Programs & Courses

Paramedic

About This Program

Medicine Hat College is redesigning the online display of programs and courses and some content on this page may no longer be accurate. For official program information, please refer to the current academic calendar.

Learn about tuition and fees or download a program planning guide.

People’s lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care of paramedics. Incidents as varied as automobile accidents, heart attacks, slips and falls, childbirth, and gunshot wounds all require immediate medical attention. Paramedics provide this vital service as they care for and transport the sick or injured to a medical facility. The Bachelor of Applied Health Science – Paramedic degree program prepares learners to be an integral part of the health care team, primarily within the pre-hospital environment.

Our paramedic program is accredited by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) which signifies that our paramedic program has met national standards and that the education provided is relevant to current clinical practice. Ensuring that paramedics have the required competencies for entry to practice is an important contribution to Canada’s health system.

Prospective students must be mature and highly motivated to deal with the stress of emergency care, critical care and shift work. Paramedics must think independently, exercise good judgment, communicate effectively with others and work well in multidisciplinary environments. The training provided not only addresses the necessary skills of a paramedic but also the skills required to perform with confidence in a variety of situations, effectively interact with others and maintain professional decorum whether in simple or complex situations. The program also addresses topics on physical fitness and healthy lifestyles, psychology, philosophy and interdisciplinary communication.

Our paramedic program enables you to move seamlessly through the various levels of preparation for careers in Emergency Medical Services, ultimately allowing you to attain the Paramedic Diploma or to continue on to the Paramedic Applied Degree.

The program is designed to prepare you with the National Occupational Competencies and the Alberta Occupational Competencies for Paramedic Practitioners. On successful completion of the diploma program, you are prepared to write the Alberta College of Paramedics provincial licensing examinations at the EMT-P level. You will have the additional benefit of enhanced transferability of various courses presented throughout your education.

There is a high demand for paramedics who are employed by public and private ambulance services provincially, nationally and internationally. Paramedics also work in a variety of industrial and community-based emergency health settings.

High School

Overall average of at least 60% and a minimum mark of 50% in

  • ELA 30-1
  • Biology 30
  • Math 30-1 or Math 30-2
  • Grade 12 five credit subject (Chemistry 30 is recommended)

Transfer Route

Previous post-secondary coursework may be considered for admission. Successful completion of a PCP/EMT or EMR program may qualify you for consideration under this admission route.

English Language Proficiency

Students will also need to meet English Language Proficiency at a higher level than the general college standards. Students should obtain an IELTS of 7.0 with no band below 7.0”

For the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) students must have an overall band score of 7.0 with no band score less than 7.0.

Pre-Professional Requirements

After being admitted into the program, you must provide

  • Proof of current CPR with the Heart & Stroke Heartsaver AED (C) CPR certificates
  • Students will receive a health questionnaire and immunizations checklist that must be completed. In some cases, a chest x-ray may be required.
  • A recent Police Information Check (within two months) prior to the first day of classes. Periodic Police Information Checks may be required prior to practicum and work experience to maintain current status throughout the program and to comply with provincial laws. Students are obligated to inform the Program Coordinator immediately of any change in the status of their criminal record.

Applied Degree Continuation - Post Advanced Care Certification Entry

The Bachelor of Applied Health Science - Paramedic (BHSc-P) is designed to build on the previous knowledge and experience of practicing paramedics. Qualified candidates are able to obtain the BHSc-P by completing the nine courses offered in the program.

  • ELA 30-1
  • Current Advanced Care Paramedic license in the province you are located
  • Continued employment as an Advanced Care Paramedic

First Year
Fall

BIOL 231 Introduction to Biology I
BIOL 275 Basic Human Anatomy and Physiology I
IDST 100 Introductory Communications for Helping Professionals
PARA 100 Foundations of Paramedic Practice I
KNES 247 Introduction to Wellness, Fitness and Nutrition

Winter
BIOL 277 Basic Human Anatomy and Physiology II
PARA 115 Professional Communications for Paramedics
PARA 120 Foundations of Paramedic Practice II
PARA 125 Assessment and Diagnostics 
PARA 130 Introduction to Paramedic Management of Emergency Situations

Spring
PARA 145 Introduction to Primary Care Practice ++
PARA 150 Primary Care Practice ++

Second Year
Fall
PARA 200 Introduction to Advanced Care 
PARA 215 Pharmacology for the Prehospital Professional
PARA 220 Paramedic Management of Trauma and Environmental Conditions
PHSL 200 Pathophysiology
PSYC 205 Principles of Psychology

Winter
IDST 485 Death and Dying
PARA 205 Mental Health for First Responders
PARA 230 Skills and Practice in Patient Modalities 
PARA 240 Management of Special Population Groups
PHIL 313 Bioethics

Spring
PARA 210 Advanced Critical Care Practice

Third Year
Fall
PARA 300 Advanced Care Paramedic Practice I 
PARA 305 Advanced Paramedic Care

Winter (Diploma Exit)
PARA 310 Advanced Care Paramedic Practice II

++ EMT/PCP from a CMA accredited program and completed within the previous three calendar years may apply for advance credit for PARA 145  and PARA 150 . Awarding of credit is also dependent on work experience since the time of EMT/PCP program completion. Program specific guidelines for awarding of advance credit are available from the Program Coordinator.

