We believe it is our responsibility to help our students prepare themselves to meet the challenges of providing prehospital medical care today and in the future. We believe that in order to do this, students must not only know what to do and how to do it, but why it is necessary. Our classes are aimed at providing our students with a comprehensive program of study that far exceeds what they would need to simply “get by.” All of our classes will provide the student with the most current and accurate information available in the industry.
Thank you for visiting our website. We have tried to provide some helpful information about our program and the ways that we can serve our students. Please browse around. If you can’t find something you are looking for, please let us know and we’ll try to provide it.
New Schedules and Location
We have been hard at work the past few months and have made numerous improvements based upon our student input. One is an adjustment in the class meeting days and times. We are also please to be offering courses in Hutto at the East Williamson County Higher Education Center (EWCHEC). Please refer to the course applications for more information.
The Temple College Paramedic Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP).
Clinical and Field Rotations
We strongly believe that the clinical experience our students receive is a vital part of their clinical education and are proud of the clinical affiliations we have to offer. We are fortunate to have access to a Level 1 Trauma Center and Academic Teaching Hospitals. Our students are precepted by physicians, which helps the students master patient assessment and management.
Hospital and Clinical Sites
- McLane’s Children’s Hospital
- King’s Daughters Clinic
- Scott & White Hospital – Temple
- Scott & White Hospital – Round Rock
Field Internship Sites
- Belton Fire Department EMS
- Harker Heights Fire Department EMS
- Scott & White EMS
- Williamson County EMS
Air Medical Sites
About EMS Professions
Functional Job Description (PDF) – This document describes the physical expectations of ECAs, EMTs, Advanced EMTs, and Paramedics.
People’s lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics, EMTs with additional advanced training to perform more difficult pre-hospital medical procedures. Incidents as varied as automobile accidents, heart attacks, drownings, childbirths, and gunshot wounds all require immediate medical attention. EMTs and paramedics provide this vital attention as they care for and transport the sick or injured to a medical facility.
Depending on the nature of the emergency, EMTs and paramedics typically are dispatched to the scene by a 911 operator and often work closely with police and fire department personnel. Once they arrive, they determine the nature and extent of the patient’s condition, while trying to ascertain whether the patient has preexisting medical problems. Following policies and protocols, they give appropriate emergency care and when necessary, transport the patient. EMTs and paramedics also treat patients with minor injuries on the scene of an accident or at their home without transporting them to a medical facility. Some paramedics work as part of helicopter flight crews that transport critically ill or injured. All treatments are carried out under the supervision of medical doctors. In addition, Community Paramedics provide long term care that address public health, primary care, disease management, social services, and wellness care.
EMTs and paramedics may use special equipment such as backboards to immobilize patients before placing them on stretchers and securing them in the ambulance for transport to a medical facility. Usually, one EMT or paramedic drives while the other monitors the patient’s condition and gives additional care as needed. At the medical facility, EMTs and paramedics transfer patients to the emergency department staff, report their observations and actions, and may provide additional emergency treatment. After each run, EMTs and paramedics replace used supplies, check equipment, decontaminate the equipment and the interior of the ambulance, and write a patient care report.
Beyond these general duties, the specific responsibilities of EMTs and paramedics depend on their level of qualification and training. The Texas Department of State Health Services certifies or licenses emergency medical service (EMS) providers and the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) registers providers at four levels: First Responder, also called Emergency Care Attendant (ECAs), EMT, EMT-Intermediate (Advanced EMT), and Paramedic. The lowest level, First Responder (ECA), is trained to provide basic emergency medical care because they tend to be the first persons to arrive at the scene of an incident. Many firefighters, police officers, and other emergency workers have this level of training. The EMT represents the first component of the emergency medical service (EMS) system. An EMT is trained to care for ill or injured patients on scenes and during transport by ambulance to the hospital. The EMT has the skills to assess a patient’s condition and manage respiratory, cardiac, other medical and trauma emergencies. The EMT-Intermediate (Advanced EMT) has more advanced training that allows administration of intravenous fluids, use of advanced airway techniques and equipment to assist patients experiencing emergencies. Paramedics provide the most extensive pre-hospital care. In addition to the procedures already described, paramedics may administer drugs, interpret electrocardiograms (EKGs), use manual defibrillators to restart the heart, perform surgical airways, and use other complex equipment.
Formal training and certification is needed to become an EMT or paramedic. In Texas, an applicant must complete a Department of State Health Service approved course, pass a credentialing exam and a skills exam. All initial applicants will be required to take the National Registry of EMTs examination to obtain a Texas certification or licensure. To maintain certification, EMTs and paramedics must reregister, every 2 years for the National Registry, and/or every four years for the Texas Department of State Health Services. In order to re-register or recertify, an individual must meet the continuing education requirements set by the issuing entity.
Training is offered at progressive levels: EMT, Advanced EMT (EMT-Intermediate), and Paramedic. The EMT represents the first level of skills required to work in the emergency medical system. Formal classroom experiences are enhanced with combined time in an emergency room and on an ambulance. Coursework typically emphasizes emergency skills such as managing respiratory, trauma, and cardiac emergencies and patient assessment. The program also provides instruction and practice in dealing with bleeding, fractures, airway obstruction, cardiac arrest, and emergency childbirth. Students learn to use and maintain common emergency equipment, such as backboards, suction devices, splints, oxygen delivery systems, and stretchers. The course is a prerequisite for further training as an advanced EMT (EMT-Intermediate) and paramedic
Advanced EMT (EMT-Intermediate) training requirements vary from State to State. In Texas, Advanced EMTs receive additional training in assessment, trauma, physiology, airway management, and medical emergencies. Training commonly includes 250 hours of additional instruction beyond EMT coursework which includes required classroom work, and a specified amount of clinical experience. Prerequisites for taking the Advanced EMT examination include certification or registration as an EMT. Advanced EMT (EMT-Intermediate) is not a prerequisite for paramedic training.
