EMT and Paramedic Programs Approved by State Board

Press Release – ASU

JONESBORO – In a healthcare emergency, when minutes count, fast response from well-qualified medical personnel can save lives.

Arkansas State University, a long-time leader in health professions education, today secured state approval to offer two new high-demand programs for emergency response personnel.

The emergency medical technician (EMT) program is a 12-credit hour program, and the more advanced paramedic training is a 51-credit hour program.  Both offer options on certification and college credit.

The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the programs during their meeting today in Little Rock.

“Starting the paramedic program was motivated by discussion from the community,” explained Sara Walker, who is directing the two new emergency medical services programs.  “The need for highly qualified, licensed paramedics was brought to our attention by our community partners, specifically senior paramedics and EMS (emergency medical services) instructors.”

The EMT program prepares students for entry-level practice as an emergency medical technician – basic. Individuals who complete the EMT training, which is a single semester program, will receive a certificate of proficiency and will be qualified to take the national registry exam for EMT.

Students in the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) program in disaster preparedness and emergency management also can apply this coursework toward their degree.

The paramedic program, which prepares students for entry-level practice, consists of 51 credit hours of classroom and hands-on training. Graduates will receive a technical certificate in paramedic and qualify for the paramedic basic national registry exam.

Similarly, paramedic students also can apply their coursework toward an Associate of Applied Science in paramedic, which includes additional hours in general education.

“We have many synergistic opportunities between the planned EMT/P program and existing programs,” added Dr. Deborah Persell, director of the Regional Center for Disaster Preparedness Education.  “For example, existing university-level courses can be offered in support of the EMT/P program and existing tangible resources can also be utilized. The Regional Center is fully equipped to provide the nationally standardized courses for core, basic and disaster life support.”

The A-State paramedic program has been issued a letter of review by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP). This letter signifies a program seeking initial accreditation has demonstrated sufficient compliance with the accreditation standards through the Letter of Review Self Study Report (LSSR) and other documentation.  Letter of review is recognized by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) so that individuals can take NREMT’s paramedic credentialing examination, but it is not a guarantee of eventual accreditation.  After the first year of program operation, A-State will be able to pursue formal steps for accreditation.

For information on how to qualify and apply for the EMT and paramedic programs in A-State’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, one may contact Sara Walker, director, at (870) 680-8286 orsawalker@astate.edu.

Featured Photo: Sara Walker, program director, in the ambulance simulator. Source: ASU

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