Continuation Requirements

Student Standing
To maintain satisfactory standing, you must attain

  • a minimum of a B grade in all PARA courses throughout the program (Diploma Only).  All PARA courses less than a B must be cleared.
  • a minimum of a pass in the practicum component of all courses.  A fail in a practicum course will normally require you to repeat the course before progressing to further PARA courses.
  • obtain a minimum of a C- in all support courses; grades of less than a C- must be cleared prior to graduation.
  • you will be permitted to repeat a course only once (PARA and support courses).

Satisfactory Standing
You must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 throughout the program.

If you defer clinical or practica or have been deemed unsuccessful you must complete a medical-trauma evaluation scenario and written exam prior to returning to the program.  Depending on the results of the assessment further remediation may be required prior to commencing practicum.

You may only be absent from the program for one calendar year.  A longer absence will require reapplication and readmission to the entire program.

The program must be completed within 6 years of initial entry.

Fourth year degree courses must be completed within five (5) years of initial entry of the fourth year.

Required Withdrawal
You will be required to withdraw if you

  • fail to obtain satisfactory standing in a second attempt at a PARA course that you have failed.  (Please refer to Medicine Hat College Academic Policies regarding further details related to probation and dismissal)

As a student in the paramedic program you are expected to exercise responsible conduct that reflects favourably on you, the program and the Medicine Hat College.

Graduation Requirements

  • Students must obtain a minimum of a B grade in all PARA courses.
  • You must obtain a minimum of a C- in all support courses.
  • You must pass all practica.
  • You must attain all National Occupational Competencies & all Alberta Occupation Competencies in the appropriate setting.

Practicum

You may be required to complete clinical and field experiences at sites throughout Alberta.  Clinical and field experiences may be scheduled days, evenings, nights, and weekends.  Participation in all activities related to practical experiences is mandatory. You are expected to make accommodation for commitments outside Medicine Hat to fit this scheduling.  Questionable performance and conduct at any time may result in dismissal from the practicum site and a failing grade in the course.

Fourth Year (Applied Degree Completion/Post Advanced Care Certification Entry Point.

The Bachelor of Applied Science - Paramedic (BHSc-P) is designed to build on the previous knowledge and experience of practicing paramedics.  Qualified candidates are able to obtain the BHSc-P by completing the nine courses offered in the program.

Diploma graduates continuing in the degree or practicing paramedics who wish to earn the Bachelor of Applied Health Sciences (Paramedic) degree will be able to remain at home.  The following courses will be offered by distributed learning (distance).

Notes:

** EMT/PCP from a CMA accredited program and completed within the previous three calendar years may apply for transfer credit for PARA 120, PARA 125, PARA 130, PARA 145 and PARA 150. Awarding of credit is also dependent on work experience since the time of EMT/PCP program completion. Program specific guidelines for awarding of transfer credit are available from the Program Coordinator.

** for students that did not complete the Medicine Hat College diploma

Notes

ACP Registration Exams
At various points within the program, students will be required to write Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP) registration examinations. Students will be notified regarding the cost and date for each examination. Students unsuccessful at the initial examination, may apply to write only once more. All costs related to registration, travel, accommodation, and meals are the students responsibility. Further information is available on the ACP website. An ACP Preparation session may be offered in preparation for the EMT-PCP & EMT-P/ACP examinations at minimal cost.

Fitness Requirements
A career as a Paramedic requires a high level of physical and emotional well-being. Students are expected to participate in Physical Evaluation Testing in first year by a recognized fitness appraiser (e.g., Medicine Hat College Fitness Resource Centre). Further information including the PET test description, process, contacts and required forms can be found at the MHC Be Fit for Life Center. Any charges associated with the PET testing process are the responsibility of the student.

In the event of illness students must present a medical clearance certificate prior to returning to the program.

Professional Driving Improvement

Course Requirements
Students will be required to successfully complete the Professional Driving Improvement Course (PDIC). This course is offered through Continuing Education at Medicine Hat College. Students will be responsible for paying the cost associated with this course. The course must be successfully completed by the end of the first
semester of the program.

Uniforms
Students will be required to buy uniforms and appropriate foot wear. Uniforms will be ordered in the first semester of the program. Students will also be responsible for purchasing a pen light, stethoscope, trauma shears, trauma glasses, and an emergency vest.

Electronic Charting
Students are required to purchase a wifi enabled device for completing patient care reports and competency tracking during practicum.

Required Withdrawal
Students will be required to withdraw if they fail to obtain satisfactory standing in a second attempt at a PARA course that have failed. (Please refer to Medicine Hat College Academic Policies regarding further details related to probation and dismissal)

As a student in the paramedic program you are expected to exercise responsible conduct that reflects favorably on you, the program and the Medicine Hat College. Please refer to social guidelines for further details related to dismissal.

International Exchange Opportunities

You can explore short-term education abroad opportunities in countries such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Ecuador. Visit the International Mobility Program section to find out more.

Scholarship Info

Medicine Hat College distributes over $300,000 in scholarships and bursaries each year. Applying online is easy!

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Funding Your Education

There are several options to assist you in funding your education at MHC. Find out what option is best for you.

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