Tennessee is a unique state in regards to EMTs and paramedics because there is no EMT-Basic level. Instead, Tennessee employs what is called the EMT-IV (Intravenous Therapy). This license is somewhat similar to the EMT-Intermediate 1985 standards that other states utilize.
Note that Tennessee is expected to adopt new licensure requirements (the Advanced EMT licensure level will be the minimum acceptable license for working on an ambulance) very soon.
Paramedic Training in Tennessee
Below, please click on a school to get admissions information on their programs:
- Chattanooga State Technical Community College – Chattanooga, TN
- City of Memphis Division of Fire Services – Memphis, TN
- Columbia State Community College – Columbia, TN
- Jackson State Community College – Jackson, TN
- Northeast State Technical Community College – Blountville, TN
- Roane State Community College – Harriman, TN
- Southwest Tennessee Community College – Memphis, TN
- Tennessee Tech University – Cookeville, TN
- Volunteer State Community College – Gallatin, TN
- Walters State Community College – Morristown, TN
Learning the Paramedic Program Requirements in TN
· You must be at least 18 years old.
· You must be a high school graduate or have a GED.
· You need to have your EMT license for the state of TN. Be sure to remember that being state licensed/certified is not the same thing as being Nationally Registered. The NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians) is a non-governmental agency that registers and maintains a database of certified EMTs. You can learn more at www.nremt.org.
· You will likely be asked by a college/paramedic program to provide references, as well as show proof of immunizations (such as Hepatitis B), and likely submit him or herself to a criminal background and/or drug screening. Things like a valid driver’s license and a copy of one’s Social Security card, too, will need to be provided.
· If you’re an international student, a school may ask you to provide more information and/or require you to take the English language test TOEFL.
· You will also need to provide proof of their CPR certification and/or ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certification, as well.
· Do know that that while many of these requirements are fairly universal, each program has their own set of requirements and prerequisites. At Jackson State Community College and Chattanooga State, for example, prospective students are asked to complete an EMT competency exam and undergo a psychological examination before being allowed entrance into the program.
Paramedic training courses can typically be found at community colleges.
Generally, an EMT-P course often provides students with a mixture of classroom and in-hospital clinical experience, as well as some field experience.
You will want to make sure that whichever paramedic training program in Tennessee you select is an accredited program.
Where can I find an accredited paramedic training program in Tennessee?
In general, make sure you visit the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) to find an accredited paramedic training program. This is important, because as of January 1, 2013, all students will need to complete paramedic education at an accredited school in order to take the paramedic NREMT exam.
Do I need EMT experience to apply to a paramedic training program?
No, usually you don’t. There are many students who takes the National Registry exam for EMTs, pass it successfully, and immediately enroll into a paramedic program without ever riding in an ambulance. Some programs do however recommend students have EMT experience, as they believe it serves the students better both in class and in the field.
How long will it take me to become a paramedic?
While there is no definitive answer to this question, you can typically expect to complete a program in a time span of six months to two years.
How much will a paramedic training program cost?
The cost of a program ranges from school to school, and certainly state to state. But typically, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 for a paramedic program. Tuition costs can certainly exceed this amount, however.
At Chattanooga State, students can expect to pay $4,951 for tuition.
TAKING THE PARAMEDIC NREMT EXAM
After you successfully complete the required paramedic training course, you will want to pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam. This is both a computer adaptive test (cognitive examination) as well as a skills test (psychomotor examination).
The cognitive examination will cover the entire spectrum of EMS care. This includes Airway, Ventilation, Oxygenation, Trauma, Cardiology, Medical, and EMS Operations. The maximum amount of time you will be given to pass this portion of the exam is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The psychomotor examination consists of 12 separate skills laid out in a scenario-type format to approximate the abilities of the EMT-Paramedic to function in the out-of-hospital setting. Those taking the test are actually allowed to bring their own equipment to the exam provided it is approved for testing by the National Registry Representative in attendance at the examination.
The psychomotor exam portion of the paramedic NREMT exam will test your knowledge and competency in each of the following skills: Patient Assessment-Trauma, Ventilatory Management, Cardiac Management Skills, IV and Medication Skills, Oral Station, Pediatric Skills, and Random Basic Skills.
PRACTICING AS A PARAMEDIC
After you successfully pass the NREMT-P exam, you can apply to the state for licensure. Tennessee uses the NREMT exam to help qualify prospective paramedics for licensure.
How much money does a paramedic make annually?
An average paramedic salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2011, is about $34,030 per year.