Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Program FAQ

Students who successfully complete the requirements of the program will be able to sit for the Nationally Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) examinations for the levels in which they have completed, to include EMT, Advanced EMT, and Paramedic. Students will also be able to obtain their state certifications for both South Carolina and Georgia, and several other states accept NREMT for state certification requirements.

Students also will earn several industry level certifications through the National Association of EMT’s (NAEMT), American Heart Association (AHA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

 All EMS Faculty have at a minimum Bachelor degrees and hold numerous Instructor certifications, including South Carolina Paramedic Instructor (Level 5). They also hold Instructor certifications through the National Association of EMT’s (NAEMT) and American Heart Association (AHA). All Faculty have over 5 years of experience as Paramedics in the field, with some having previous experience as Critical Care/Flight Paramedics.

Students must have a high school diploma or GED and be at least 16 years of age upon entering the EMS Program. Prior to registration, students must take the appropriate placement tests (ACT, SAT, or Accuplacer) and achieve scores for placement into BIO 112, ENG 160, and MAT 155. Call the Enrollment Center at (803) 508-7263 for information on placement testing. A background check is required for all health programs and immunizations must be current. Students must also complete a two-step PPD (TB skin test) and the Hepatitis-B vaccination series (or sign a declination). Students must also have a valid Motor Vehicle Operators license and provide a driving record from the state of issue.

EMS training requires that a person be in good physical condition and able to perform the job functions of an EMT/Paramedic. EMTs must be able to lift, carry and balance 125 lbs or more in order to lift and/or move injured persons. EMTs must be able to use good judgment, and communicate verbally and non-verbally in an emergency situation. Good manual dexterity is needed to use a variety of instruments during treatment. All ATC EMS Students will be required to have a completed Physical Exam and will need to pass a Physical Agility Test (PAT) that consists of physical job functions of an EMS Provider. The PAT will be administered during the Program Orientation and students will have two attempts to pass. The PAT consists of moving a loaded patient stretcher, carrying EMS equipment up and down stairs, performing 200 compressions on a CPR manikin in 2 minutes or less, and carrying a simulated patient on a backboard.

EMS Students will have different clinical and field internship requirements depending on what semester they are in during the program. The clinical rotations will be at area hospitals and medical offices, and the field internships will be conducted with local EMS Agencies, where the students will be monitored by other healthcare providers approved by the program. Students will be responsible for their own transportation to and from the clinical/field internship sites, and will be required to carry insurance provided through the college as part of the tuition and fees. Students who are not able to complete the clinical/field internship requirements will not be allowed to continue in the EMS program.

Students who graduate from the EMS Program, either the EMT, Advanced EMT, or Paramedic, will be able to work in EMS for 911, General Transport, Specialty Transport, and/or Fire Service. Several hospitals and urgent care facilities have also started hiring EMS certified providers to work in different departments such as the Emergency Room, Intensive Care Units, and Pediatric Units. There are also several specialty jobs that employ those with EMS credentials such as Dive Medical Technicians, Remote/Special Event Medics, and Tactical EMS. Currently students in the EMS program are gaining employment as early as the second semester and 100% of the graduates have gainful employment related to EMS.

Over half of the 700+ CAAHEP accredited Paramedic programs are degree awarding programs, and an associate’s degree will be the entry level requirement for all Paramedic programs possibly by 2025. Many employers have already began offering pay incentives for those with degrees, and some agencies require supervisors to have a degree. Also Paramedics looking at certain specialty certifications later such as Flight/Critical Care, Tactical, and Community Paramedic may be required to have a degree to be accepted into a specific program.

There are no set articulation agreements with any particular college, but many of the courses will transfer into a Bachelors program, even if transferred as elective credits. AAS degrees are not usually designed to be transfer degrees and students who have plans to transfer into a Bachelor’s degree program need to discuss their plans with the Program Director so proper advisement can be offered to best prepare the student for their future goals.

This program uses a flexible schedule and the Flipped-Classroom teaching model, which included online and live recorded lectures, interactive labs, high-fidelity realistic scenarios, clinical rotations, and field internships. Students will have a great deal of flexibility in scheduling and will have very few required days on campus. The majority of the didactic lectures will be conducted through the online and live video lectures, and students will be able to schedule lab shifts throughout the week to work around their schedule. Lab shifts are available Monday-Thursday each week with shifts from 9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm, and 5pm-8pm. Most students will only need 4 lab shifts a week to meet their lab requirements and there is flexibility in scheduling. The program also utilizes some of the most high tech simulators, many which are not used by any other program in the region.

No. New students entering the program will be able to earn their EMT certification in the first two semesters, but it is required to continue into the Certificate in EMT Advanced and the AAS in Emergency Medical Technology degree program. If a student does have a current NREMT certification there is a pathway to earn exemption credits by examination for some of the EMS courses under the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) policy. Even those with a current Nationally Registered Paramedic (NRP) certification can earn the AAS in Emergency Medical Technology in a fast track program.

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