanced or critical care transportation between facilities. They are also becoming increasingly involved in numerous public health initiatives (immunization and testing clinics, illness and injury prevention programs, community paramedicine programs, etc).

Course of Study

The Paramedic AAS expands on the knowledge and skills learned in the 28 credit Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certificate. The certificate is fully contained in the Paramedic AAS degree, and, as such, all coursework in the certificate may be applied to completion of the AAS degree. The EMT certificate and the Paramedic AAS are recognized statewide  and are transferable between all community colleges where they are offered in Oregon.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this degree, students will be able to:

  • Apply the principles underlying the profession of paramedicine, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, and disorders recognized and treated by paramedics.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the modalities and skills used in emergency medical services and how to assess objectively the evidence for their effectiveness.
  • Demonstrate skills for life-long, self-directed learning to update their knowledge of the practice of paramedicine after completion of their formal studies.
  • Demonstrate the practical skills needed to work as a competent paramedic delivering emergency medical services and to apply these skills to appropriate, safe, effective and compassionate patient care.
  • Practice both independently and collaboratively as part of clinical teams and health care systems.
  • Demonstrate cultural competency, respect for diversity and the ability to practice in diverse healthcare settings in a multicultural society.
  • Assume responsibility for independent judgment in making sound decisions regarding patient management.
  • Practice according to the ethical principles and legal requirements of the profession of paramedicine