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Emergency Medical Care


Emergency medical care programs teach people to rescue others and save lives.

Emergency medical care programs prepare people to respond to emergency calls. Students learn to give medical care at basic, intermediate, and advanced levels under the remote supervision of physicians. Students at the basic level can help emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Students at advanced levels can work as EMTs or paramedics.

Emergency medical care programs include topics such as:


During your training, you complete an internship in the field. During this period, you work under the supervision of a licensed paramedic.


In emergency medical care programs, students may be able to specialize in:


Many community colleges and technical schools offer certificate and associate degree programs in emergency medical care. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study. An associate degree program at a community college usually takes two years of full-time study to complete.

Several colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in emergency medical care. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Very few universities offer graduate degrees in emergency medical care. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master’s degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

Proprietary schools, colleges, and universities all offer this program. If you want to study at a proprietary school, you can prepare for this program of study by completing your high school diploma or getting a GED. If you want to study at a college or university, you can prepare for this program by taking the following courses: four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

All programs also require CPR certification, in addition to basic first aid training.

Before continuing to the next level of certification, you must have field experience either working as an EMT or assisting an EMT. The specific length and nature of the required experience varies.

If you want to get a bachelor's degree in emergency medical care, you usually need to take college-level science and general education courses before applying. These courses include:

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

In addition, all programs include clinical training and fieldwork. Clinical training involves hands-on learning in a hospital or clinic under the direct supervision of a nurse or physician. Fieldwork involves riding with an experienced EMT or paramedic and applying the skills you have learned in the classroom.

Things to Know

This program of study is divided into several levels of training: first response, basic emergency medical technician, intermediate emergency medical technician, and paramedic. Every county in every state has different certification requirements for each level and the amount of time it takes to complete each level also varies from program to program.

Emergency medical care is a local service. You should contact your local emergency medical care provider to learn more about getting involved in your particular community.

You need a license from the state where you live to practice. Every state has an emergency medical care office that issues licenses to EMTs. Most states require that their EMTs first be certified by the National Registry of EMTs.

You must take continuing education courses to expand your skills and renew your certification.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

Walla Walla Community College

Walla Walla Community College (Clarkston)

Wenatchee Valley College

King-Snohomish Area

Bellevue College

Everett Community College

Green River College

North Seattle College

Spokane Area

Horizon Medical Institute

Spokane Community College

Tacoma Area

Bates Technical College (South Campus)

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

Pierce College Puyallup

Tacoma Community College

Tri-Cities Area

Columbia Basin College

Vancouver Area

Clark College

Northwest Regional Training Center

West Side Area

Bellingham Technical College

Centralia College

Peninsula College