Rebekah Honeycutt

Light and Love be with you!

Essay: Paramedics Require More Education

Paramedics Require More Education.

Essay written by Rebekah Honeycutt


Emergency Medical Service (EMS) truly began in the late 1960’s, with the first paramedic curriculum being provided in 1977. During the past 50 years there has been a steady increase in educational requirements and standards.  Pre-hospital care in the United States rests firmly on the education status of the emergency providers.  The more education the paramedics receive, the better care they can provide.  The EMS degree program at Asheville -Buncombe Technical College should not be removed from the curriculum; it is not only assisting in developing the society by improving pre-hospital care, but it is also providing its student paramedics with higher standards of education.

In 1972, the popular show Emergency! was broadcast and welcomed into the homes of Americans.  This was society’s first real glimpse into the lives and definition of the word ‘paramedic’.  The word has since broadened its definition without society realizing this has occurred.  The paramedics of today have knowledge and training that the new paramedics in the 70’s had not yet acquired.  This was possible thanks to the extraordinary standards and availability of educational facilities carrying the EMS program.  Paramedics today no longer are required to directly contact a doctor at the receiving hospital to obtain orders on how to treat their patients.  Paramedics are educated to interpret an individual’s signs and symptoms, and then perform the treatment that is necessary.  This paramedic has gone through extensive training and skills assessments so that they are able to continuously provide up to date advanced pre-hospital care.  In North Carolina, the student has to not only pass their educational courses, but test through the state to receive certification.  They will be re-tested on their abilities by their company’s medical director (the doctor whose licensure the paramedic works under) before entering the workforce.  Their medical director has to feel that the paramedic understands how to treat, show empathy, and make correct decisions for their patients in the most stressful of environments.

There will always be people feeling sick, elderly that are in the process of dying, young children that hurt themselves playing in the yard.  Society as a whole has placed their lives in the hands of the emergency services in their time of need.  Normally, strangers do not enter a home with welcomed arms, but in the case of paramedics, they are welcomed completely.  The person within the home understands that this paramedic can assist them or their family members more so than their own abilities can provide.  EMS provides these services 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week without fail.  The National Highway Safety Act of 1966 created funding and standards for EMS across America by establishing and forcing the US Department of Transportation to provide effective Emergency Medical Services (Bryan E Bledsoe).  EMS began to increase in visibility, necessity, status, and educational needs.  In 2008, AB Tech was one out of fourteen colleges that offer the EMS Associate Degree Program in North Carolina (Wood).   The so called “White Paper of 2011” recommends the need to “establish a National EMS Academy to promulgate and implement national education standards and certification . . .” (EMSLA).  If the government accepts this report like they did with the “White Paper of 1966”, America will see an even more elaborate increase in the educational standards for EMS.  With or without this acceleration, this specific career field will continue to grow in society’s needs and also in required education status.  AB Tech would benefit greatly from continuing this education course.

EMS Agenda for the Future states “As EMS care continues to evolve and become more sophisticated, the need for high quality education for EMS personnel increases.” (Jeff Michael 33) AB Tech has been providing this higher quality education since the school year 1981-1982, and it would be beneficial to AB Tech financially to continue their endeavors. (ABTech)  AB Tech offers not only degree courses, but also certificate and continuing education (Con-Ed) courses for EMT’s.  The certified medic has the ability to further expand their knowledge into a degree in Emergency Medical Science, then to transfer and obtain a bachelor’s degree at a college such as Western Carolina University.   All EMS professionals are required to have 24 hours of Con-Ed courses per year. These classes are intended to relay updated information and skills to EMT’s so they perform accurately with new technologies, and medical care treatments. The medical field is constantly changing and requires the EMT’s to maintain the current information in their memory banks.  The ability is at AB Tech for paramedics to continue their education in EMS and from graduation, transition into a new career field.  The diverse information that paramedics obtain allows them to continue into other degrees such as Nursing, Science, Business, and other fields.  The probability of a paramedic transitioning into a similar field is high due to EMS being a physically demanding endeavor (Bryan E. Bledsoe).  It is common knowledge that most paramedics have a back-up plan to this career field in case of health problems that may arise.  This portion adds to the finances of the college as aftermath to the finances obtained during certificate and degree courses.  AB Tech continues to make money even after the students have graduated from the degree program itself.

Overall, EMS is a new career field with an incredible amount of potential.  The education of paramedics has been made available through AB Tech’s EMS degree Program since the early 1980’s.  Paramedics today need the knowledge that AB Tech can provide to enhance their ability to care for the sick, injured, and dying.  Taking the curriculum from AB Tech would be detrimental to the standards of patient care in the Asheville and surrounding areas. The need for this curriculum is extensive, touching the lives of people every day in their most vulnerable of moments.




Paramedic- A person who acts an assistant to a physician or in place of a physician until the physician is available. (Mosby)

Patient- A person who is under medical care or treatment. (Inc.)

Medical Director- a physician who is responsible for all the clinical and patient care aspects of an EMS system. (Bledsoe)

Certification- The process by which an agency or association grants recognition to an individual who has met it’s qualifications. (Bledsoe)

Licensure- The process by which a governmental agency grants permission to engage in a given occupation to an applicant that has attained the degree of competency required to ensure the public’s protection. (Bledsoe)


Works Cited

ABTech. “AB Tech Fact Book.” 2011. Asheville-Buncombe Technical College. <;.

Bledsoe, et al. Intermediate Emergency Care 1985 Curriculum 3rd edition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc., 2008.

Bryan E Bledsoe, et al. “History of EMS.” Bledsoe, Porter and Cherry. Essentials of Paramedic Care – Second Edition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc., 2007. 9-12.

Bryan E. Bledsoe, et al. “Basic Physical Fitness.” Bledsoe, Porter and Cherry. Essentials of Paramedic Care – Second Edition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc., 2007. 31-34.

EMSLA, IAEMSC and. Consolidated Federal Leadership for Emergency Medical Services. “White Paper”. Washington and Boston: The International Association of EMS Chiefs and National EMS Labor Alliance, 2011.

Inc., Random House. Unabridged. 19 September 2011. <;.

Jeff Michael, EdD et al. “EMS Agenda for the Future.” 1996.

Mosby. Mosby’s Medical Dictionary 8th edition. Elsevier, 2009.

Wood, Ann. North Carolina EMS. 20 December 2008. <;.



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