2019-2020 Catalog and Student Handbook 
    Jul 12, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Paramedic Technical Certificate

Paramedics (EMSP) are health care professionals trained in the advanced skills needed for rendering care to the critically ill or injured patient in the pre-hospital, industry or emergency room setting. Paramedics perform all of the procedures described for EMTs and AEMTs plus give oral or intravenous medications, read EKGs (electrocardiograms), do endotracheal intubations, and use additional complex equipment.

Total Credit Hours: 43

Prerequisite: Applicants must be licensed in Tennessee as an AEMT or eligible for state Licensure prior to acceptance in the program. Students must contact program faculty directly to register for EMSP courses.  Some students may be required to take additional Learning Support courses prior to enrolling in EMS classes depending upon competency placement in reading, writing, and math. 


Requirements for Graduation include:

  1. Total certificate hours must be at least 43
  2. earn 25% of total program credits in residence at Columbia State
  3. earn GPA of at least 2.0 in program courses
  4. earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher

The Paramedic Technical Certificate is in compliance with the Common Course Curriculum for Emergency Medical Services: Paramedic (EMSP) as delivered by Tennessee Board of Regents community colleges.  Upon Successful completion of the Paramedic curriculum, candidates are eligible to sit for the examinations for National Registry Certification and Tennessee Paramedic licensure.  Paramedic completers also have the option to complete additional course work and earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in General Technology.

Students and advisors should run a degree audit from myChargerNet each semester to confirm classes are applicable to the program of study.

Detailed information is also available via: www.columbiastate.edu/emt-paramedic

For more information on the Paramedic Technical Certificate contact:
Dr. David Cauthen at dcauthen1@columbiastate.edu or 931.540.2686

Health Sciences Division office at healthsciences@columbiastate.edu or 931.540.2600 or 931.540.2599

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important information, please review the Gainful Employment Disclosure for the Certificate.

Requirements for the Paramedic Technical Certificate Include:

Once you've spent some time in the field as an AEMT, you may want to further your education to the third and most coveted tier in EMS, Paramedic.

The Columbia State Community College Paramedic program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs [CAAHEP] upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Profession [CoAEMSP].  Contact CAAHEP, 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756 or phone 727.210.2350 for accreditation information.

Paramedic is a health care professional trained in the advanced skills needed for rendering care to the critically ill or injured patient in the pre-hospital, industry or emergency room settings.

Paramedic curriculum is designed to enhance the basic and interpersonal skills obtained through the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) licenses. The program provides the scientific knowledge and advanced technical skills needed to recognize, assess and manage medical and/or trauma emergencies in the adult and pediatric patient, as well as obstetrical emergencies under the direction of a physician. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the examinations for the National Registry Certification and Tennessee Paramedic licensure.

The program is 12 months in length. All applicants must be licensed in Tennessee as an AEMT or eligible for state license prior to acceptance into the program. If eligible for licensure, the AEMT license must be obtained prior to starting the program.

Admission Requirements

  1. Due to enrollment limitations, and the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services (EMS) regulations 1200-12-1-.13 governing admission requirements, applications are screened using established selection criteria as outlined below.
  2. In compliance with the State of Tennessee EMS Regulation 1200-12-1-.13 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, all applicants and admitted students must, with reasonable accommodation, be able to:
    1. lift a minimum of 125 lbs.
    2. visually assess patients in the work environment to include detecting auditory and color changes, as well as unusual odors.
    3. communicate both verbally and in writing using the English language.
    4. make appropriate judgments in emergency situations.
    5. demonstrate emotional stability.
    6. demonstrate psychological health in day-to-day interactions with patients, their family members and other personnel.
  3. Applicants must have demonstrated basic reading, writing, and math competencies as defined in the Admission Process below.
  4. Once admitted, students are required to submit documentation of the following entry requirements by August 1. If the documentation is not completed prior to the first day of fall classes, students will not be allowed in the clinical setting.
    1. Completed Physical Examination form (the form will be provided by the program director).
    2. CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) Requirements: All admitted students must submit evidence of current BLS (Basic Life Support) Provider certification compliant with American Heart Association (AHA) standards. Inclusion of two-person CPR and AED (Automatic Electronic Defibulator) use is required. In order to meet clinical affiliate expectations, AHA HeartCode® (blended learning) nor HeartSaver® are accepted. BLS classes are available through numerous providers and are periodically offered by Columbia State through the Workforce and Continuing Education office. Certification must be maintained continuously for the duration of enrollment.
    3. Evidence of personal health insurance coverage.
    4. All necessary health records required by clinical affiliates including proof of immunization with two doses of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) and Varicella Zoster (Chicken Pox) vaccines administered on or after the first birthday AND evidence of immunity via Titer.
    5. Criminal background check and drug screen requirements for clinical affiliate access apply. A student denied clinical access is unable to complete course objectives.

Applicants who have been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation may be ineligible for licensure by the state of Tennessee.  For more information, contact the State of Tennessee Department of Health Division of EMS. Criminal background checks and routine drug screens are required by several affiliate training sites as a condition of participation in clinical education.  Based on the results of the criminal background check and drug screen, an affiliated clinical site may elect not to allow an individual student to participate in clinical at the facility.  This could result in inability to successfully complete the requirements of a specific course and program.  More information is available from program officials.

Admission Process

  1. Applicants must meet the general requirements for admission to the College and apply for admission as stated in the College catalog.
  2. Students must place at Competency 1 or higher or have completed requirements for Competency 0 with regard to competencies in reading, writing, and math as determined by ACT sub-scores, the institutional challenge exam/placement process, or acceptable equivalent.
  3. All applicants must submit a completed application to the EMS department between January 1 and March 31.
  4. A copy of current AEMT license.
  5. Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation. One letter should be from the current employer. The second letter should be a character reference. Two letters of character reference may be used if currently unemployed.
  6. Prior to admission, all applicants will take an AEMT Entrance examination.
  7. Applicants will be interviewed by the EMS Review Panel.
  8. Admission decisions will be made by June 1. Admitted students will begin the program in the fall semester.

Selection Criteria

Applicants must obtain an overall average of 2.5 out of 5 points in the following areas of the application process: Advanced Emergency Medical Technician entrance examination, math test, and oral interview to be eligible for admission into the Paramedic Program.

  1. AEMT entrance examination will be evaluated as follows:
    96 - 100 = 5 points
    92 - 95 = 4 points
    88 - 91 = 3 points
    84 - 87 = 2 points
    80 - 83 = 1 point
    Below 80 = 0 points
  2. Oral Interviews: Each member of the selection committee will evaluate the applicant in the areas of interpersonal skills, knowledge, professional characteristics and experience. Each member will score the applicant overall using a scale of 1-5 points. The scores from each member will then be averaged to obtain an interview score.

Retention Requirements

After admission to the program, to remain eligible for continuation, a student must earn a grade of "C" or better in all EMSP level courses.

Readmission Requirements

Readmission to the Paramedic Program after dismissal is not guaranteed, regardless of the reason for dismissal. A student who wishes to apply for readmission must do so in writing to the program director at least 90 days prior to the desired readmission date. Readmission decisions will be made on an individual basis. An interview with the program director is required before readmission. Regardless of the reason for dismissal, it is the sole responsibility of the student to request readmission in writing to the program director. Students who have been unsuccessful in completing the program after two attempts, will not be eligible for readmission.

EMS professionals who have successfully completed the Paramedic Technical certificate are encouraged to see program officials regarding degree advancement options.