Critical Care Paramedic Courses and Certification
Critical care paramedics provide medical treatment to the most critically ill or injured patients before they reach the hospital. Get information on training courses and certification requirements for this occupation.
What You Need to Know
As a critical care paramedic, you would be authorized to provide an advanced level of care to patients during their transport to hospitals, either by motor vehicle or aircraft. Critical care paramedics can receive their training through a number of programs, or choose to complete an associate's degree. Certification requires you to have several years of work experience and to pass an exam.
|Training||Critical care programs and associate's degrees are available|
|Courses||Surgical airways, chest drainage management, lab values interpretation, flight physiology, hemodynamic monitoring|
|Certification||Available through the Board for Critical Care Transport Paramedic Certification|
What is a Critical Care Paramedic?
Paramedics are the highest level of emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and it is their responsibility to keep patients alive during transit to health care facilities. In addition to applying lifesaving medical techniques, you will have to be able to keep calm in stressful situations and help the people around you stay calm as well. You may not only transport patients on the ground, but possibly in the air as well, helping patients who need to be airlifted to get to adequate medical care.
What Courses Should I Take?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you will need a high school diploma or GED in order to enroll in an EMT program at a local technical school or community college (www.bls.gov). Once you complete an EMT program, you could advance to paramedic training program. You could also enroll in an associate's degree program for paramedics. Once you become an EMT-Paramedic, you can enroll in a training program or course for critical care paramedics.
A critical care paramedic (CCP) course should include training on:
- Breathing and airway management
- Cardiac, pharmacological and neurological management
- Intravenous medication administration
- Transporting patients
Your training program will consist of didactic coursework as well as clinical training. You will likely either need to have a paramedic license or a nursing license. It is recommended that you have one year experience before enrolling in a CCP course or program.
Can I Become Certified?
The Board for Critical Care Transport Paramedic Certification offers certification for critical care paramedics. The certification exam includes about 125 questions related to transport fundamentals, cardiac patients, respiratory patients and neurological patients. You will also be tested on advanced airway management, trauma management and pediatrics. You must be a licensed paramedic to qualify to take the exam. In addition, the organization suggests that you have three years of experience. You should also be certified in lifesaving techniques such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Prehospital Trauma Life Support.