Merced College Paramedic Program


Paramedicine is a profession whose specialty is to provide pre-hospital emergency medical care at the Advanced Life Support (ALS) level.  Didactic, clinical, and field internships prepare the student to assess and treat a wide variety of medical and traumatic emergencies in the pre-hospital setting.  The knowledge and skills acquired through the courses will prepare students to meet the professional responsibilities outlined in the paramedic scope of practice per the California Code of Regulations, Title 22, and to meet certification standards for paramedics as outlined by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).  Credit Value: 39 units (includes field and clinical experience).

About the Paramedic Program


The program is designed to prepare students for employment as paramedics working for various EMS agencies, such as ambulance services, fire and hospital emergency departments. Students who complete the program in a satisfactory manner are qualified to take the required examinations in order to apply for state paramedic licensure.


The paramedic program is a rigorous 12 month sequence of instruction, with entry in the fall quarter only. The course work is intense with very detailed and difficult information covered over a brief period of time.  The ability to multitask, work well in chaos, deal with stress, communicate well, perform tasks quickly, and work well with others is paramount to success.  This course is designed for students who have worked as EMTs for at least 6 months at full-time capacity. The first two semesters consist of lecture and lab instruction. The final semester consists of clinical rotations and the ambulance field internship. Students should be prepared to alter their work schedules to attend courses three days per week.

Students are advised to consider their work schedules carefully and plan their finances accordingly before committing to the program.

1.      Lecture/Lab (Fall, Spring semesters). This phase of the program includes over 600 hours of lecture, skill laboratories and simulated 911-call practice. All students meet for 6.5 hour days on Tuesday and Wednesday and 7 hour days on Thursdays.  

2.    Hospital Rotations (Summer Semester).  All students will attend 162 hours of clinical rotations during the Summer Semester. The hospital/clinic setting gives the student an opportunity to take the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom and apply them to live patients in a controlled setting. The clinical assignment will include weekends, nights, 8, 10, 12 hour or variable shifts.  Student must complete the experience within the semester. For this section of the course, students are advised to pay close attention to their work schedule & finances and plan accordingly.

3.    Field Internship (Summer semester). During the final phase of the program the student will spend 480 to 720 hours on assignment with an approved 911- ambulance service provider agency under the supervision of a paramedic preceptor. The internship has the reputation of being the most challenging portion of paramedic education. Students are required to take the theoretical knowledge from the classroom, the laboratory simulations on manikins, the hospital experience on live patients and combine these components to function as an intern responding on an ambulance to ill and injured patients while being instructed and evaluated by a field preceptor. The student has the task of initiating, providing, and directing entire patient care while in a sometimes chaotic, uncontrolled environment.



The field assignment will include weekends, holidays, nights, and variable hours. When the student is assigned to the Internship she/he must attend on a full- time basis - matching the preceptor�s work schedule exactly.  For this section of the course, students are advised to pay the greatest attention to detail in planning their work schedule and finances accordingly.