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Pennsylvania Paramedic Degree - PA

While Pennsylvania offers reciprocal certification (especially through the Atlantic EMS council, a network of northeastern state EMS agencies), the process is slightly simpler if candidates take classes in the state in which they seek certification. When the EMT, first responder or paramedic class is finished, the student will be given a practical examination in which he or she will be asked by the instructor to demonstrate actual skills learned in the class in simulated emergency conditions. The practical exam may require the student to evaluate the scene of an accident, call for additional help, if needed, and begin performing CPR on the patient. The first responder and EMT practical skills test was developed by Pennsylvania, where as the paramedic practical test is based on U.S. Department of Transportation requirements and involves both pediatric and advanced life saving skills, in addition to all the skills that an EMT must have.


First responders and EMTs take a written exam developed by the state of Pennsylvania, which will include questions built to test their knowledge about what functions they cannot legally perform on patients (i.e., administering certain narcotics and sedatives). To become a paramedic in Pennsylvania, one must sit for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam, which is a multiple-choice, computer-based test that can be taken in testing centers all over the country. This exam may ask a paramedic student to evaluate several echocardiograms (EKG) and determine what the likely condition of the patient’s heart is, or identify what drug the patient is most likely to have overdosed of and what the best course of treatment is.

Each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties as well as several regional councils helps to oversee the training and administration of EMS services, coordinate disaster preparedness exercises and activities, train professionals and review the performance of certified EMS professionals.


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