Trending topics: Should paramedics have a degree?

The idea of requiring paramedics to earn a college degree is a hot topic among industry personnel, with national organizations weighing in


By News Staff

The idea of formal education requirements for paramedics has had the industry buzzing the last few months, with several national organizations weighing in on both sides of the issue.

In this Trending Topics, we look at the issue from all angles, with expert opinions from seasoned paramedics and tough questions for industry leaders.

Should paramedics be required to earn a college degree, or are traditional courses enough? (Photo/Wikimedia Commons)
Should paramedics be required to earn a college degree, or are traditional courses enough? (Photo/Wikimedia Commons)

Should paramedics be required to earn a college degree, or are traditional courses enough? 

Check out these recent articles and add your thoughts below. 

Joint position statement released on paramedic degree requirements

The NAEMSE, NAEMSA and the International Association of Flight and Critical Care Paramedics say it's time for paramedics to earn an associate degree. “Once implemented, a degree requirement will improve the care delivered by paramedics and enhance paramedicine as a health profession,” the statement said.

Degree requirements, Pink Floyd and a seat at the adult table

There is little question that the practice of out-of-hospital medical care has become increasingly complex, and in an era of integrative medicine, where collaborative relationships between healthcare disciplines are increasingly emphasized, EMS can no longer afford to stay in our own little silo of patient care from station to scene, to ED. Our perspective of healthcare delivery needs to be broader, and our education on the provision of it needs to be deeper.

Does a piece of paper make you a professional?

Those who are advocating for a degree requirement as part of paramedic school training argue that it will make EMS more professional. Who says we’re not professional? Does a piece of paper from a college make you more respected and professional?

IAFC, IAFF, NFPA, NVFC oppose required degrees for medics

Four prominent firefighting organizations released a joint statement in opposition to legislative and regulatory efforts that would require entry-level paramedics to earn degrees.

NAEMT president addresses paramedic education questions

In this episode of Inside EMS, co-hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson are joined my NAEMT President Matt Zavadsky who shares his thoughts behind the organization's position statement on enhanced educational requirements for EMS providers.

Should future paramedics be required to obtain associate degrees?

Regardless of where you stand on the topic, join the Inside EMS co-hosts for a great discussion that highlights the pros and cons of such a change, and add your thoughts. 

Tackling the education disparity across national EMS organizations

In this episode of Inside EMS, co-hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson are joined by NAEMSE Board of Directors member Leaugeay Barnes to discuss the difference in education requirements across national EMS associations. 

Increasing your career options with more education

The reality is that due to on-the-job injury, family demands or burnout, many EMS professionals eventually need to find work outside of EMS. The jobs and careers of today and in the future require skills, knowledge and initiative beyond what was obtained in high school or in the back of the ambulance.

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