Some systems unavailable on October 2

A planned maintenance window to perform upgrades to the Colleague system beginning 12 a.m. Monday, October 2, will affect certain IT systems. Details on impacted systems are available.

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Emergency Medical Science FAQs

For individuals wishing to become credentialed as EMS providers in North Carolina, Wake Tech offers two options:

No, the AAS degree program includes EMT instruction

The EMS degree program spans five semesters (two years) to prepare graduates to enter the workforce as paramedics, with the advantage of having an AAS degree to enhance career opportunities. The time it takes to complete the program may vary, however, depending on placement test scores and how quickly prerequisites can be met. If placement test scores indicate a need for developmental coursework, it may take longer than two years.

The continuing education EMT program is a 200-hour course generally completed within one semester. This course is offered each semester. Agencies that are interested in sponsoring a continuing education paramedic course for their employees or volunteers should contact the EMS department head.

For additional information about the AAS degree program in EMS, call the Health Sciences Admissions counselor at 919-747-0101. For a schedule of Workforce Continuing Education classes in EMS, call 919-866-5800. To obtain an application, schedule placement tests or find other administrative services, call the Admissions Office at 919-866-5500.

Students in the EMS curriculum programs may be eligible for federal financial aid. Workforce Continuing Education EMT courses are part of the Propel program, which offers free training in specific high-demand fields. Students should consult with a Financial Aid advisor for more information.

If you are an active volunteer or career EMS provider, your department representative, company officer or supervisor may have information about other financial aid opportunities. Some companies will purchase students' textbooks or reimburse some expenses upon successful completion of the program.

You must be at least 18 years old.

The degree program can be completed in a shorter amount of time than it takes to complete the Continuing Education credentials, and several states require an AAS degree in EMS to practice as a paramedic.

Having a degree gives you an advantage in hiring situations and often means a higher starting salary. A degree is often important for EMS providers to move up or into other aspects of the field, such as management and administration, or into state or federal EMS (and related) positions.

Classes cost less, and they are offered in the evening and on weekends.

You need to take the ACCUPLACER placement test and test out of developmental English and math. Students who have been out of school for some time often find they need to take developmental courses to polish their skills, and these courses can be an important step on the way to your goal of becoming a paramedic.

The national paramedic curriculum requires Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) as well. At Wake Tech, in order to complete all the objectives listed in the national standard curriculum, you will need to take two semesters of A&P.

Students should have college entry-level reading and writing skills, good basic math skills and the ability to think critically and solve problems. Paramedics are health care professionals who interact with all members of the health care team and must be able to communicate in a professional way. They are responsible for handling drugs and must be able to quickly calculate patient weight and appropriate drug dosages in emergency situations. They have more autonomy every day, requiring problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Students should talk with a Health Sciences counselor to get the most up-to-date information on admissions requirements.

Candidates for the EMT course must show English competency at a post-secondary level by college transcript or placement test. Paramedics candidates must show English competency at a post-secondary level and math competency at the 10th-grade level by college transcript or placement test.

The field of EMS is expanding every day. In addition to a career as a field paramedic on an ambulance, you may consider working toward a career as a flight medic, hospital paramedic or fire medic for a municipal agency; working in EMS management or administration as a supervisor, administrator or policy maker; serving as an EMS educator, instructor, researcher or author; working in disaster health services; working in state or federal EMS programs, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Emergency medical services can also serve as a stepping stone into other allied health professions.

  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is the collective name for the care provided by those who ride in ambulances – and those who support them, such as dispatchers and firefighters – and those who provide various levels of pre-hospital or out-of-hospital care to the sick or injured.
  • An EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) is trained to care for patients at the scene of an emergency and during ambulance transport, under medical direction. The EMT has the skills to assess a patient's condition and manage respiratory, cardiac and trauma emergencies.
  • An AEMT (Advanced Emergency Medical Technician) has more advanced training that allows the administration of intravenous fluids, the use of manual defibrillators to give life-saving shocks to a stopped heart and the application of advanced airway techniques and equipment to assist patients experiencing respiratory emergencies.
  • Paramedic is currently the highest level of training for EMS providers. Paramedics provide the most extensive pre-hospital care. In addition to carrying out the procedures already described, paramedics may administer drugs orally and intravenously, interpret electrocardiograms (EKGs), perform endotracheal intubations and use monitors and other complex equipment.

Students may receive advanced standing in EMS classes based on current North Carolina credentials. A student with a current EMT credential will receive credit for EMS-110. Students with an N.C. Paramedic credential are eligible for additional credit. Contact the EMS department head for specific advanced placement credit questions.