College of DuPage offers a Paramedic certificate program once a year. Students interested in completing this 32-credit-hour course are encouraged to enroll early, as the classes fill up quickly. See certificate requirements below.
Paramedics receive more advanced training to perform more difficult pre-hospital medical procedures. Paramedics have advanced training in the administration of intravenous fluids, the use of manual defibrillators to give lifesaving shocks to a stopped heart, and the application of advanced airway techniques and equipment to assist patients experiencing respiratory emergencies. In addition, paramedics provide extensive pre-hospital care on the scene of an accident or other life-threatening situation. Paramedics also may administer drugs orally and intravenously, interpret electrocardiograms (EKGs), perform endotracheal intubations, and use monitors and other complex equipment.
Most fire departments prefer hiring candidates who have already met state certification requirements for firefighter, emergency medical technician and paramedic. Paramedics work for fire departments, ambulance services and hospital emergency units. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2006-2007 Occupational Outlook Handbook, job openings in these careers are expected to grow by as much as 27 percent by 2014. For more information on career outlook and salary information for paramedics, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.
- Certificate Requirements, PDF file
COD also offers an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) A.A.S. degree.
Gainful Employment Information
View information about this program, including estimated cost and employment opportunities.