Virtua Paramedic Education

Virtua Paramedic Education

Virtua and Rowan College of Burlington County: Partners in Paramedic Education

Virtua and Rowan College of Burlington County (RCBC) are partners in offering the educational requirements to become a New Jersey certified emergency medical technician (EMT) or a nationally registered paramedic (NREMT-P). RCBC transforms lives by delivering innovative, high-quality and affordable educational experiences. The Virtua Paramedic Science program is nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Two options are available:

  • Certification in Paramedic Science
    The professional courses are divided into six semesters consisting of three didactic courses and six clinical training courses. Students earn 40 credits and a certificate of completion.
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree
    This option allows students to earn a two-year Associate of Applied Science - Paramedic degree. An additional 25 credits of specified general education courses supplement the professional paramedic curriculum.

Both options exceed the requirements of the National Standard Curriculum for Paramedic studies. The three didactic classroom semesters are currently provided at the Burlington Emergency Services Training Center.

Paramedic Hybrid Program

This program utilizes both online and in-classroom instruction. Students will obtain most of their lectures, homework, and quizzes via the internet. All practical skill training is done on Tuesday evenings. In each didactic semester, there are 4-5 scheduled, on-campus Saturday classes. 

Sponsorship

Students applying to Virtua Paramedic Science at RCBC are required by New Jersey regulations to obtain a clinical sponsor. Students sponsored by Virtua will complete three clinical semesters at Virtua hospital locations in Marlton, Voorhees and Mount Holly, as well as several ancillary sites for specialty training. The two field internship and field residency semesters are served on Virtua MICU vehicles throughout Burlington and Camden Counties. 

Please complete this form to apply for a Virtua sponsorship. 

For more information, please contact:

Matthew Scott, BS, MICP
Program Director
Virtua Paramedic Science
Phone: (609) 702-7157, ext. 3904
E-mail: paramedic@rcbc.edu

Paramedic FAQs

What is a paramedic?

Paramedics are educated and certified by the New Jersey Commissioner of Health to provide advanced life support services under the direction of a physician. Among the care paramedics provide is intravenous therapy, medication administration, cardiac monitoring, defibrillation and advanced procedures for protecting and maintaining a person's airway.


What do paramedics do? 

Paramedics primarily provide care to emergency patients in an out-of-hospital setting. A paramedic's goal is to reduce mortality and morbidity due to illness and injury by assessing patients and providing appropriate medical care. Paramedics are an essential component of the continuum of care and serve as a link to healthcare resources. 


How do paramedics receive medical direction?

The Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICUs) are extensions of the Emergency Departments. One base station (located in the Emergency Department at Virtua Voorhees) is the means by which pre-hospital advanced life support is directed, with the paramedic acting as the tool of the physician. The Emergency Department physician and nursing staff have the responsibility for the care of the patient being treated in the field just as they would if the patient were present in the Emergency Room.


What training do paramedics have?

Paramedics have fulfilled requirements by a credentialing agency to practice the art and science of out-of-hospital medicine. They have received extensive classroom instruction, hospital training and a field internship, and possess knowledge and skills that allow them to perform in a professional manner. Read more about the Virtua Paramedic Science at Rowan College of Burlington County.


What is the difference between Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and paramedics? 

Paramedics are not a replacement for the local Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs.) EMTs provide a level of care known as basic life support. This care includes patient assessment, CPR, bandaging, splinting broken bones, administration of oxygen and defibrillation. Local rescue squads are staffed by paid and volunteer EMTs educated and certified by the New Jersey State Department of Health at the basic EMT level. EMTs are the backbone of the emergency medical system. Paramedics are trained and certified to provide care in advanced life support. The MICU paramedics join with EMTs from local squads to form a team (which also includes members of the police and fire departments) to provide the highest quality emergency care to an ill or injured patient at the scene of an emergency. 


When do paramedics get called? 

The MICUs are dispatched on emergency calls which may be potentially life threatening such as unconscious patients, patients with chest pain or trouble breathing, serious motor vehicle accidents, etc. The majority of MICUs are staffed 24-hours seven days a week by two certified paramedics. In order for the concept of pre-hospital emergency care to be effective, it is imperative that for calls of a potentially serious nature, the MICU vehicle be dispatched simultaneously with the emergency squad of the local municipality. This is accomplished by the Camden County Communications Center. The dispatchers utilize guidelines for the types of calls warranting a response of an MICU. 


How else do paramedics serve the community? 

As an advocate for patients, paramedics seek to be proactive in affecting long-term care by working with other provider agencies and organizations. The emerging roles and responsibilities of the paramedic include public education, health promotion and participation in injury and illness prevention programs. 


How are paramedic services regulated? 

By law, MICUs in New Jersey are hospital-based and highly regulated by the State Department of Health. In addition to Virtua's Quality Assurance review, the Department of Health regularly inspects MICU programs statewide and reviews MICU calls for appropriate care. Every two years, paramedics are required to become re-certified.

Program Prerequisites 

Paramedic Student candidates must:


  1. Have a High School diploma or equivalent. They must be at least 18 years of age prior to starting class and able to read and write English.  
  2. Be physically able to perform the duties required of a paramedic.  
  3. Have completed an approved NJ Department of Health, Office of Emergency Services (OEMS), Emergency Medical Technician-Basic course and possess a current EMT-B certification. If the applicant is from out of state and needs to obtain a NJ EMT-B certification, they need to call the NJ Department of Health, OEMS at (609) 633-7777 and get the particulars for reciprocity in New Jersey. Having prior BLS experience is VERY helpful, but not required.
  4. Possess a current CPR card.
  5. Attach three (3) reference letters. See the Virtua sponsorship application for details.
  6. Attend a clinical sponsorship interview with staff members from the School of Paramedic Sciences. Please note that an interview will not be granted if the application is incomplete.  
  7. Once accepted, the applicant is required to apply to Rowan College at Burlington County and take the ACCUPLACER placement test prior to registering for class. 

Program Course Requirements 

Classroom

Students begin with more than 500 hours of classroom education including:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Disease processes and management
  • Electrocardiogram interpretation
  • Advanced patient assessment
  • Emergency skills and techniques
  • Numerous other aspects of advanced life support

Clinical

During the 2nd, 3rd and 4th semesters of classes, students move into hospital settings for "controlled" clinical experiences. This will occur in places such as the:

  • Laboratory
  • Emergency department
  • Intensive care and cardiac care units
  • Labor and delivery suites
  • Operating room
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychological services
  • Neonatal ICU
  • Trauma center
  • Respiratory care
  • EKG department

See the entire paramedic sciences curriculum for a certificate in paramedic science or an associate degree of applied science. 


Field Internship and Residency

In the field, paramedic students are assigned seasoned preceptors who are charged with the duties of teaching and refining the skills necessary for advanced life support. Students will operate in the field for a minimum of 500 hours.

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