The most advanced level of training for this occupation is paramedic. At this level, the caregiver receives additional training in physiology, pharmacology, patient assessment, cardiology, trauma, airway management and extensive training in other body systems. Paramedic coursework lasts eighteen to twenty-four months and can result in an associate degree in applied science. Such education prepares the graduate to take the NREMT and the State Credentialing Examination and become certified as an paramedic. Extensive classroom, clinical and field training is required. Due to the longer training requirement, almost all paramedics are in paid positions. Refresher courses and continuing education are available for EMTs and paramedics at all levels.
Advancement beyond the paramedic level usually means leaving fieldwork. A paramedic can become a supervisor, community paramedic, flight paramedic, operations manager, administrative director, or executive director of emergency services. Some EMTs and paramedics become instructors, or dispatchers, while others move into sales or marketing of emergency medical equipment. A number of people become EMTs and paramedics to assess their interest in healthcare and then decide to return to school and become registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, or other health care workers.
EMTs and paramedics held about 226,500 jobs in 2010. Most career EMTs and paramedics work in metropolitan areas. There are many more volunteer EMTs and paramedics, especially in smaller cities, towns, and rural areas. They volunteer for fire departments, or emergency medical services (EMS). EMTs and paramedics may respond to only a few calls for service per month, or may answer 20 calls for service per shift.
Full- and part-time paid EMTs and paramedics were employed in a number of settings. About 4 out of 10 worked in local and suburban transportation, as employees of private ambulance services. About 3 out of 10 worked in local government for fire departments, public ambulance services and Emergency Medical Services. Another 2 out 10 were found in hospitals, where they worked full time within the medical facility or responded to calls in ambulances or helicopters to transport critically ill or injured patients. The remainder worked in various industries providing emergency services.
Employment of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics is expected to grow by 33 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Emergencies such as car crashes, natural disasters, and violence will continue to create demand for EMTs and paramedics. There will also continue to be demand for part-time, volunteer EMTs and paramedics in rural areas and smaller metropolitan areas.
Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increase in the number of age-related health emergencies, such as heart attacks or strokes. This, in turn, will lead to an increase in the demand for EMTs and paramedic services. An increase in specialized medical facilities will require more EMTs and paramedics to transfer patients with specific conditions to these facilities for treatment. In addition, many systems are modifying the traditional role of paramedics and adding more public health responsibilities. This will increase the number of positions available at each service.
In recent years, companies that build ambulances have started to update and redesign their interiors to keep EMTs, paramedics, and patients safer during transport. These companies are hiring EMTs and paramedics as consultants to learn their ideas about such updates and designs.
Most opportunities for EMTs and paramedics are expected to arise in hospitals and private ambulance services. Competition will be greater for jobs in local government, including fire, police, and independent third service rescue squad departments, where salaries and benefits tend to be slightly better. Opportunities will be best for those who have advanced certifications, such as Advanced EMT (EMT-Intermediate) and paramedic, as clients and patients demand higher levels of care before arriving at the hospital.
Earnings of EMTs and paramedics depend on the employment setting and geographic location as well as the individual’s training and experience. According to a recent survey conducted by the Journal of Emergency Medical Services average annual starting salaries were $40,667 for a Paramedic, $31,731 for an EMT-Intermediate, and $29,241 for an EMT1. Several agencies in the Central Texas Area offer starting salaries of at least $52,000 annually.
Those in emergency medical services who are part of fire or police departments receive the same benefits as firefighters or police officers. For example, many are covered by pension plans that provide retirement at half pay after 20 or 25 years of service or if disabled in the line of duty.
EMS Providers work both indoors and outdoors, in all types of weather. They are required to do considerable kneeling, bending, and heavy lifting. These workers risk noise-induced hearing loss from sirens and noisy accident scenes and back injuries from lifting patients. In addition, EMTs and paramedics may be exposed to diseases such as Hepatitis and HIV, as well as violence from drug overdose victims or mentally unstable patients. The work may not only be physically strenuous, but also stressful, involving life-or-death situations and suffering patients. Nonetheless, many people find the work exciting and challenging and enjoy the opportunity to help others. EMTs and paramedics should be emotionally stable, have good dexterity, agility, and physical coordination, and be able to lift and carry heavy loads.
EMTs and paramedics employed by fire departments work about 50 hours a week. Those employed by hospitals frequently work between 45 and 60 hours a week and those in private ambulance services, between 45 and 50 hours. Some of these workers, especially those in police and fire departments, are on duty for extended periods. Many EMTs and paramedics work 24/48 hours shifts in which they work for 24 hours and are off the next 48 hours. Because emergency services function 24 hours a day, EMTs and paramedics have irregular working hours that add to job stress.
Sources of Additional Information
General information about emergency medical technicians and paramedics is available from:
- National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, 408 Monroe St., Clinton, MS 39056
- National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, P.O. Box 29233, Columbus, OH 43229.
- NHTSA, Office of EMS, 400 7th St. SW., NTS-14, Washington, DC.
- Source: U.S. Department of Labor